I read your articles and learned that you should start with the rug when beginning your room decorating. Can you give me some tips on what size rug I should be looking for? My living room is 15’ x 20’, my dining room is about 15’ x 15’ and my entry foyer is 8’ x 12’. The steps going to the second floor go up from the entry foyer. ~ Fran W.
Glad to hear you’re planning before buying! Carpets can be marginal (that means they cover most of the floor leaving a small border, perhaps a foot or so), seating oriented (meaning they create an “island” for your furniture) or scatter rug size (which creates a focal point).
When shopping for rugs, I like to start with the largest one first. In your case, the living room could take a 12’ x 15’ or 10’ x 14’ because of its size. I always like to leave at least a foot or two of flooring around the perimeter. For example, if your furniture is placed in the center of your room facing a fireplace, the rug should be centered in the room and you could leave as much wood or tile around as you choose. If the sofa seating is off to the side and there’s a game table or baby grand piano elsewhere in the room, it’s okay to put a rug under the main area and leave the rest uncovered.
The dining room gives you some interesting options since it’s almost square. You could actually get a 10’ x 10’ square or round rug if your table is round, or a 9’ x 12’, if the table is rectangular. Pieces like your server and breakfront should be off the rug. Make sure the rug you select can completely cover the area under the table and chairs (without leaves inserted in the table). I like to place chairs half under the table, but I choose a rug that allows for full extension when people are sitting.
Your entry foyer could take a round rug (5’ or 6’) or a rectangle (5’ x 7’ or even 6’ x 9’) depending on how close you want it to be to your front door. Remember, it’s not a door mat.
You should also know that many Oriental rugs are slightly undersized – the standard 4’ x 6’, 6’ x 9’, 8’ x 10’, 9’ x 12’ and 10’ x 14’ are usually 3” less all around. The machine-made and hand-knotted are usually full size and some may come a foot longer than standard. Always check the tag and if your rug has fringe, measure that as well or have it removed, if you choose.
So good luck on your rug journey. It’s a great beginning for ensuring decorating success.