The first step is to measure the size of the seating area in the room. If it is a very large size room, it is often preferable to select a rug that is the next closest size up from the size of the seating area where all of the pieces are placed on the rug (give or take a few inches). If you use a rug that is too small for a grandly scaled room, it will look like a postage stamp, and the room will not appear unified.
As far as the right shape of rug, keep in mind the shape of the room. For example, a square rug really only works well in a square room or under a square dining table. Round rugs work best in foyers or underneath a round casual dining table. When determining the best size for a dining room rug, ideally it should extend approximately 2 feet or more from the perimeter of the table to allow for the chair legs to sit on the rug. If space permits, I prefer to allow approximately 12″ between the edge of the rug and the walls of the room for larger sized rugs.
Don’t forget about the foyer! The rug you select for this entry sets the stage for the rest of your home. Save the doormat for outside. Measure the size of the space, and select a rug that is in proportion. Ideally, the width of the rug should be at least as wide as the entry door and preferably extend a few inches beyond that. I like to allow some space on either side of the rug to allow the hardwood or tile floors to show. Where possible, the rug should be centered underneath the chandelier in the foyer.
If you have a favorite rug that is really too small for a room on its own, consider layering it on top of a sisal or seagrass rug. This is a popular interior designer trick. Animal hide (faux of course!) work very well using this technique. I also will place area rugs in a room that has wall to wall carpeting especially if it is a very large room where we need to anchor the space or define separate seating areas.
I hope you find this information helpful! Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to break the rules (a little).
Love Where You Live!