Area Rug Guidelines

Looking for a great way to change the look of your room with little effort? An area rug is a striking design element to update any space. It pulls together the space, adds interest to the floor and can even influence the color palette for the whole room. But, that’s a lot of pressure to put on one item in your room. Choosing the perfect rug can be very difficult.

There are rules, and there are many who disagree with these rules. Instead of adding rules to the list, here are three guidelines to help you choose the rug that is right for your room.

Get the right fit
Before you go shopping for your rug, measure the room the rug will be in and map out where your furniture will be placed. Most rugs come in standard sizes (8×10, 9×12, 4×6, etc.). One of these sizes should work for your space, but sometimes that is not the case. Fortunately there are options to get that perfect fit. You can always choose a broadloom, or wall-to-wall, carpet, have it cut to the size you need, and have the edges bound is a great alternative to purchasing a standard size rug. This way it is custom-fitted to the space. Just be sure to keep the rug at least 8 – 10 inches away from the wall to show off some of the floor around the rug.

Hall rugs should have at least six inches of floor showing on all sides. In bedrooms, try runners at each side and even the foot of the bed, or place a rug one-third of the way under the bed so the rest of the rug creates a nice mat at the bottom of the bed. Even a beautiful rug can look odd in a room it doesn’t quite fit into, so follow these tips to be sure the rug looks like it is supposed to be there.

Know which rules to followOld-Brand-New-Holiday-Entertaining-by-Dabito.jpg
You can find all sorts of rules about area rugs online, so how do you know which ones to follow and which ones to ignore? It truly is a matter of your personal taste, as long as you define the area without confining it.

With all the rules out there, there are a few that almost everyone will agree on. If you’re looking for a rug for your dining room, it is very important that you choose on that is large enough that all four legs of your chairs will remain on the rug even when they are pulled out. The rug should be centered under the table and extend at least 18 inches beyond the edge of the table so that the rug accommodates the dining chairs without worry about chair legs getting caught on the edge of the rug. Choosing a rug that fits the shape of the table is a good way to help soften the space.

As mentioned above, one rule to abide by is to keep some space in between the rug and the wall to show the floor. You don’t want it to look like you have wall-to-wall carpet. A good guide is to choose a rug that is two feet shorter than the smallest wall in the room. You should swing open the front door and then measure the floor from that point, so the first three feet or so remain clear.

In large rooms, rugs should fit the configuration of the room and furniture. A big room set up with two smaller conversation areas would look best with two separate rugs, as long as they’re linked by color or texture. In the end it is your space, so do whatever feels right to you!

Be Consistent
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Some say all the legs of your furniture should be on the rug, others say all of them should be off, and many say half on half off. There are situations where all these rules work and some of it is just a matter of taste. We say that you should just pick one technique and be consistent. Take a gander at inspiration sites like Houzz and Pinterest to get a good idea of the look you want to accomplish. You’ll be able to tell which “rule” you prefer right away.

The best thing about area rugs is that they are easy to change so you can try something new without a long-term commitment. We have a variety of area rugs in our showroom, as well as binding capabilities to make any fragment of carpet into a rug for your space. We can help you personalize your space to meet your vision.

Dalton Carpet One has more than 200 area rugs in a range of traditional and trendy styles. Whether you’re drawn to wool or sisal fibers, indoor or outdoor options, or not quite sure, let our designers help you select the perfect rug to freshen up your room.

For more information on Dalton Carpet One, stop by the showroom at 3690 Atlanta Highway, Suite 108 in Athens, Ga., call 706.353.0547 or visit


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