Rug Placement Tips for Every Room in the House

Rugs are known to define a space, infuse personality and character, ground all furniture and give it that warmth and homey feel you’re looking for. Shopping for an area rug is not exactly the easiest process. There are so many choices, designs, styles and textures; but, we’ve got you covered there with the most important dos and don’ts you need to know. 

In some of our previous articles, we talked about why you should get a rug and some quick tips on the journey to purchase one.

We’re thinking you’re probably very much on the verge of getting one.

So, this round, we’re going to give you some rug placement tips to ensure you’re getting the right size and piece for different rooms in your home. 

Let’s begin your rug purchase journey with this quick tip: it makes the selection more manageable if you think about your rugs on a room-by-room basis. 

Bright living room with an oriental rug to complement its black and white color palette

Photo source: Pexels | Maria Orlova

Knowing the spaces you’ve allotted for a rug and the furniture arrangement will surely help you with the most important thing – getting the size right. Other aspects that come into play are room layout, foot traffic, presence of pets, room feel and vibe and indoor-outdoor compatibility. 

Based on these factors, you’ll be able to identify aspects like pile height, texture and materials befitting different rooms in your house.

Have you got images in your mind on which rooms to put rugs in?

Great! Let’s get started. With our tips, you’ll be confident of your rug choices and be ready to roll it out when it arrives. 

Rugs in the Living Room

You’ll often hear designers say that a living room doesn’t feel or look complete if there’s no area rug. Kinda true. Isn’t that the first room you’ll think of when shopping for a rug? It’s important to ‘go big or go home’ here. And believe us when we say, it’s an investment you won’t regret making.

Rug in the living room

Photo source: Unsplash | Collov Home Design

A central area at home known for its versatility, there are several options for styling rugs in the living room. 

Rule number 1: your rug size should coincide with the size of your living room. As a first rule of thumb, you’ll want a rug that can cover the majority of your floor area here. This allows all main furniture pieces to sit comfortably on top and adds a sense of grandeur. Even just letting the front legs sit on the rug will suffice; that way, the rug defines the space and anchors all the big pieces together. 

Rectangular rug in a rectangular living room

Photo source: Pixabay

Rule number 2: determine the shape and material you’ll go for depending on the aspects we just mentioned above. The living room is a multi-functional space so there are a lot more considerations for the area. 

Rule number 3: since this is a focal point of the house, consider the color, pattern, design and thickness that will fit your overall design theme and feel of the area, while adding a touch of your personality. 

Large living room rug with a sectional couch sitting fully on it

Photo source: Unsplash | R ARCHITECTURE

So, since size is a crucial factor. We’ll also need to talk about the shape of your living room rug. Here are some choices:

  • By default, the rectangular or square-shaped rug is the most popular choice. It’s easier to measure, scale, and position – right at the center of everything. A straightforward choice especially if you’re only planning to have one big attention-grabbing rug. Don’t worry if this is what you’re going for, the rectangle is not boring at all, just play with patterns and colors. 
  • Although, if you’re veering away from the popular rectangle, a circle may be what you’re looking for. Having a circular rug centered is not a strict condition and they also soften the sometimes edgy designs of a living room.
Round jute or sisal rug in a bohemian-esque living room

Photo source: Apartment Therapy | Hayley Kessner

Elegant round white and blue rug in a large living room with a curved couch

Photo source: Tai Ping Tent. Photographed by: Stephan Julliard

  • Want something else? If you’re feeling a little bit more adventurous, artistic or your living room layout and furniture will allow it, then layer rugs. When layering, you should have one base rug – usually the big, rectangular one – then another one on top, sometimes set on the bias (or angled), sometimes squarely on top. This design style has a lot of advantages:
    • Oversized rugs are expensive and in this case, your base rug need not be so big since you’re sort of extending it with another
    • A perfect excuse to explore different shapes and sizes for the accent rug on top
    • Don’t need to choose between two favorites, you can get both!
    • Made to be the room’s eye-catching element because of the visual interest an off-center, decorative rug can give
Layered rugs in a living room

Photo source: Camille Styles

Layered rugs in a living room

Photo source: Pixabay

Rugs in the Dining Room 

For this room, rug placement is easier because it’s coordinated based on just one set of furniture – the dining set. 

A rug in the dining room spells added comfort in the space that could enhance everyday dining experience. It could also be a themed piece to spruce up the place during family gatherings and special occasions. 

Oval-shaped rug fitting a long dining table

Photo source: Pexels | Max Vakhtbovych

Rule number 1: here, quite simply, there’s no other way but to center the rug under your dining table. 

