How to Position Your Area Rug

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Adding an area rug to your space takes some planning. Not only do you have to pick the right size, but you also have to pick the right position.

What Size Area Rug to Buy

When choosing a rug size, follow these tips:

  • Measure the size of your room
  • Decide which group of furniture you’d like to put on or near the rug– measure that space
  • Opt for a slightly larger rug than the exact size you need
  • The rug should be proportional to the size of your space (e.g. large rugs for large spaces, lengthwise rugs for long spaces)
  • Before you buy, mock up the spacing using painters tape

Where to Place Area Rugs

When it comes to area rug placement, there are a few different options to choose from based on your personal taste and rug size. The three basic options are:

  • Place all furniture legs on the rug
  • Place the front legs of furniture on the rug
  • Place no furniture legs on the rug

These three basic rules can apply to many rooms in your home, especially the living room.

Living Room

Option 1: All Legs on the Rug

With a large rug, you can anchor an open-concept living room or any group of furniture that floats (isn’t up against a wall). Placing all furniture feet on the rug creates a defined space.

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Option 2: Front Legs on the Rug

This option is good for spaces that have furniture up against a wall. For consistency, make sure all the front-legs of the furniture are on the rug.

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Option 3: Coffee Table Rug

You can opt for a smaller area rug under the coffee table in your living room. Because the rug is smaller, this is a cost effective option. A coffee table rug also works well in a small space as it makes the room appear larger.

Blog by Maple Drapery and Carpet Ltd

Blog by Maple Drapery and Carpet Ltd

Coffee table rug in a living room.

Dining Room

Best Option: All Legs on the Rug

The shape of your rug should match the shape of your table, either circular or rectangular. For safety, it’s best to keep all furniture legs, including chairs, on the carpet. The rug should expand on all sides of the able so that chairs rest on a flat surface, even when pushed back. If your table has leaves, make sure the rug size accommodates them.

Blog by Maple Drapery and Carpet Ltd

Blog by Maple Drapery and Carpet Ltd

Blog by Maple Drapery and Carpet Ltd

Dining table and chairs on an area rug.


The position of the rug depends on your bed, which is the focal point of your bedroom.

Option 1: All Legs on the Rug

The rug should be big enough to fit your bed and all legs of your nightstands. The rug should not to hold other furniture pieces (like dressers) that stand against any walls. Make sure to leave room between the wall and rug for walkways.

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Option 2: Part of the Bed on the Rug

You can frame your bed by placing the area rug only under about two-thirds of your bed. The rug should extend past the foot of your bed.

Blog by Maple Drapery and Carpet Ltd

Blog by Maple Drapery and Carpet Ltd

Area rug under part of the bed.

Option 3: Runners on Each Side of the Bed

You can add area rungs to each side of the bed. Remember, the area rug shouldn’t extend beyond the bed, but it should be wider than your night stand.

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Front Entry

Choose the shape of your rug based on the shape of your entry space. You may want a runner, or a round or rectangular rug. The width of the area rug should be roughly the width of your front door. Remember to make sure your door will clear the rug when it’s opened.


You can a runner or small rug in your kitchen:

  • Add runner in galley kitchen or next to large island
  • Add a small rug in from of the sink

You can add a runner to your hallway. It’s usually best to leave furniture legs off the runner to keep the narrow area looking clean and crisp.

If you have any further questions about choosing an area rug, contact the Maple Drapery team. They can help you find the right rug for your room. They can even create custom rugs!

Source (rug diagrams and guidelines):