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How to Place a Rug in The Proper Way: The Ultimate Guide

You can have the best-looking rug in the whole wide world, and yet your room will look like a mess. Why? Because of the placement of the rug. If you don’t utilize the rug and your room's space in the proper way, the rug will seem like a burden.

The issue is more complicated than you think. There’s no single way of placing a rug. Different spaces demand an alternative style of positioning rugs. I know I have made it sound like a lot, but trust me, it’s quite simple, and this article will show you that. After you are done with this article, you will have the art of rug placement totally mastered. Now let’s get started with it.

Why is it Important to Place Rugs in The Right Positions

Proper rug placement isn’t only about aesthetics. There are significant issues of functionality as well.

Let’s talk about aesthetic value first.

A properly positioned rug can totally transform the outlook of your room by creating a sense of balance, proportion, and cohesion. It’s interesting how a simple rug can do all that. Well, it’s not that complicated to understand.

Rugs can actually anchor furniture groupings, creating a visual contrast between the furniture and the rest of the space. This is something you want if you have open floor plan layouts.

Rugs can also define the different areas within a room. Now what does this mean? Suppose there is a rug placed under a dining table while the rest of the space is empty. This helps to easily pinpoint which is the dining area and what is the living space.

Apart from aesthetics, there are concerns of functionality as well. You’ll be surprised to see how the right rug placed in the right place can drastically improve the safety of your space.

For example, rugs placed in high-traffic areas can protect your floor from nonstop footsteps and offer a comfortable walking surface. Placing the rugs with non-slip backings on slippery positions can prevent slips and falls. But keep in mind that this is only applicable for smooth surfaces like hardwood floors.

Overall, as you probably realize, to get the best out of a rug, you need to position it in the proper manner. This is literally all the reasons you need to learn how to place a rug in the right way.

The Complete Guide on How to Place a Rug Anywhere in Your House

Getting to know your rugs and room is really easy. You just have to be a bit aware. To make the entire thing simple for you, here I will present the matter in an organized way based on the nature of spaces you want to place your rug in.

As already mentioned, different spaces require different kinds of rug placement. This is why we will navigate through the issue based on the spaces we are dealing with.

Living Room

Living room spaces tend to be larger and more open. What makes living rooms trickier is the amount of furniture this space has. The problem here is really subtle.

how to place a rug in living a room
Haris Kenjar

Think of a sofa. A sofa paired with a small rug or a rug that’s overshadowed by a coffee table will not look good. The proportions will be off, making the room feel less cohesive. In such cases, rugs can be used to provide boundaries for spaces with the aim of anchoring the seating arrangement.

If your living room is small or mid-sized, you should drape the floor with a large rug. The rug should anchor the seating area of the living room. In such a setting, the front legs of the sofa or the armchairs should rest on the rug. This creates a defined space for conversation and relaxation. Interesting, right?

Similar to this, you can opt for a more layered look. Larger living rooms can do with bigger rugs, and many will recommend getting a bigger rug to frame the space. But it doesn’t actually utilize the opportunity to incorporate multiple aspects that the larger space provides. Laying a smaller rug on top of a larger one in such a setting helps to create this diverse outlook. This kind of placement also comes in handy to separate spaces for different furniture in larger rooms.

Dinning Room

Dining rooms too contain lots of furniture. The difference is, these furniture tend to be larger compared to the living room ones.

The purpose of having rugs in the dining room is basically distinguishing space for the dining area. In order to do this properly, the dining rug should be centered right under the dining table.

A common mistake that most people commit is placing the rug at the center of the dining space. While it sounds compelling, but such placement actually ruins the aesthetic of the rug. Placing it at the center of the table, on the other hand, makes more sense in terms of practicality.

Ideally, a dining room rug should have at least 24 inches of extra room on all sides of the table. This allows enough space for the guests to comfortably pull out the chairs without tripping over the rug.

To put things into perspective, this basically means extending the rug three inches beyond the edge of the dining table.

Don’t worry if you are still confused. In such situations, what you can do is arrange the dining table sitting area in the way you want it to be. And then pull out the chairs around the table. This gives you an outline of the space that the rug needs to cover.