Rule number 2: it’s imperative that your rug can accommodate all the dining chairs when pulled away from the table. If you’re unsure how big a rug you should get, pull out your chairs and get that measurement so your rug can fit perfectly underneath. You shouldn’t have your chairs half on and off when you pull them out. Otherwise, instead of making your dining experience comfortable, it might make it a trip hazard. 

Round rug for a round table with completing colors of teal, white and dark gray

Photo source: Designer Rugs

Rule number 3: apart from the size, the rug’s material is also important. Since there’s a high chance of exposing the rug to spoils, spills and messes, you should get one that’s durable, easy to clean and can handle stains. Unless it’s a formal dining area, then you can add a touch of luxury to your rug choice. 

Rugs in the Bedroom

Gray-toned rectangular rug in a cozy bedroom

Photo source: Unsplash | Amira Aboalnaga

Similar to the dining room, the focal piece of furniture that determines your bedroom rug’s size and position is your bed. 

Rule number 1: your rug should be centered under your bed. Strictly at the center, there should be equal rug area on both sides. 

Rule number 2: the more you can extend this further on both sides, plus a good space at the foot, the better. It’s always advisable to go for a bigger rug here because it adds to the coziness and extends the comfort of your bed. Plus, wouldn’t it be so much better to get off bed and step on something soft rather than cold, hardwood floors?

Geometric designed rug in a plain bedroom

Photo source: Unsplash | Avi Richards 

Rule number 3: there are two options for centering a rug beneath your bed. One, you can capture the whole bed including your night tables so everything sits safely on the rug. Or two, the rug stops just a few inches before your nightstands, so it only captures a little more than the bottom half of your bed. It all depends on how big a rug you want to get for your bedroom space and layout. 

Rectangular rug centered under the bed

Photo source: Unsplash | Spacejoy

Rule number 4: if you’re opting for a smaller rug that’s just a cute, pretty accent piece, you can play around with the shape and place it at the side or just under one corner of your bed.

If it’s a side runner, no need to put any part of it underneath the bed. Plus point: this runner, accent rug can be layered on top of your big rectangular rug. Only this time, it’s advisable for the whole thing to be on top of the big rug while still set on the bias.

Layered rug in bedroom with a cute irregularly-shaped accent rug placed on the corner

Photo source: The Ruggable Blog

Side runner rug beside a bed

Photo source: The Ruggable Blog

Rule number 5: never, never, get a rug and only place it at the foot of your bed, totally separate from it. Unless… you have a foot bench that fully rests on top of it. 

When you have an extra large bedroom with a seating area, rugs can be used to define between the seating and sleeping spaces. For the seating area, you can take pointers from the living room when positioning a rug there. A round fluffy rug will be a nice addition to the space that can soften the room’s overall atmosphere and up its coziness. 

Rugs in the Study or Home Office

Low pile yellow rug in a WFH or office space

Photo source: abse | Getty Images

With our homes becoming proxy offices as long as the pandemic persists, we’re continuing to look for ways to spruce up our work from home space to keep the motivation and creativity going, while maintaining comfort.

Since home offices or studies are usually smaller areas, or part of a larger room, a rug is the perfect addition to define the space. Rugs can make it a more conducive area for work without sacrificing comfort; and bonus, it can also absorb noise and allow for better concentration. 

Rule number 1: if you have a whole room, the dimensions and layout will dictate the size of your rug. It can cover at least half the surface area of the room. Serve as an anchor for the main furniture pieces and make the space more cohesive.

Rule number 2: when you’re only looking at a small, simple WFH space with a desk and chair, the rug will be based on these pieces instead. Place the rug centered under the desk, with the chair comfortably on top of it. Quick tip: with the constant rolling and pressure from the chair, it’s best to get a rug with low pile height (thin) and with synthetic fibers for durability

Low pile rug in a WFH space that's easy for a swivel chair to move on

Photo source: MyDomaine

Rule number 3: for larger home offices that double as a reading area, a rug can help define the purposes of both spaces. The work area has a strictly-business look with its thinner-centered rug; while the reading area can have a cozier, high-pile rug. Partnering this with a stylish and comfy armchair and side table will give you a very enviable home office.

Rule number 4: in both areas, you can go beyond the popular rectangle and choose a round or oddly-shaped rug. With this approach, you can angle it to your liking in your home office.

Irregularly-shaped rug serving as a accent piece in an office space

Photo source: Decoist

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