What Size Area Rug For...? [2018 Guidelines]

Posted by on

I was working on a client project the other day and was perusing several area rugs as a result. Ahhhh...there are so many beautiful rugs out there; it’s easy to get distracted if you’re not focused on the task at hand.  Anyway, while settling upon a few to show my client; it reminded me that many people are often confused about what size area rug they need for their particular space.  So I decided to put together this handy little post to help anyone out there that is asking the question; “what size area rug do I need for…” (living room, dining room, bedroom) you fill in the blank.

Before I go ahead and give you all the nitty-gritty details, I’d like to caution you that these are “general” rules.  Rules can vary depending on style, culture, trends and personal preference, but this should provide you with a good, solid foundation to work with.

Join Our Interior Design Tribe

Generally speaking, an area rug should always have at least the front two legs of the main furniture placed on top of it. 

area rug placement living room
Photo Credit: CB2

At the bare minimum, an area rug should never be more than 6” away from any main piece of furniture.  If it is, then it’s too small.  Some people may be tempted to purchase an inadequately sized area rug because rugs can get expensive, but it really does a disservice to the overall design of a space. Size it right and your area rug will help make a statement by framing out the design.

living room area rug sizePhoto Credit: Pexels

If that sounds like a puzzle to you, another approach would be to define your main walls as boundary areas and use them to determine what size area rug is needed for the space.  A good rule of thumb is to place your area rug 6”-24” in from the wall edges.  Since area rugs typically come in pre-determined sizes (5’ x 8’, 6’ x 9’, 7’ x 9’, 8’x10’, 9’ x12’, 10’ x14’ and 12’ x15’) the size you need may not exist.  If that’s the case you can either purchase a custom-made rug (but that can get expensive) or choose the closest size available.  NOTE: Always choose the size up rather than the size down for best results.

In large spaces, whenever possible, choose an area rug size that accommodates all furniture.  It will really help to keep the design connected so that everything feels like it belongs together.

area rug placement large room
Photo Credit: Pinterest

When trying to define separate areas within one large space; it’s best to use multiple area rugs to outline each area.   

area rug size for open conceptPhoto Credit: Adobe Stock

Never butt area rugs right up against the wall.  Just as an area rug frames a room, the exposed floor around the area rug should frame the rug.

 over-sized are rug
Photo Credit: Chris Loves Julia

Okay, so those are the basics, but what size area rug is needed for a living room? A dining room? A bedroom, etc.? The answer is…it depends. Using the guidelines I have just provided, you should have an idea about what size is needed in a space.  That said, I’m a fan of making things easy so take a minute to review the “general” guidelines for each room type below.


Small living room (10’ x 12’) – living room area rug size should be approximately 8’ x 10’

Medium size living room (12’ x 18’) – living room area rug size should be approximately 10’ x 14’

Large living room (15’ x 20+’) – likely two area rugs will be needed to define separate seating areas. Use the guidelines above to determine the size for each space.

Living room area rug size chart
Area rugs for dining rooms should extend at least 24” past the table on all sides, 36” is ideal.  The reason for this is that the chairs should be able to be pulled in and out without obstruction.  Any less than 24” inches may cause the chair legs to get caught on the edges of the area rug which will not only be frustrating, but could cause damage to the floor or the area rug itself.

dining room area rug size

Photo Credit: Jaurequi Architects

Small table (2’6” x 4’) - dining room area rug size should be 7’ x 9’ minimum

Medium table (3’ x 5’) - dining room area rug size should be 7’ x 9’ minimum

Large table (3’6” x 8’) - dining room area rug size should be 9’ x 12’ minimum

Extra-large table (4’6” x 10’) - dining room area rug size should be 10’ x 14’ minimum

For square and round tables add 48” – 72” to the size of the table to calculate what size area rug is needed.

dining room area rug size chart

As a general rule, the size of a bedroom area rug will be determined by the size of the bed.  Although, there are various area rug placement options so the area rug size you choose may not align with this “general” rule.  Typically it is recommended that 36” of the area rug can be seen from the left, right and foot of the bed. This means that for a double, queen or king-size bed, the bedroom area rug size should be 12’ x 15’.  However, note that with a king-size bed the area rug will need to be pulled away from wall that the headboard is on to ensure that an adequate amount of the area rug is exposed for viewing.

king bed area rug size Photo Credit: Wayfair (Hillsby Saffron Area Rug)

As for single and twin beds, usually these beds are used in small rooms and often they are placed up against walls.  Therefore, a 2’ x 3’ or 3’ x 5’ area rug can be used beside the bed, rather than under it.

area rug size for single or twin bedPhoto Credit: LIF!E

bedroom are rug size chart

So that’s the gist for the main spaces that area rugs are used.  However, if you’d like more detailed information about area rug sizes and placement, join our Design Tribe for a copy of our FREE Rug Size & Placement Guidelines and other interior design checklists and cheat sheets. 

