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Décor: a quick guide to rug placement

When it comes to rugs for your room, what are the rules?
   Luke Arthur Wells  |  written on: 05-03-2019 17:00pm

The joy of a good rug is that it can marry together disparate elements of a space, helping to create zones and carve up larger spaces to make them feel more intimate and cosier. This is why placement is so important and, in my opinion, no rug is better than a poorly placed or a rug that's the wrong size.


Design by Richstone Properties.

The first rug rule to think about is overlapping with furniture. With chairs in a living space, this means that at least the front legs of the armchair/sofa should be crossing the boundary of the rug comfortably. In larger spaces, you might consider having a large enough rug where the whole of your seating set can fit, including the coffee table and side tables to zone this area. If you choose not to do this, the extra lines of the rug edges add another fussy dimension to your space, which can make the overall look a bit “choppy”.

Marble, white, copper, traditional, kitchen, worktop, light, cabinet, cupboard, dining, table, chair, rug, parquet, flooring, traditional

When picking a rug for under a dining table, again it pays to be generous with its proportions. You want the rug to hold the table and chairs even when they're pulled out, both for practical and aesthetic reasons, and with each rectangular, square and round designs. When underneath a dining table, it's particularly important to play with a larger scale to make using a rug effective and actually worth using in the space. If in doubt, go without.

eclectic,kitchen,kitchen island,textile finish,bespoke,Compac quartz,Gray Zement,mirrored,island,dining table,bar stools
Inspiration by Mowlem&Co

The rules in the bedroom are much like for the living room, where the bed at least should overlap the rug to help blend these components together. Just plonking a rug at the end of the bed is likely to be out of scale to the room, I do, however, make one exception to the rule in the bedroom, which is the use of runners down either side. Runners are slightly different creatures to general rugs, and can much more be useful to highlight pathways around a space, rather than being used to unite a room. With runners, don't concern yourself with overlapping furniture in particular, it can often look better without doing this.

bedroom,bed,colourful,yellow,comfortable,fur rug

bedroom,dressing table,wood,white,headboard
Inspiration by VORBILD Architecture

This guide should see you through most rooms in your house, but if you're struggling to find a size appropriate to your space, or within your budget, there are some tricks you can try to mitigate the effects of a smaller size rug. Tasselled edges, for example, help soften lines, or why not try the trend for overlapping rugs for an intriguing, eclectic look.

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John Lewis & Partners Padma Parquet Bed Frame, Double, Brown, £699, Dakara Seagrass Basket, £30

Credit: L-R Darren Chung and Malcolm Menzies (Cover image)

Also read:
Everything you need to know about rug pile
Profile: Luke Irwin

NEXT! Inspired to look at rugs for your home? Check out our moodboard below. 

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Luke Arthur Wells

Luke is an interior designer, stylist and blogger at www.lukearthurwells.com. He’s a believer in understated interiors that don’t have to shout to be heard, and he’s currently practicing what he preaches renovating a Victorian terrace in Essex, where he lives with his partner and two pampered pups. When it comes to his design style, he loves new and interesting building materials, a carefully chosen white paint and he also has a weakness for coffee table books and a fresh bunch of eucalyptus.

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