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Rug Size Guide: Choosing the Right Rug Size for Your Space

Rug Size Guide: Choosing the Right Rug Size for Your Space

We take a lot of time curating and designing our Caitlin Wilson rugs, and we’re here to help you find the perfect fit! The age-old question: “What size rug do I need?” is a common one. We know that every great space begins with a good foundation. So, if you are in the market for a new rug, we hope this rug size guide will help you find just what you need.


Rug Sizing Mistake

The biggest mistake with rug sizing is buying a rug that’s too small for your space. Too small, and your space looks incomplete. On the other hand, a rug that’s too big can become the focal point of the room instead of the piece that ties the room together. Learn how to avoid these rug sizing pitfalls with the tips and tricks below.


Top 5 Rug Sizing and Buying Tips for a Perfect Fit:

  1. Plan your furniture layout first - this is vital to ensuring the rug size that will fit best.
  2. The rug should run the entire length of the piece it is nestled under with a bit of room on the sides.
  3. There should always be enough breathing room to walk comfortably between the rug and the floor. You do not want your space to feel overcrowded.
  4. Once you determine the rug size you want, tape off the area of the rug in your space to make sure you love the way it feels.
  5. Order a rug sample to see and feel the style, color, and texture in your space before committing to a rug style.


How to Size Rugs for Your Living Room

The living room is the room where rugs can make a big impact and difference in the aesthetic and feeling of your home. It’s the room where you likely spend most of your time, so you need a rug that fits your space and furniture to help the home feel grounded and put together. The most common living room rug mistake is the use of a floating rug (meaning the rug is floating in the middle of your living room, making your space feel disjointed).


Living Room Rug Sizing Tips:

  1. Make sure your rug is at least the entire length of your sofa.
  2. Make sure your rug has at least 6-10 inches on either side of your sofa. If it is the same size as your sofa, it will create a bowling alley effect.
  3. Your rug should be a minimum of 6” and no more than 2’ away from the wall.
  4. Orient your rug with the shape of your living room. If you have a long, narrow living room, you’ll want the rug to mimic the shape to ensure consistency.


What is the Standard Rug Size for a Living Room?

Most living room rugs are 8x10, 9x12, or larger - the larger the rug, the more furniture you can fit on it. When choosing where to place your furniture, you can decide if you want front legs on the rug, all furniture legs on the rug, or furniture flush to the wall.

If you have front legs on, have about 6” of the area rug under the furniture. If you are doing all furniture legs on the rug, leave 6-8” behind the sofa or main piece of furniture. If your sofa or furniture is flush to a wall, you can do either front legs or all legs on the area rug.

  • 9x12 Rug - usually fits a couch, a chair, and a coffee table
  • 8x10 Rug - usually fits front legs of furniture and can be a better option to make a smaller living room look and feel larger than it is


How to Find the Perfect Rug Size for Your Bedroom

We all know a rug can be a perfect finishing touch! Your bedroom rugs not only will bring your space together but can really add to the comfort and overall feel of your space. As always, make sure you have your furniture layout set before you purchase a rug. Think about your rug with regard to the color of your furniture. If your bed has a bold pattern, go with a solid color or neutral rug or vice versa.


Bedroom Rug Sizing Tips:

We typically like the front-leg approach best when it comes to bedroom rugs. If the rug does not cover the bedroom floor, extend the rug from the bottom 2/3 of the bed. Alternatively, you can place two runners at each side or a single runner at the foot of the bed.

Make sure your rug is positioned horizontally to the bed. Your rug should extend 36" or so all around the bed.

If you have a small space, don’t overcrowd your room with a large rug (For example: king size bed in a smaller room is best suited for an 8x10 rug in lieu of a 9x12).


What Rug Size is Best for Your Bedroom?

Based on your bed size, we can make general recommendations for your bedroom rug. Below are minimums based on your bed size:  


California King - 9x12 Rug: A 9x12 is recommended when you have a California king to leave enough room on the sides as well as the front of the bed. Using a rug that barely sticks out from the front of the bed can create a cluttered, smaller feeling space.

King - 8x10 Rug: We recommend at least an 8x10 rug for a king size bed; however, we suggest a 9x12 when going for a luxurious bedroom retreat look so that your comfortable grounding provides plenty of walking space.

Queen - 8x10 Rug: This provides enough space to comfortably get out of bed fully on your rug. A small rug that barely peeks out from the sides of your bed creates an out-of-place look.


Dining Room Rug Sizing Guidelines

When choosing a dining room rug, you’ll need to choose the correct rug size for your space. A dining room rug can pull together your space, whether you are going for a neutral rug with a casual feel or a refined patterned rug for a luxurious space.

