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Rug Guide - Foundation to a well balanced room

Updated: Aug 15, 2019

As an interior designer and home stylist, rug selection happens to be the area that I typically spend the bulk of my time in forethought and planning. Because so, it has required me to do a lot of research on what is and isn't acceptable in the scope of room size and proper arrangement.

One must respect the rug, because it's an incredibly foundational piece, and I mean that in every sense of the word. "Foundational", because every other design decision is layered upon the rug that you select in the beginning.


With that said, proper planning is essential in creating a dynamic and unforgettable space where the rug doesn't simply appear to be an afterthought. To help you in your decorating endeavors, I've put together a comprehensive rug guide as a resource so you too can create a well balanced room!


Bedroom rug layout is one of my favorite rooms to get creative, because there are several price point options to work a rug in this space.

The most ideal option is selecting a rug that fits all of your furniture, but that is often times the priciest choice.

Leveling down to a mid-size carpet , placing only the lower footprint of your bed on the carpet, allows you to still get a good taste of the rug life in your room.

Lastly, the most cost effective approach, is selecting two smaller rugs (3x5, runner or animal hide) to flank each side of your bed.

R E M E M B E R - Budget is often the reason most people skimp on their rug selection. If you can budget and save for the larger rug, you will be happier with your choice in the long run.


Over all, there are 2 common layouts that I'll cover. Either you purchase a very large rug to accommodate all furniture in the room, or you go with a smaller option.

The smaller rug will most times only have the front feet resting on the rug (about 6-8 inches onto the rug).

** Sometimes an irregular rug, such as an animal skin, will layout a bit different. We will cover this later in the post.


Dining rugs are pretty straight forward. The biggest rule to follow is making sure you add at least 2 feet to each side of the table to come up with the desired rug size. This goes for both round, square or rectangle.


When working with a irregular rug shapes, such as a cowhide or any other animal skin, the rules bend only a little. In this case, we needed 9' of round rug coverage under the 5' conference table (see below).

I couldn't locate a rug that I loved within the desired measurements, so we decided to do something a bit unconventional for her office space. Since my client isn't your typical boss babe, she jumped at the chance to do something outside the office decor norms.

Best Hospice - cowhide rug

We layered (2) 5 x 8 cow hides and the coverage we lack in one direction, we totally make up for in another. It doesn't follow all the rules, but the over arching idea of scale proportions is met. Sometimes you have to trust your eye...

Now there are many more ways to arrange a rug in a room, this is just basic rug practices. There are spot rugs, angled options and other arrangements to enjoy. This is just a simple framework to start from, so enjoy future rug shopping and don't forget to tag your spaces with my hashtag : #designsetx !!

XOXO - Linsey McNeel


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