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The 5 Rules of Area Rug Placement

September 5, 2013

5 Rules of Area Rug Placement



I am fascinated to learn that there are actual rules concerning the placement of area rugs in a home. I’m kind of a live-by-the-rules gal, so this is like a recipe book for my home decor.


We have recently repainted the entire living area of the home we moved into two years ago. We chose colors very different from the decor of our old house and I’ve had trouble finding my decorating niche in this new style.


Since painting, our current area rug doesn’t match … well … anything! It also turns out that it isn’t big enough for the new family room. So it is time to find that perfect rug to complete the room and time to learn the rules of proper area rug placement.


Rule 1


Get a big rug! The most common mistake in choosing an area rug is choosing one that is too small for the intended space. If you are getting a rug for the conversation area of your living room, then the general rule is to keep at least the two front legs of your sofa on the rug and all the legs of any smaller chairs or tables on the rug.


If you are placing an area rug under your dining room table, then be sure to make it big enough to extend at least three feet in all directions from your table. This will help to insure that chair legs don’t catch when people are pulling them out to sit down.


Area rugs under the bed need to extend at least 12″ for a twin or double bed and 18″ for a king or queen size bed. It seems that going bigger is okay, but going smaller is a definite no no.


Rule 2


Leave an equal amount of bare floor space on each side of the rug. 18″ is the recommended amount of space to leave, but as long as you have from 8″ to 24″, then you’re good.


Rule 3


Use your area rug as a complement to the rest of your room. A wild and crazy area rug can really make a neutral room pop. On the other hand, if you have a piece of artwork as the focal point in your room, then don’t distract from it with an area rug that is too “loud”. The rug should work to hold the colors of the room together, not just add more busyness. If your couch is strongly patterned, then you may want to go with a solid color on the floor, and vice-versa.


Rule 4


When your area rug gets dirty, as they all inevitably do, then be sure to read the instructions on the back before applying any chemicals. It would be such a bummer to spend money on the perfect area rug only to ruin it with a damaging spot cleaner. Another factor to think about it that specialty area rugs from other countries can be very difficult to clean properly. Unknown dyes are sometimes used in the making of these rugs and run a higher risk of bleeding when cleaned. Buying your area rug from a general manufacturer like Home Depot, Pottery Barn, or Home Goods will usually keep this from happening.


Rule 5


Always get your area rug cleaned from the best carpet cleaner in Fresno … Aaron’s Quality Cleaner!  Aaron’s does an amazing job on carpet, tile and upholstery. See what he can do to re-breathe some life back into your area rug. It may lighten the whole look of your room!



Julie Rosenfeld serves as an Administrative Assistant for Aaron’s Quality Cleaners, a carpet-cleaning company that services the Fresno and Clovis (CA) areas.  She is the author of “Julie’s Corner” and provides information and perspective on topics related to the carpet-cleaning industry.


Aaron’s Quality Cleaners performs carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, aggregate cleaning and upholstery cleaning in Fresno, Clovis, Madera and Sanger.

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