Choose the Right Rug for Your Space

You’ve curated the look of each room in the house to perfection, but are your rugs up to the challenge of pulling the entire room, nook and space together? Before you tweak your rug placements or shop for new rugs, 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



  • Carla Brumitt

    I am trying to tie a living area together with rugs. My space is a loft area with a “lodge theme” The space includes a living area as well as a small kitchen with a table in the center. The living area consists of almost half of theft space. I has a sofa on one end and a chair and table on the other. Im having difficulty with finding a rug long enough to place the furniture items on. I am not real confident of putting a second rug in the room to accommodate the chair and table. The sofa has a cowhide rug under it that doesn’t extend into even half of the room. I feel a second cowhide run would be too much, but not sure anything else would look right. Suggestions are appreciated. Thanks in advance!!

  • Emma Fisher


  • Karen Plummer

    It would not be appropriate to put a toilet in your living room. Just about anything else is appropriate if you like it and it looks nice to you. Who lives in this room anyway? You!

    Actually it isn’t appropriate to put in a rug that is bigger than the room. But who would do that?

    Two rugs in a room define two spaces. In a great room, one can define the living area and the other can define the dining area. They don’t have to match, as long as they suit the other furniture in their area. I don’t think I’d like a rectangular table on a round rug, but I see nothing wrong with a round table on a rectangular rug. You wouldn’t want the table to hang over any edges of the rug, which might be hard with round rug rectangular table. But if I had a big round rug that I loved, and a rectangular table that fit on it, I’d give it a shot!

    Layering rugs looks terrific. But the bottom rug or carpeting must be firm and low. The top rug may perform better on a stiff carpet pad over the bottom rug. Soft on soft on soft is problematic and endangers the top rug, as high heels and table legs can then puncture it easily.

  • Lane

    I have a sunroom that you enter by French doors from the living room. Across from the entrance are French doors going out to the back yard leaving the only area for furniture on the side walls. The room is 11 X 14. I have a sofa on the right as you enter and 2 chairs on the left. The chairs are covered in a sari fabric which can limit my choice on a rug. The 6 x 9 rug I tried went between the sofa legs which I thought made it too small. Any ideas on rugs would be appreciated

    • Danae

      You don’t have to be limited if you go with a natural fiber rug. If you want another material just keep scale of the pattern in mind and use cooordinating colors. Get a size large enough for front legs to be on the rug.

  • Ranisha

    I have a huge dining/living room combination. I don’t think it makes sense to have two rugs in the same room. What would you suggest?

    • Jenny

      I have a large combo Great Room as well. I have 2 rugs, and it works well – a 6×9 under the dining furniture and another, completely different 6×9 under the living furniture.

    • Hilly

      You could do one very large rug for both rooms, then a smaller rug on top of it to define the seating area living room portion. For example; put a large jute rug down for the entire space, then add a 5×8 or 4×6 rug under the coffee table to define the couch/ seating area.

    • Danae

      You could skip the dining room one or use a natural fiber or neutral under one and pattern in another.

    • Stephanie

      I have the same living room dinning room. My home was built in 1912. Would live to see a reply from World Market.

      • World Market Editorial

        The architecture from the early 1900s is so beautiful. How fortunate you are to be living with such history 🙂

  • Sandra

    I have a 10′ x 13′ bedroom, with queen size bed (51″W), plus a 2′ end table. What size rug would you recommend? Hoping you can help me, I just don’t know. Thank you

  • kimberly walker

    Living Room Question: Does all the furniture legs have to be on the rug for it to be aesthetic?
    I have sectional with a side club chair and the club chair does NOT come near the rug?
    Does this make it look like a broke room?

    • World Market Editorial
      World Market Editorial

      Hi Kimberly,

      Thanks for your question. It isn’t an issue if all the furniture legs aren’t directly on the rug. One look we are loving right now is rug layering. If you are still wanting all of your furniture to touch the rug, but don’t want to have to get rid of your current one, just place a larger one underneath it.

      We just got in some amazing new rug finds at great prices, check them out, here.

      Have a great rest of your week!
      -World Market Editor

    • Danae

      It probably looks like it’s hanging off by itself? At least the front legs of the furniture should be on the rug.

  • Phyllis Gardner

    whatsize rug would i need fot a dining room which is 11 feet x 11 feet? I am going to have a 60 inch round din ing table. Should I usw a round rug? If yes what size? excuse my typinh, i have a broken right wrist.P

  • Deborah

    If I have room for a 3 x 5 rug at the end of my bed, and I’m planning on putting one on each side of the bed, should I put one at the end of the bed as well. It will fit, but is that acceptable?

    • Sandi York-Sanders

      With that combination, it would not be my choice. We have a 3’x5′ rug on each side of the bed. It is a King size sleigh bed design, w/both headboard, footboard and side panels. I am putting my Hope Chest at the foot of the bed to not only look good, but it also will serve as a good sitting source. But, for me, the best part is having my Mama’s energy about. AND, it will also serve as great extra storage, which will be for bed linens and seasonal table cloths and textiles.

    • Ev Levin Gerisch, elg design

      It’s optional but depends on the room size and space st the foot of the bed. unless there is a wide open space at the foot, or the flooring is unattractive and you want to read to be a distraction, I would omit the rug at the foot of the bed – it can look like overkill or crowded.

  • 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?

    • Ev Levin Gerisch, elg design

      Around rug if your entryway is round. Otherwise either rectangular or a runner depending on length & width of space you want defined as the entryway.

  • 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.

    • Danae

      A runner between them works. I put a longer sheep skin rug between the twin beds in our Colorado mountain house.

  • 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.

    • Laura

      you absolutely can do that! 🙂 I actually love that look. Google it… the contrast is great.

    • 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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