When designing the interior of your home, rugs can be an important factor in creating continuity in a room and allowing the space to feel more inviting. However, it can be difficult to decide on the type of rug that will coordinate with everything in a room, as well as where it should be placed. While clever placement of a rug can tie everything together, a poorly placed rug can make the room feel unfinished and aesthetically unappealing. 

Whether you are decorating a new room, replacing an old rug, or adding a rug to an existing room, rug placement is crucial to achieving the right ambiance and aesthetic. These tips can help you start the process of selecting the right rug for your space, and working with a designer can help you create a beautiful, cohesive, and flawless look.

Rug Placement by Room Type

Optimal rug placement varies depending on the type of room, so bedrooms, bathrooms, and living rooms are all going to differ on where a rug will work best. In addition to the room itself, it’s also important to carefully consider the function, layout, and placement of other furniture when deciding where to place your rug.

Bedroom Rug Placement Guidelines 

When choosing a bedroom rug, it is generally advised to go for a rug that is large- to medium-sized and will fit easily under all furniture in the room. Armoires, ottomans, side tables, and chairs should all sit comfortably on top of the rug. Roughly two feet of floor should be showing along the rug edges.

If the bedroom that you are designing has twin beds, then the rug should either fit entirely beneath both of the beds or under the lower two-thirds of each bed. In a room with a king or queen-sized bed, multiple rugs can be used. Use a large rug that the bedroom furniture can sit on, and consider layering small accent rugs on either side of the bed.

Kitchen Rug Placement Guidelines

It’s important to place rugs in the areas of the kitchen where users will be most active. For example, small rugs should be placed in front of the stove and kitchen sink to add protection, balance, and comfort to the room.

If your kitchen has an island, placing a runner alongside the island can bring attention to this feature. Adding small rugs and runners in the kitchen can also be an opportunity to bring color and character to the room. Remember to leave a minimum space of six inches between the cabinet or wall and the rug.

Bathroom Rug Placement Guidelines

Bathroom rugs can be difficult to place, especially if your luxury bathroom has multiple features, such as a sauna, large bathtub, walk-in shower, or powder area. To bring softness and continuity to the room, quick-drying or water-resistant rugs that keep their elegance are ideal.

If the bathroom is long and narrow, then a runner can bring the space together visually. Runners can also tie the bathroom together with any external closet spaces. If there are multiple sinks in the bathroom, then a rug can be placed in front of each sink to create balance and symmetry.

Dining Room Placement Guidelines

For the dining room, opt for a rug placement that will visually emphasize the dining room table. Use a large rug that comfortably covers the area under the table, as well as all of the surrounding chairs, even when they are pulled out.

As a rule of thumb, there should be around two feet between the back of each chair and the edge of the rug. When measuring for rug size, find a rug that can adequately fit the longest length of the table, with chairs accounted for, too. Smaller accent rugs can be placed under other furniture, such as cabinets and bar carts.

Living Room Placement Guidelines

When opting for a living room rug, the optimal choice tends to be a large area rug. A large area rug, which is considered to be a rug that takes up more than half of the room’s floor space, can adequately fit underneath all furniture, ultimately anchoring the design and pulling the room together.

If your living room has a sectional, then consider using an oversized rug that completely sits under it. A large area rug can also help protect your floors from everyday activity. As a general rule, at least the front legs of the couch and chairs should be able to be on the rug. When placing your living room large area rug, make sure there are roughly 12 inches between the rug’s edges and the wall.

To add visual contrast to your living room, consider placing items off-center from the rug. You can place an element such as a large planter, a coffee table, or an ottoman on a diagonal with respect to the rug to spark visual interest. You might also consider placing a smaller rug at a slant to help draw the eye in a specific direction. Working with an interior designer will ensure you achieve a nice aesthetic and that the rug patterns flow well with your home.

General Placement Guidelines

When deciding where to place rugs in your home, there are certain rules that hold true across all rooms. For example, it’s critical to ensure a rug is never touching the wall, as this can create a cramped feeling. Additionally, the major features of the largest furniture pieces in each room should all be touching a rug, or this can make even the grandest of furniture feel small or make the room seem barren.

To add comfort to each rug, it’s important to have rug pads. They keep the rug from slipping or sliding, provide cushioning for walking and standing, and protect the flooring underneath the rug. 

Work With an Experienced Designer

Rug selection and placement can tie your home décor together.  Characteristics such as shape, size, texture, color, and pattern of a rug should be carefully considered along with the placement. That’s where an experienced designer can help advise you on optimal design schemes for your home. Contact Rob Turner of CRT Studio at (407) 440-4446 or rob@crtstudio.com to implement the perfect rug for your home.