7 Area Rug Rules for a Professional Look

Date Posted:17 February 2021 

Setting up the area rug to make your space feel superior is the second and most important part of the whole process and many, many homeowners tend to get some of the basics completely wrong. So further, we’ve compiled a list of some area rug rules that yo

7 Area Rug Rules for a Professional Look

Many people simply assume that buying the perfect area rug (in size, shape, and colors) is the be all, end all of all your dilemmas. However, contrary to popular belief, it is only just the beginning!

Setting up the area rug to make your space feel superior is the second and most important part of the whole process and many, many homeowners tend to get some of the basics completely wrong. So further, we’ve compiled a list of some area rug rules that you can follow up to get a gorgeous, space complementing, and professional look. Here they are:

Underfoot or Bare Floor Space

Everyone almost always gets confused about whether to put the furniture over the rug, or arrange it around it with an 18” of bare floor gap totally visible. The truth is that both of these layout ideas work, but they come with their own sets of rules. Let’s take a look at them:

  • With furniture on top: This rug placement idea is only feasible for spaces that are oversized. It mostly looks good in open floor living rooms, separate dining rooms, and large bedrooms. In any case, you need to first gauge the size of the living room/bedroom/dining area as a whole, select a rug that will adequately cover the space while leaving ample room all around , and make sure that it coincides and complements the scale of your furniture to get that professional look!
     
  • With floor strip visible: This rug placement rule is mostly used in relation with medium-sized or small area rugs, like 4’x6’ (120x170cm) and 5’x8’ (160x230cm).  Note that the bare strip of floor should be 12” (30cm) to 18” (45cm) maximum. Anything else would make the surroundings feel too disproportionate.

Pro tip: If you’ve got a medium sized room that would look too weird with the entirety of furniture placed on top of the rug or where the 18” floor around the rug may look too uncanny, you can always meet these two ideas halfway and place only the front legs of the furniture on the first 12” (30cm)or so of the rug.

Position the Rug Correctly

The basic positioning of your area rug always matters if you really want to hit that professional sweet spot. Let’s look at some basic rules for rug positioning in different parts of a house:

  • Living room: The rug should always be the center of your layout in a living room. Depending on the size of your space and with the help of the above-mentioned tips, you can decide what type of a rug layout would look best with your space.
  • Bedroom: With bedrooms, it’s 3 of the following things:
  • Oversized bedroom: select a full-size rug and place it so that there’s just an 18” gap between the edge of the rug and the start of the nightstand.
  • Medium-sized bedroom: go for a medium sized rug and place the first 18” (45cm) to 24” (60cm)of its top underneath the bed.
  • Small bedroom: select a 4’x6’ / 120x170cm or smaller rug and leave a 12” gap all around it while furnishing it at the foot of the bed.
  • Dining area: With dining areas, you just have to make sure that the entirety of the rug fits gracefully under the size of your furniture.
  • Kitchen: Kitchens are mostly furnished with runners that are placed smack in the middle of the layout.

Select a Pattern That Matches Your Style

Yes, area rugs are mostly used in an accent capacity, and that dictates that they be chosen in bold, beautiful, and striking patterns that stand out within the rest of the interior design theme, but that doesn’t mean that they should go against the flow.

In fact, if you really want to get a professional look with your area rug accommodation, then you need to select a pattern that sufficiently contrasts, yet also complements the theme of your space. For example, earthy browns can make a bold splash in an understated neutral space, while teal or burgundy can look stunning in stylish contemporary spaces.

Invest in a Rug Pad

No matter how great your rug is, it can never look truly professional if everything is bunched up and creased (which tends to be a common case with most flatweave and thin-pile synthetic rugs). This is why you need to invest in a proper rug pad.

The most efficient way to do so is to find out which kind of a rug pad your manufacturer recommends. Note that there are many rugs that have a thick enough backing to not need an extra pad to give them good footing. Plus, many rugs feel like they’re being detracted from by pairing them with a rug pad. The store owner can probably help you with this.

Go stylistic with an Angled Look

If you want to emulate a stylistic aura within your space with the help of an area rug, then you should do so by furnishing it in an angled way.

Note that there are rules to be followed when doing so, the most prominent of which is that at least one-quarter of the rug should be artfully swept underneath the furniture. It could be the bed, the sofas, or even your oversized accent chair.

The idea is to provide spatial contrast by furnishing the rug in a way that’s less dominantly used and much bolder in terms of aesthetics. You should also make sure that the color scheme of your rug contrasts strikingly with the paired furniture if you really want this layout to succeed.

Good Maintenance is Key

Layout and positioning are only part of the whole deal. The most important thing to get that professional look is to aim for good maintenance. Regular vacuuming and the occasional spot checking are must do’s if you want to manage the quality visuals of your rug.

We hope these tips help you get a more polished and professional look in your spaces with the help of an area rug!


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