A rug is an amazing accessory meant to liven up your décor, add texture, create warmth, and pull together a look. The size of a rug can make or break a setting or an entire room, even when good color and design choices have been made. Here are some ideas that will help put this subtle but important factor into perspective.
First, what role will a rug be playing in the room? Are you using it to help define independent spaces in a larger room, transition or connect one area with another, or are you using it to bring together several pieces of furniture that might otherwise seem scattered? A great way to visualize the arrangement and layout is to outline the proposed rug or rugs on the floor using masking tape.
Generally accepted rules of thumb that apply to rug choices in various common room settings have been proposed and used for years by interior designers. Here are some examples: (1) a rug used with a sofa that has been placed against a wall should be large enough for the front legs of the sofa to fit on the rug; (2) a rug used with a floating layout where the furniture is placed in the center of the room should result in all legs of the furniture fitting over the rug; (3) in a dining area, a rug should extend two feet beyond the end of the table, in all four directions, thus allowing all chairs to be on the rug while in use; (4) a round rug is best suited to go under a round or oval table, and a rectangular rug under a rectangular or square-shaped dining table; (5) in a bedroom, with the bed against the wall, place a rug two thirds of the way from the bottom of the bed toward the top, and have the remainder portion of the rug coming out from beyond the bottom legs. You want to be able to step out of bed onto the rug.
Here is still another idea that goes beyond these rules of thumb. Try different sizes that you think might work just as well, based on the feel that you get looking at the taped layout. You know the feeling you want and the people and activities that will be using the area. By integrating these personal factors, you may achieve a more satisfactory solution tailored to your tastes.