Odds & Ends: How to Choose the Right Size Rug for Your Room

Buying an area rug is one of the most surefire ways to update your space and make an old room feel new again. Or, if you’re decorating from scratch, many designers recommend starting with the rug and then choosing your paint colors and other accents from there. But for those same reasons, it’s also one of the more intimidating interior décor purchases. Many people make the mistake of buying rugs that are too small for their space because 5×7 and 6×9 rugs are so much less expensive than rugs that are 8×10 and larger. But just like it wouldn’t make sense to purchase a dress that’s two sizes too small just because it’s on sale, buying a too-tiny rug can be a waste of money. So with that in mind, today we are sharing an easy to understand guide to choosing the right size rug for your space. With some expert advice from Sara Sugarman, founder of Lulu & Georgia, we’ve broken it all down for you room-by-room…

Odds & Ends: How to Choose the Right Size Rug for Your Room

Living Room

In the living room, you want as much of the furniture to be on the rug as possible. This actually makes the room appear larger and defines an intimate conversation space all at the same time. Having all four legs of any couches and chairs on the rug is ideal. But if your couch is against the wall and you can’t see the back legs as well, you can usually get away with having only the front legs on the rug. When it comes to width, Sara says that a good rule of thumb is to make sure the rug extends at least 6 inches of either side of the couch.

Dining Room

The dining room can be a tricky space to measure since you have to account for chairs being pulled in and out without catching on the rug. Sara from Lulu & Georgia says to first measure the table’s length and width, then add 54 inches to each measurement. This will allow at least 27 inches on each side for the chairs to pull out.

Odds & Ends: How to Choose the Right Size Rug for Your Room


If you are buying one large rug to place underneath your bed, Sara recommends that the rug should extend at least 2-3 feet on either side of the bed. If that large of a rug is simply out of your price range, a good alternative is to opt for a traditional “bedside” layout. This features two small rugs on either side of the bed and one rug at the foot of the bed. For a guest room or kids’ room with two beds, consider placing one rug between them.


Many people forget about the hallways when they are decorating with rugs, but a runner is a beautiful way to make a statement in this often neglected space. Sara says to measure the hallway and then subtract 12 inches from the length and width. This will allow for a six-inch border all around. If you have an extra long hallway, using two runners laid end to end is perfectly acceptable.

Odds & Ends: How to Choose the Right Size Rug for Your Room

When you’re measuring your room for a rug a good trick that Sara uses is laying out newspaper in the area that you are considering covering. This will give you a visual reference point and help you figure out the proper size. Also, make sure you consider doors and vents when measuring. You want to make sure your door can open and close over the rug!

If you’ve measured your space and the right size rug is simply out of your budget, all is not lost. A décor trick that is also particularly on trend right now is layering rugs. You can buy a larger sisal or jute rug (which tend to be much less expensive) as a layering piece, and then layer your smaller dream rug on top.

We hope these tips help!

We also teamed up with Lulu & Georgia for an exclusive 20 percent off discount when you use the code TEAMLC20 (expires May 4). Enjoy!

What interior décor posts would you like to see on the blog next?

XO Team LC

P.S. Here’s how to stop a rug from shedding!

Photos: Monica Wang Photography


Living Room (pictured above): Lulu & Georgia Wagon Train Rug | Lulu & Georgia Ila Pouf | The Little Market Nesting Baskets | Anthropologie throw pillow (similar here) | West Elm Large Rectangular Lacquer Tray | Schoolhouse Electric Figure It Out Banner | Urban Outfitters Draper Media Console


Bedroom (pictured above): Lulu & Georgia Mirabelle Rug | Lulu & Georgia Kenza Moroccan Pouf