How to Properly Place an Area Rug

An area rug is a great way to add interest to a room.
An area rug is a great way to add interest to a room. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Sometimes all it takes to redecorate a room is to add a colorful or patterned area rug to pump up the interest volume in your home. There are hundreds of thousands of designs, making it somewhat overwhelming when you are choosing an area rug for your living room, bedroom or kitchen. Also, once you get the perfect rug, it must be placed in a way to flatter the room rather than overwhelm it. Place your rug in the proper area of your home for both practicality as well as visual interest.

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Determine if the corners of the rug could be a possible trip hazard in the area you’ve chosen. For example, a rug at the top of a flight of stairs could become a trip hazard.

Choose a 4-foot by 6-foot or 6-foot by 9-foot area rug if you want to place the rug under a coffee table. The entire coffee table should fit on the rug.

Place an oversized area rug in the center of the floor if you want to keep from walking on a cold, hard floor. For oversized rugs, leave a walkway around the perimeter of the room, and place the furniture on top of the rug in the center of the room. It is acceptable for only the front legs of the sofas to be on the rug; for chairs, all four legs should be on the rug.

Place a rug at least 8 feet wide in the center of the room if you want the rug located under the dining room table. The rug should be large enough so that when the chairs are pulled out, all four legs are still on the rug. If your dining room is very large, a larger rug may be necessary for balance. The World Floor Covering Association recommends measuring your table and adding 4 feet to each side.

Place an area rug underneath your bed and nightstands if you want the rug in your bedroom. The rug should be about 18 inches past the edge of a queen- or king-sized bed. If you have more than one rug and they are smaller, place one rug at the foot of your bed and one in the seating area of your bedroom.


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