Tips On Choosing The Right Size Rug

In my decorating travels, I see more small, dinky rugs than I care to admit. It just might be the single biggest decorating problem I encounter. Besides of course the “sea of brown furniture!”

So why is a dinky rug a problem? Because, well, a rug that’s too small feels choppy and weird.

This is a great example.  See this beautifully designed room?  The rug is WAY too small – the furniture isn’t “talking” to each other. It’s floating into outer space!

- Advertisement -

Photo: Emily Henderson

A nice big rug, though, makes a room feel full and rounded out.  It feels complete.

See this photo below? The furniture is pulled together and the space is delineated. Your eye is happy.


I was always told that keeping 18 inches between the outside edge of a rug and the wall is the perfect size. That is often right, and I tend to keep that rule in mind—but, as we all know, every room is different and unique and it doesn’t always work that way.

- Partner Content -

Another good rule of thumb is to make sure you can comfortably place your sofa and chairs on the rug. It’s okay if all four legs are on there—it’s okay if one or two legs are on there. No set rule here, just do what looks best.

Photo: So Haute

Don’t despair if the rug you love is too small!  You can purchase a sea grass rug for super cheap (I love Pottery Barn, Ballard, Overstock, and Gilt for great sea grass rug finds), and then layer your smaller rug over it. I am ALL about the layering, it really works!

It’s a win-win—your space is all filled up, rounded out, AND you still get to keep your fabulous original rug.

Our Westchester Home Design Awards event is June 26!

Our Wine & Food Festival returns June 4-9!

Our Wunderkinds event takes place on May 23!

Our Best of Business Ballot is open through May 15!

Our Healthcare Heroes Awards event takes place on May 9!

Our Westchester Home Builders Awards take place on April 4!

Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Forum is March 14!

Unveiled: A Boutique Bridal Brunch is February 25!

Our Best of Westchester Elimination Ballot is open through March 6!

Holiday flash sale ... subscribe and save 50%

Limited time offer. New subscribers only.