Choose the Right Rug for Your Space

So your entire clan is coming for the holidays. Your buffet table is stocked, the extra blankets and throws are washed, and your holiday decor is perfectly placed—but are your rugs up to the challenge of pulling a space together? Before you tweak your rug placements or shop for new rugs altogether, take a look at our handy guide for choosing the right rug based on your room.

Choose the Right Rug for Your Space - Discover, a blog by World Market



  • W. Zohar

    I bought a 5′ x 7′ silk-style Persian rug, with a beautiful pattern, that I selected for a room to define a space bordered by a sofa and a love seat, where there is already wall to wall carpeting with a soft pile. My lovely new rug walks, gathers and curls. I bought a carpet pad with the hope of getting it to settle and be more stable. That didn’t help. In frustration I’ve had to just remove it and have stored it, but I am eager to find a way to put it back to its intended place. Can someone offer me a solution? Help!

    • Alto

      1. Hang the rug in a thick boardered frame. 2. Find a thicker undermat designed for carpets.
      Chances are you were sold a undermat for hard woodfloors. The thicker designed mats don’t walk.

  • Peggy Benton

    What advise do you give for entry way rugs? I have an open floor plan but want to define the entry area. When do you use a round or oval rug in an entry way?

  • Rosie

    I was gifted an L shape sectional and a full size couch for my living room. I am not sure how to arrange everything to where it doesn’t look cluttered. Would appreciate any help.

  • Rosie

    I was gifted and L shape sectional and a full size couch for my living room. I am not sure how to arrange everything to where it doesn’t look cluttered. Would appreciate any help.

  • Carol

    I have an open L shape Kitchen to Living Room and I would like to put an area run under the dining room table and then in my living room. Will it look alright to have the two rugs so close?

    • Scott

      In an open floor plan two rugs would be just fine… keep the colors of the rugs close to one another… If you are using the rugs to define the areas keep the patterns slightly different than one another to define the two spaces. I have a braided rug under my dining table and an oriental rug in the living area. It works fine for me. I chose the braided rug because of the ease to clean spills and vacuum up crumbs. I have a friend that downsized from a large farm style home to a small bungalow… He layers his rugs and it looks and feels wonderful underfoot. Sometimes you break the rules because it is what looks and feels right. I love design and have many magazine subscriptions… If I find something in one I like I use it. It is the reason they are published.

  • Jane

    What about bedrooms with two twin beds? Separated by middle window and dresser.

  • Oralia Durazo

    These diagrams are perfect and answered all of the questions I had about area rugs in different rooms. Thanks for the simple and clear guidance.

  • Sandy watson

    Sorry under a king size bed.

  • Sandy watson

    What size round rug would I need in a bedroom that is 140″ across! Thank you

    • Scott

      I have 1″ x 1″ graft paper and some colored craft paper. Sometimes if you just draw out your room and use each square on the 1″ X 1″ as one foot square you can figure a floor plan. cut out the craft paper to represent the size of the bed and rug. You can arrange and move them on the grid to see what might work for you. A king bed is 80″ x 76″. Try different sizes in a round rug… use a round jar cover to make a circle for the rug… try a 9″, 10″ and an 11″ circle cut out of the craft paper… Hope that helps.

  • Tracy

    Our living room is narrow so by the time I get a rug to place furniture on it makes my room look smaller. I know it’s bad design form now to have an area rug that just sits in the center is the room, but I feel that that’s the only way to do it without overpowering the space. Are there exceptions to this rule?

    • Tracy

      Sorry …center of the room

    • Scott

      Just remember that the rug doesn’t have to completely cover the area under the furniture for it to work or look right. The narrow width of your living room would make me get a smaller area rug that you could place the front legs of sofa and chairs on the rug. Just remember that you are the one living in the space and it is what is going to make you feel good about the space. I like at least a foot of floor showing from the walls… that is what I like…

  • Cheryl

    The size of our palor/living room is 12 x24 and we are not sure what size rug to go with. Mu husband actually qiestioned doing two rugs. I don’t think it would look good and only want one. What do you suggest?

