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Taking the Rug Plunge – Tips on the Right Size

Taking the Rug Plunge – Tips on the Right Size

In my decorating travels, I see more small, dinky rugs than I care to admit.  It just might be the single biggest decorating problem I encounter.  Besides of course the “sea of brown furniture“!


So why is a dinky rug a problem?

Because, well, a too small rug feels choppy and weird.

This is a great example.  See this beautifully designed room?   The rug is WAY too small – the furniture isn’t “talking” to each other.  It’s floating into outer space!




A nice big rug, though, makes a room feel full and rounded out.  It feels complete.

See this photo below?  The furniture is pulled together, the space is delineated.  Your eye is happy.


nate berkus chicago apartment



I was always told that keeping 18″ between the outside edge of a rug and the wall is the perfect size.  That is often right, and I tend to keep that rule in mind – but as we all know every room is different and unique and it doesn’t always work that way.

office rug



Another good rule of thumb is make sure you can comfortably place your sofa and chairs on the rug.  It’s okay if all four legs are on there – it’s okay if one or two legs are on there.   No set rule here, just do what looks best:

beni ourain


Don’t despair if the rug you love is too small!   You can purchase a sea grass rug for super cheap (I love Pottery Barn, Ballard, Overstock and Gilt for great sea grass rug finds), and then layer your smaller rug over it.  I am ALL about the layering -it really works!

layered rugs


It’s a win-win – your space is all filled up and rounded out AND you still get to keep your fabulous original rug…

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