To achieve the right look, make sure to measure the length and width of your dining table and add 2’ on each side. Most dining room tables require a rug that is at least 8’ wide. The extra 2’ or so that extend beyond each side of the table helps avoid chairs going off the rug when pushed back.


Planning Your Rug Sizing for Your Office Space

An office makes for a fun space to show your personal style. A quality wool rug makes for a fun way to bring in a pop of color to create an office retreat you will be excited to work in.

If your sofa or chair float in the middle of your space, your rug should fit under all four legs of each piece of furniture. In an office, make sure the rug completely fits both the desk and chairs. This prevents tripping or chairs draping over the edges of the rug, which is the weakest part of the rug.


Selecting the Right Rug for your Hallway

Often overlooked, a hallway is often the last space to be designed. Adding a luxurious, stylish rug to a hallway can help lead into the home and from room to room with ease. It is the easiest way to make your home feel pulled together. Our 3x7’ runner-sized rugs are usually perfect for a narrow hallway.

In a hallway, stretch the length to fill the space. Be sure you leave even space on both ends and if there is furniture in the hallway, keep it off the rug.


Does a Rug Need to be Centered in the Room?

A rug does not necessarily need to be centered in the middle of a room; however, it should be centered on any major architectural element (a fireplace, window, or main wall in a room). A rug is the focal point and usually holds the most visual weight in the room, so it is important that it feels centered in the space or with an element.

This will also help your furniture and décor feel correctly placed in your room. When a rug is placed wrong, it often makes the entire room feel off or unbalanced, so centering it is important.


Why Should I Layer Rugs?

Have an incredible vintage rug that is too small for your space? No problem - consider layering! Layer your smaller, patterned rug with a neutral rug and with a complementary texture. Our wool rugs are the perfect choice for layering. One-of-a-kind, vintage styles that have a soft, neutral feel to them can be beautiful on their own but extra show-stopping when layered over or under another luxurious style.

We also love adding in texture by layering with a natural woven or jute rug underneath one of our hand-knotted wool rug styles. This layering of small rug over large rug helps create instant interest on your floors and your space to feel filled out.


Rug Sizing Guide for Layering

Choosing the right size for the top and bottom rug layers is important for styling the rugs and the room. Start by placing the larger rug down and correctly placing it in the room following the tips above. Then, layer on top and center the small rug within the border of the larger rug.

If your rug is 9x12’, you can pair that will with a rug that is 8x10’ for the best look. When using a 9x12’ rug underneath, we don’t recommend going much smaller on your layered rug than an 8x10’ in order to create a seamless space that flows well. If you have a smaller space, you can use an 8x10’ rug as the base layer and put a 5x7’ rug on top for a seamless look.


Do I Need a Rug Pad?

Always add our CW Premium Rug Pad underneath your rug. Rug pads are a necessity to prevent slipping, protect against wear, and provide more cushioning underfoot. Our rug pad delivers a thick, firm foundation while protecting your flooring and rug investment. It’s designed to be used on all surfaces, from tile, hardwood, and laminates to linoleum and concrete!


Caring for your Rug

Your area rug is a part of your home décor and should be cared for like your furniture or artwork. We recommend that you use protectors under the legs of heavy furniture to avoid flattening the yarn pile. Also, with all the foot traffic, you can promote even wear and sunlight exposure by rotating your rug every 6 months.

If you take care of it, you will be able to treasure your wool rug forever.

Some of our best tips for taking constant care of your rug are:

  1. Vacuum regularly on a low-power setting to prevent dirt from settling into the wool fibers and yarns. DO NOT vacuum the fringe.
  2. Blot spills (DO NOT rub) with a clean, undyed cloth to absorb as much of the spill as possible, as soon as possible. Start at the outer edge and work towards the center of the spill, pressing firmly to prevent spreading and aid absorption.
  3. Do not dry clean - professional rug cleaning is always recommended. Additional treatments could affect the color and strength of the wool yarns over time.

If you see some shedding on your wool rug, it’s natural for that to happen. Make sure you clip loose yarns and don’t pull them, just like with your favorite cashmere sweater. When you need to store your rug, make sure to roll face side out and wrap it up in cloth. Once rolled and ready, place it in a cool, dry place for safekeeping.


Custom Rug Sizing with Caitlin Wilson

These rug sizing guidelines are great for a basic layout, but what if your space requires a rug in a nonstandard size or shape? We’ve got you covered! Any of our made-to-order wool rugs can be customized to fit any room.

We know a rug can be a big commitment, but it’s worth it to completely transform your space into a place you love. We hope our rug sizing tips and tricks help you find the perfect rug for your space! If you still have questions or want specific recommendations, our complimentary design stylists are happy to help you.