Proper rug placement is just as important as choosing a rug that you like. The right size and layout can instantly transform the look of your entire space.
In the bedroom, it can fully increase the cosiness of your sleeping area, while as a living room idea, the rug placement can define a focal point. Depending on which rug you choose and where you want to place it, an additional rug can help to zone your space – be it your garden, hallway or open plan living area.
But placing your rug wrong can spoil the overall atmosphere of your room.
To find out the dos and don’ts when placing rugs, we asked interior designers for their opinions.
Carpet placement tips for interior designers and professionals
When it comes to the placement of your rug, according to Heather Goerzen, design editor at Interior Service Havenly, there’s a lot to think about.
“I want to make sure the carpet anchors a scene properly and pulls all the pieces together to tell a story,” explains Heather. “For living rooms, I love the all legs on look with an oversized statement rug. For bedrooms, I like to start with the rug right in front of the bedside tables—especially if you have nice hardwood floors to show off.”
DO: Go as big as makes sense for the space
In the world of interior design, size matters. You wouldn’t choose a sofa too big for your living room or a bed too small for your bedroom. So when it comes to your bedroom and living room rug ideas, think along the same lines.
“My general rule is never skimp on size, but never go overboard either,” says Alex Alonso, founder and design director of Miami-based interior design studio Mr Alex Tate (opens in new tab) says.
“You don’t want a rug that’s too big for the room, but you also don’t want a rug that looks like a shrunken space for your furniture. It’s a balance. You want to find the size that defines the space but doesn’t overshadow it.’
NOT: Make it look tight
Although size matters, a rug is there to anchor your room. Don’t flood the floor space or take over your room.
“You don’t want to be too small, but you don’t want to be too big either,” says Heather Goerzen, design editor at Interior Service Havenly (opens in new tab). “Give the flooring ‘breathing room’ with at least 18 inches between the carpet and the wall, typically 24 inches for larger living rooms.”
DO: Experiment with layering rugs
Sometimes a rug just isn’t enough. If space allows and you’ve found two different types of flooring that complement each other, why not double up your rugs?
Doubling up your area rugs in a modern living room or bedroom can work wonders to add coziness, comfort and creativity to your space.
“I love layering rugs and I usually do a more neutral base that is larger, and then a more colorful, design-led rug on top,” says Alex. ‘It’s always so chic and just adds depth to the design of the room’
DO: Consider rugs on the wall instead
Thought there was only one way to lay a carpet? It’s time to rethink. You can get absolutely creative with the placement of your rug and there is photographic evidence to prove it. Carpets can not only be laid on the floor, but also hung on the wall.
“Off the floor, I love using rugs as wall hangings,” says Alex. “Some are just so beautiful I would never dream of stepping on them.”
If you are considering hanging an antique rug, you can try placing it in a glass frame to preserve it. While Persian rugs make a great focal point alone, hung on a painted wall or on an exposed brick wall.
DO: Hold back furniture
One of the simplest design tricks to remember when placing rugs is to place all of the furniture within the perimeter of a rug. As seen in the latest modern living room trends, it can help to zone and balance your space without taking up too much floor space.
Two fans of this look are Miami-based interior designers Jay Britto and David Charette Britto Charette. They said: “We installed a custom wool and silk rug in our Portofino Tower product in South Beach. The large format rug is placed so that all furniture sits within its parameters, which in an open floor plan creates a sense of homeliness and demarcates it as a seating area.”
DON’T: Have less than two furniture legs on the carpet
“Always, always, always make sure that at least the front two feet of each piece of furniture in the vignette (i.e. sofa, accent chairs, end tables) can sit comfortably on the rug,” says Heather Goerzen.
“And of course feel free to increase the size so that the entire seating area rests on the carpet. The majority of living room rugs should be 8’x10′ or maybe 9’x12′, but for those lucky enough to have a huge living room, maybe look at a 10’x14′.
DO: Make it symmetrical
When in doubt, a surefire way is to get your rug perfectly placed every time by creating a symmetrical living space.
“For this design in the Hamptons, we used real plus rug in a beautiful blue that was generously sized and ran the full length of the headboard,” explains interior designer Jay Britto. “This creates a very pleasant symmetry in the room.”
DO: Work in thirds
Wondering what is the best layout for your bedroom rug ideas?
“The most popular rug layout for bedrooms is to place two-thirds of the bed on the rug and leave the remaining third open to the room,” explains Heather von Havenly.
“In this situation, the carpet usually starts right in front of the bedside tables (which means they are completely removed from the carpet). This is usually a 6’x9′ rug for a queen bed and an 8’x10′ rug for a king bed.’
Does a carpet have to be in the middle of a room?
While symmetry can be a useful design tool in a room, with a rug that symmetry does not have to be created using the proportions of the room itself. Instead, use large pieces of furniture as anchors for symmetry, like a sofa or bed, or even architectural elements like fireplaces or doors.