Area rugs anchor and define smaller areas within larger spaces. They unify color schemes, strengthen decor themes and are available at prices from very inexpensive to "take out a second mortgage." Because of their importance in decor schemes, area rugs are usually chosen early in the decorating process, and the room is built around the rug. Care should be taken to ensure the correct size of rug is used, particularly in dining rooms for both aesthetics and safety.
Room for Chairs
The standard amount of space planned for chairs around a dining table when in use is 24 inches. An additional 18 to 24 inches of space is used when the chair is pulled out to allow someone to sit. This space should be factored in when planning the dining room to ensure there is enough room for the table and chairs to function properly.
The Area Rug Footprint
To the width of the table, add 36 to 48 inches on each side and 36 to 48 inches on each end for the length. The area rug must be large enough so that the chairs do not get caught on the edge of the rug when they are pulled out or moved in.
The Six-Foot Table
A table 6-feet long and 4-feet wide will require an area rug that is a minimum of 12-feet long (6-feet long plus 3 feet at each end) and 10-feet wide (4 feet-wide plus 3 feet at each end).
Chairs with arms, such as captains' chairs, require more "pull back" space than chairs with no arms, and the footprint of the area rug should be increased accordingly. Swivel chairs may require less space than regular chairs; test the chair, and measure the space it requires.
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