Area Rug Size & Placement Guide
If you liked this article, please share it. Andm if you'd like help with your next interior design project please check out our services or feel free to contact me; I'd love to help you. Thanks for reading and happy rug shopping!

2018 Colour & Interior Design Trends
How Much Light is Needed in a Room?
What is Hygge and How to Use it in Interior Design
What's the Difference Between a Side Table & End Table?
Top 30 [EASY] Ways to Make a Small Room Look Bigger

val malnar signature
Val Malnar
Principal Designer | Orangetree Interiors

Unless stated, I do not own any of the images posted on this blog. If you see your work on my site and I have not given you proper credit or you would like it to be removed, please contact me.  This post may include affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more information. 

area rug area rug sizes correct area rug sizing decorating ideas do-it-yourself interior decorating do-it-yourself interior design interior decorating interior decorating ideas interior decorating tips interior design online interior decorating online interior design perfect area rug size what size area rug for bedroom what size area rug for dining room what size area rug for living room

← Older Post Newer Post →


  • Thanks for the post this blog. Its sound like it very much .I love your ideas. My post also like this In the technological age, we are drowning in information every day. We have encyclopedias in the palms of our hands and are able to figure out anything with just a simple internet search. Now is the perfect time to dive into the history of minimalism and learn as much about it as you can. Visit your local library and search the topic of “minimalism” to see what you can absorb.

    bentokai on

Leave a comment


1 week meal plan 1 week meal plan for cottage 2018 color of the year 2018 colour of the year 2018 colour trends 2018 coty 2018 interior design trends 2018 paint colour trends affordable interior decorating affordable interior design area rug area rug sizes beach style interior decorating beach style interior design beach themed decor bedroom bedroom decor bedroom design black decor black furniture black living room black paint black wallpaper blinds build green build green homes california shutters centerpiece decorating centerpiece design centerpieces color of the year colour of the year colour trends correct area rug sizing cottage cottage meal plan coty curtains decorate a dining room decorate on a budget decorating ideas decorating on a budget decorating on a budget dining rooms decorating with black design eco-friendly interiors dining room dining room decor dining room design diy lighting plan do-it-yourself interior decorating do-it-yourself interior design donate drapes eco-friendly design eco-friendly homes eco-friendly interior design eco-friendly interiors eco-friendly renos eco-friendly renovating eco-friendly renovation edesign edesign services edesigner end tables environmentally friendly renovations fall fall decor fall decorating fall decorating ideas fall design trends fall interiors fall themed decor fast interior decorating fast interior design gallery wall gallery walls green home improvements green home rebates green home renovation green home renovation rebate program green home renovation tips green homes green initiatives green interior design green interiors Green Ontario green renos green renovation hang photos hang pictures hanging art home renovations tips how much light is needed how much light is needed in a room how much lighting is needed in a room how to hang art how to hang photos how to hang pictures Hygge hygge decor interior decorating interior decorating budget interior decorating costs interior decorating ideas interior decorating tips interior design interior design budget interior design cost interior design tips interior design trends kitchen design kitchen ideas lighting lighting design lighting kelvins lighting lumens lighting plan lighting watts living room decor living room design ideas make a small room look bigger make a small room look larger make small kitchen bigger maximize space in kitchen maximize space in small kitchen meal plan meal planning midcentury modern midcentury modern interiors online interior decorating online interior design paint paint colors paint colours perfect area rug size plantation shutters recycle reuse roller shades roman shades shades shutters side tables small kitchen small room interior decorating small space interior decorating space saving ideas space saving ideas kitchen summer vacation sustainable flooring table place setting table setting tablescape design tablescapes tips to make a small room look bigger Venetian blinds vertical blinds what size area rug for bedroom what size area rug for dining room what size area rug for living room window blinds window coverings window shades window treatments