  • Courtney

    What about sectional placement?

  • Karen

    My husband thinks you should never put a rug over carpet. Is it ok to do that? We have a pretty neutral carpet and I would like to add some color with a rug in the living room.

    • Courtney

      Hi Karen, You can definitely put rugs over carpet! I have pets and live in a rental and started to use the rug over carpet technique to protect my carpets. Now I love the look. It adds color to the room and when I’m bored with the current look, I just change the carpet.

      • Sally Redding

        I like the idea of putting a rug over my carpet as I rent; the carpet would definitely protect the carpet under the table. However, what type of rug so it doesn’t ‘walk?’

    • Sandy

      I think Kim said it best in another answer. A rug will define the space.

    • Chris

      Yes! it is OK to put rugs over carpet. You just want to be sure to check for color-fastness of the area rug, and you MUST use a rug pad designed for this use, as some rugs may transfer color. The rug pad also holds them in place. If there is not furniture on it, they still may shift a little as time goes on, you just have to adjust it.
      I have a low loop pile, wall to wall carpet and have rugs on top of it and love it!
      It’s a good way to define a space and add some interest.

  • kelly

    What about a King size bed?? I only have about 4 feet at the end of my bed before my dresser- about 3 feet on one side to the wall and then about 10 feet from the other side (entrance from bedroom and into bathroom on that side). Thanks for any suggestions! I’m at a loss.

    • sarah

      Sounds like we have a similar setup. What we did was put the rug about halfway down the bed and out the bottom, so the legs at the foot of the bed are keeping the rug in place. This way, it sticks out the sides so we step on rug when we get out of bed, but can still see some of our beautiful hardwoods!

  • Julie

    is it ever ok to put a rectangular rug under a round dining table?

    • Scott

      Julie it is okay to use what ever shape rug you think works in the room. I make sure there is always enough space on the rug to pull out the chair with out it coming off of the rug.

  • margarita

    Why is it necessary that furniture will be over the rug? Margarita

    • Kim

      Because rugs are used to define the space :)

    • Joy Henderson

      It’s not necessary, but think of the rug as the anchor for the space. Having at least the front of the couch or the foot of a bed resting on the rug will prevent everything from looking separate spaces and it will pull it all together as one space. If the furniture doesn’t rest on the rug at all, it just tends to make the rug look a little puny and cheap in my opinion. Unless you just have a smaller rug that you want to put at the foot of a bed or next to your bed. But for living spaces like a living room or dining room, I’d always prefer for the rug to be the boundary to the space rather than just another little piece slapped in there. There’s something more inviting about furniture over a rug.

  • amvwrepetti

    Can you show a diagram for outdoor dining?

    • Scott

      You don’t need a diagram for outdoor living. You just use the same principle as what is used indoor

  • Carmen

    I currently have a full size wood platform bed and would like to add a area rug so that it covers and also leaves space around as well. what size would you recommend? while this is an excellent guide i will be using unfortunately it only shows a queen size bed.

    • Scott

      The same principle works for a full size bed as a queen. Depending on the size of your room and just how much of the rug you want showing… The difference in a queen and full size bed are only inches… you room size will determine what will work best. I always follow the rule of keeping my area rugs at least one foot from the walls if the room allows it.

  • Debbie

    Thank you. I am at a total loss at decorating. This was very helpful. I now have some ideas as to size and arrangement of rugs and furniture placement.

  • Debbie

    Thank you. I am at a total loss at decorating. This was very helpful. I know have some ideas as to size and arrangement of rugs and furniture placement.

  • Lucille

    wHAT size area rug for a love seat with an attached chaise”

  • Laura

    Thanks, that is helpful. I’ve been trying to use a measuring tape to try to figure out what size rug I should try in my rather small living room and it loks like a 6×9 will just about do it.


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