How to Place a Rug

So you know you want to enhance your home decor scheme with a thoughtful flooring solution. You know what aesthetic you're looking for, but have questions on making it fit your space. Should you choose a rug that hits the wall flush, like carpeting? How much of the rug should go be hidden beneath furniture? And what about unique areas: a stairway or narrow entryway, for instance?

To help you make these important decisions, we've compiled our best knowledge on how to place an area rug that best fits your home. Keep in mind that these are meant to be read as guidelines, and not hard and fast rules. Feel free to experiment or bend as fits your creative muse.

Living Room Rug Placement

Place the Front Legs of Furniture on the Rug (Most of the Time)

One of the most cited rules of thumb is to place the front legs of a piece of furniture on a rug, while leaving the back legs off. This pulls the room together while creating the right balance of space.

Image Credit: Houzz

However, there are instances where it's okay to alter this advice. If you're working with multiple pieces of furniture, for instance, it can work to put a piece of furniture squarely on the rug (all four legs) while placing only the two front legs of other pieces on the rug. This technique works especially well if you'e trying to create a balance between larger pieces of furniture, such as a couch, and smaller ones, such as an armchair.

Place All the Furniture Legs off the Rug (Some of the Time)

Placing all the legs off the rug allows you to showcase more of your flooring solution. This approach works well if a coffee table anchors the rug. If the rug slides around on the floor, you can place a pad between the rug and the floor to help it stay in place.

Image Credit: Houzz

Placing all the furniture legs off a rug also works well with smaller area rugs, allowing the rug to bring a splash of color to the room while not being overshadowed by the larger items. If the rug slips around on the floor, you can place a pad between the rug and the floor to help it stay in place.

Image Credit: Houzz

Leave 18 Inches of Space Between a Rug and The Wall

Leaving space between a rug and a wall creates a better sense of proportion. 18 inches is the generally accepted standard. Don't stress about pulling out a ruler, however, if you're designing a smaller room. The measurement can be reduced to eight inches in these instances. As always, creative implementations mean you can bend the rules. Going wall-to-wall with your rug works if you're going for a more quirky or modern look.

Image Credit: Houzz

Bedroom Rug Placement

A Rug Should Extend 12-18 Inches Around the Bed

Placing a rug beneath a bed gives a room a cozy, comforting feel, but only if the rug extends far enough from beneath the bed to be visible. Making sure that at least a foot of a flooring solution peeps from beneath the bed is a good rule of thumb. More than that is okay too.

Image Credit: Houzz

If you want to place a smaller rug in your bedroom and know that your bed would dwarf it, consider placing the rug at the foot of the bed. In this case, the width should still be as wide or wider than that of the bed.

Image Credit: Houzz

Kitchen Rug Placement

Extend a Rug 24 Inches Around a Dining Table

Leaving two feet of rug on either side of a dining table makes pushing chairs towards and away from the table much easier, by allowing the chair legs to stay on the rug at all times (and not get caught between the floor and rug's edge).

Image Credit: Houzz

Runner Rug Placement

Add a Rug to Walkways

A rug can bring instant life to a narrow area such as a foyer or hallway. In these instances, a rug or runner should cover the majority of the floor. Not only does it look better, but it helps ensure that no one will trip over the rug's edge.

Image Credit: Houzz

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