So why is it so hard to decide what size an area rug should be for a space? The problem could be that there are so many "rules of thumb" about the correct size rug, and there are also many opposing opinions……………I know that doesn't help, but here are some basic facts about rug size versus room size that may help you. Area rugs offer the most variety in floor coverings. In order to decide on rug size, the first thing you should do is measure the room. Many people do not even know the approximate dimensions of their rooms, never mind the exact size. Before you buy, you need to know just a few more things, other than the fact that they can define and elevate your décor.
Size & shape
Area rugs are made in standard and non-standard sizes and they can be rectangular (most common) round, square, oval, octagonal, or long and narrow for runners. The most common sizes are 4' X 6, 5' X 8', 6' X 9', 8' X 10', 10' X 14' and upwards. Choosing the correct size area rug depends on the dimensions of the space you want to cover.
Hints for figuring out the size
–Arrange your furniture before determining the size of a new area rug. If you are thinking about using a square or rectangle shaped rug, place a piece of paper where each of the corners of the rug will fall in the area you wish to cover. Measure the space and adjust the corners as needed to make the space larger or smaller, given the standard rug sizes. Generally, a room looks more pulled together if all the legs of the furniture are resting on a room sized area rug. If it is a small rug, you may want all the legs of the furniture to be off the rug instead. All legs on or all legs off is a good "rule of thumb" to keep in mind.
–If you are considering a round rug, you can run a piece of tape from the center of the space you want to cover to the outside edge, and measure it. This gives you the radius of the circle, double it and you will have your diameter. Round rugs are sold by diametre.
–Oblongs or ovals are measured like rectangles, by the length of the longest part and with the width of the widest part. Run a piece of tape on the floor to determine length and a second for width. You will have a large cross taped to the floor, but it will tell you how big an oblong you need to cover space.
–When covering the whole room, it is best to leave approximately 18" or more of flooring exposed in a large room to frame a rug. If it is a very small room, the border left exposed can possibly be 10" or even smaller.
–Rugs that are destined to go under the dining room tables should be large enough so that when seated at the table the back legs of a chair are on the rug with enough space to push back and stand up. This way no one has to go over the edge to get up from the table.
–It is also considered awkward to place a half rug in an area of heavy traffic. Basically, you don't want one foot on a rug and one foot off as you are walking through an area constantly. If the room is large or has multiple conversation groupings or functional areas, please consider using more than one rug. Using several rugs is an option.
–For an area rug to look balanced under a bed, it should be large enough to extend beyond the sides of the bed at least 18" to 24". Depending on the size of your room, you can have more of a rug extension around the bed, but you should not go smaller. For a more affordable option, I suggest you consider runners at the sides and even at the foot of your beds. Kitchens, bathroom and outer spaces can also benefit from the decorative value of a well chosen area rug.
–When buying a rug carry a tape measure because it's not always the exact size. Always measure your rugs so you know the true size you may be buying, especially if it's handmade. Do not be surprised if it's a little bit short in each direction.
Colour is at least as important for an area rug as how it's made. Colour combinations, design and setting all come together to create your own personal style. Rugs do not have to match the colours of the room precisely. Great interior design often features combinations of colours that either contrast or compliment a room's primary colour scheme. A good rule of thumb, though, is to stick to one primary shade and two additional colours.
Pattern is divided into three categories in the rug industry, and knowing what kind of pattern you prefer can help narrow the field a bit. There are curved lines which refer to patterns with swirl, arch and bows: Geometric shapes such as lines, triangles, squares and rectangles; and the final group referring to patterns that portray people, animals and scenes.
It is a personal expression of the way you want to live your life or to put another way your distinct manner of expression. Rugs also have acquired styles, like Natural, Navajo, Oriental, Persian, Tibetan and Indian, just to name a few. No one expects you to know all of these or even some of these. All you need to know is what you like. If you do some research and find an image of an area rug you like, take that image with you when next you are shopping for a rug; it will make your search a lot easier.
Remember that there are no set rules when it comes to decorating you home. Decorators and Designers will however advise you not to overpower a room with a rug that is much too big, or have a rug that is too small for the size of the room.