The Perfect Rules to Place Your Rug & Furniture

Designers embrace a wide range of rug styles, including classic jute pieces, vibrant Turkish throws, and cozy sheepskins. However, when it comes to the placement of furniture on a rug, some believe that furniture placed around the room's perimeter should rest partially on a rug, while others have different perspectives. Let's have a look at different viewpoints below.

First Option


One of the philosophies when it comes to selecting an area rug for a room is to 'go big or go home.' The biggest mistake you can make in choosing a rug size is opting for one that's too small for the space. So, how can a homeowner determine if the rug they have in mind is the right size? Some experts recommend leaving 12 to 18 inches of space between the rug's edge and the walls.

Ideally, furniture legs should make contact with the rug. Whenever possible, the best arrangement allows all the furniture to rest entirely on the rug. However, practicality may sometimes dictate otherwise. Aim to have the front legs of chairs and sofas at least in partial contact with the rug. This creates a cohesive and unified appearance, with the rug serving as the anchor for the seating area.

There are exceptions to this rule. For instance, if you're placing decorative furniture along the room's perimeter that isn't intended for formal seating, such as an antique chair from a flea market find, it's perfectly acceptable to position it against the walls without it touching a rug at all.

Second Option

If you can't fit all your furnishings entirely on a rug, don't worry too much, but aim to have some part of each piece on the rug. Even if it's just the chair's feet, there's something about having all your furniture on the rug that brings the space together. The theory is that the front legs of furniture should always rest on the rug to anchor the space and prevent the rug from feeling like it's just floating aimlessly. When a rug isn't anchored by the furniture, it often appears too small for the room. 

In larger rooms, a favorite technique is to layer rugs. You can start with a large sisal rug to cover most of the floor, then layer a smaller vintage rug on top. This not only adds character but also allows you to highlight a specific area without making it feel disconnected. It's an excellent way to experiment with different color schemes too – try placing a vibrant rug on top of a more neutral one for added visual appeal. 

Third Option

Another perspective is, 'When it comes to furniture and rugs, there is no strict rule for placing furniture around the perimeter.'However, that furniture should be arranged in proportion to the room's size and the furniture's dimensions. In practice, this means selecting a large area rug to accommodate the bed and nightstands, rather than using a smaller throw rug at the foot of the bed, for example. This concept resonates with the idea of a rug 'floating' in a space, which designers generally advise against. To ensure your rug integrates well into the room, it's crucial to avoid having it isolated; anchor it with some accompanying furniture. 

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