For the bedroom, the opportunities are limitless. When you are bringing a rug into the bedroom, you are basically planning to add a touch of softness and warmth underfoot. For bedrooms, you have two options: you can either cover the area surrounding the bed or the entire room.

how to place a rug in a bedroom
Haris Kenjar

The ideal size here depends on your bed and the layout of your room. For example, in a king-size bedroom, the rug needs to extend completely under the bed while keeping 18 inches exposed on all sides.

If you want something stylish, you can place a long and narrow runner rug horizontally at the foot of the bed. It adds a cozy landing spot while providing a touch of trendy gist.

Having two 3 by 5 inches rugs on either side of the bed is an interesting trick you can apply. It’ll save you the cash of buying a single large rug while offering you the same convenience.

Now, let’s save you the trouble of making further measurements. If you have a queen bed, the ideal rug size is around 8 by 10 inches. On the other hand, a king-size bed fits well with a 9 by 12 inches rug. A full-size bed would require a 5 by 8 inches rug.

If you are not interested in these, then let's talk about something different. If you want to try out something new, place the rug partially under the bed. Make sure the rugs are perpendicular to the bed. Then pull it under. Keep pulling till there’s only a few inches left before the nightstands.

In other words, keep it around only halfway under the bed. The bed, definitely, is expected to be centered on top.

This kind of positioning is a genius decision as it maximizes the amount of usable rug space. The best thing here is, it still gives you that same soft surface to step onto when you get out of the bed.


Before getting into the placement, let me give you a simple free tip. Always opt for rubber-backed, small, washable rugs for kitchens. No matter how careful you are, spices, oil, sauce, and other sticky stuff will definitely get on the rug.

The good thing about this is it protects the floor from splashes while offering you a comfortable standing ground while cooking. To achieve such convenience from such rugs, place them in front of the sink and the cooking counter. Make sure that the edges of the rugs are touching the edge of the counters, leaving no gap in the middle.


Your home office can become a more convenient space for you with a simple rug. Similar to the bedroom, it adds comfort underfoot and helps define the workspace.

how to place a rug in a workstation

For such a setting, consider placing the rug right under the table. Make sure the rug is extending beyond the chair area.

To facilitate this, the rug should be large enough to accommodate your entire desk, the chair with a bit of space to spare for the chair to roll freely without going off the rug.

In case you are wondering, the extending space should be at least 1 to 2 inches long.

Also, make sure that the front legs of the chair stay on the rug even if the chair is pushed back in a reclined position.

Some Do’s and Dont’s to Keep Things in Control

You cannot go wrong if you follow the guidance mentioned above. But you are free to experiment and arrange your space the way you want. However, if you want to create your own rug placement style, it’s easy to mess things up.

Fortunately, there are some simple formulas you can maintain to keep things steady. Let’s take a quick look at those factors that make sure a rug is placed in the right place.

Firstly: Make sure the rug works as a visual anchor for most of the elements in the room. Rug placement is all about balance and harmony. Thus, place the rug in a position that blends into the space and unifies the furniture and the relevant elements.

Secondly: The rug must make sense in the space. It doesn’t always necessarily fit at the center of the room or in one corner of the space. In the case the rug is large, the middle of the room is a good fit. In the case of smaller rugs, the edges of the rooms are more suitable.

Thirdly: Balance the rug under the core furniture groups. Select the furniture you want to see together and place the rug in such a way that facilitates enough room for all of those items.

Fourthly: Make sure that either all the legs of all the furniture are on the carpet or at least the front legs of all the furniture are on the rug. This, of course, doesn’t apply to the center table if there's any.

Finally: Don’t use a rug to fill an empty space. It makes the rug look really weird and damages its potential to do magic.

As I had previously promised, you now have mastered the art of rug placement. If you have gone through the article as presented here, you surely now know how to organize your furniture around the rug.

If you already have a rug laying in your house, rearrange its position following the strategy mentioned here. It’ll surely bring a drastic change to the outlook of the room. Sure, it sounds like a hassle, but it’s totally worth it.

Once you have found the ideal spot for your rug, you’ll notice how it has transformed the aesthetic of not only your room but also your furniture. Sounds like bogus? Just give it a go and you’ll see.

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