Skip to content

There are no clear cut rules when it comes to deciding on the size of a rug. Yet this is where most people get it wrong. 

I believe there are some basic principles that if followed will almost always ensure you get it right. 

  • Remember, larger rugs can make a room appear bigger. So if you're choosing between two sizes, it's worth going for the bigger size.
  • When choosing a rug size for the dinning room - the legs of all chairs must be on the rug (even when they are pushed back for people to sit on).
  • Runners are a great choice if you're looking to visually extend a space. Remember, if placing a runner rug in a hallway, ideally, you should have 4/5 inches of flooring visible on each side of the rug.

There is always a debate whether the furniture should stay on, off or half way on a rug, but the key point is to keep them consistent. In a seating area, you should make sure all sofas and chairs are either on, off or just the front two legs.

In an open plan a rug can help break up a room into defined areas. 

All Legs on the Rug

If you decide to keep all furniture on the rug, it would be best to go for the larger size keeping in account some extra to go beyond the furniture to help unify the pieces creating a defined seating area and avoid it looking squashed.

All Legs off the Rug

If you have a small space, having all furniture off the rug can work to make it look visually larger. For this, your size would be determined by the interior dimensions of your seating area, as the rug will then cover the negative space between the furniture pieces.

Front Legs on the Rug

If one piece of your furniture needs to be against a wall, it works well if all pieces of furniture are placed with just the front legs on the rug. This tricks the mind to visually think there is more space beyond the furniture that cannot be seen.


To keep it simple, a quick rule of thumb is that the shape of the rug should complement the shape of the overall space. If you have a round dining table it would be best to select a circular rug for the dining table, just how if the furniture is in the centre of a room a square rug would make the proportions feel unbalanced in a rectangular space.

How to Measure

Taking the time to measure your space will ensure that your rug is scaled correctly to your room. 

Top tip:

Sometimes it can be difficult to visualise what a rug will look like in your space. A trick is to lay out newspaper on your floor where you are considering laying a rug. This will help you determine a visual reference point and therefore help you figure out the right size for your interior.