Small Space, Small Rug? Not Necessarily—Here's How to Get It Right


Courtesy of Studio Ashby

It's always tempting to opt for a small area rug when decorating. After all, when considering different sizes, why wouldn't you want to save a few hundred dollars by going down a square foot or two? This albeit popular reasoning is the bane of many interior designers' existence, who like to constantly remind us that the biggest decorating mistake you can make is choosing a rug too small for your space. So how is one to actually know what size is right for a space? To help guide your latest decorating plans, we outlined a few handy rules:

  • Small spaces like entryways and bathrooms typically do best with doormats or small rugs sized from 2'x3' to 4'x6'.
  • Kitchens and hallways are best when outfitted with runners of varying lengths.
  • In the bedroom, always aim to leave 3 feet on each side of the bed to walk around. You can choose to flank the bed with two smaller runners or 3'x5' rugs. A 5'x8' will typically look better when placed to surround the foot of the bed, while a larger rug was made to lie underneath the entire bed. When possible, leave 2 to 3 feet of rug at the foot of the bed for maximum comfort.
  • In the living room, a rug should be large enough to fit all the furniture on top without feeling cramped if it's an open-plan space, or at least the two front legs of each piece if the space is smaller and the furniture is pushed against the wall. Try to not go under a 6'x9', to avoid the post-stamp syndrome. If you have the space, an 8'x10' or 9'x12' is ideal.
  • A good rule of thumb in the dining room is to leave 2 to 3 feet around each side of the table to leave enough space for people to pull out of their chair comfortably without the chair ever pulling off the rug.
  • When in doubt, go for the biggest size your room will fit while leaving a minimum of 6 inches on each side between the ends of the rug and the walls.

Now that you know your ideal rug size, we rounded up our favorite picks, from 2'x3' all the way to 9'x12'. Keep in mind that most rugs come in varying sizes, so if you see one you like, it just might be available in the size you need. From small area rugs to extra large carpets, these showstopping pieces will anchor your whole room.