Animal hide rug

Bigger Rugs Are Better, But Not Always: Tips for Selecting the Right Sized Rug for Your Space

In the fall, I tend to put down more rugs in our farmhouse. You can see me pulling rugs up and storing them away in the early summer while sweeping off and mopping tiles and keeping things bare, cool, and calm. But when the rains and snows start outside our windows and the fireplace beckons, you can be sure I’ll be adding back the rugs I was so quick to sweep away months earlier.

Rugs add that extra coziness where in the summer a more bare floor will do. 


Best Rugs for a Farmhouse?

But what rugs look best in a farmhouse? When I was first decorating the first farmhouse we moved into years ago, I had a “thing” for those quintessential oval braided rugs. Having grown up in a farmhouse with braided rugs in almost every room, they felt perfect. And while braided rugs are still one of my favorites, I’ve branched out. Farmhouses can look great with more modern rugs too, and don’t forget some of the animal hides and pelts that add natural warmth to a room. But the question I get a lot is: “What size should I get?”

Too Big is Better Than Too Small!

In your main rooms including bedrooms, the dining room, and living room err on the side of too big.

In your living room, the rug needs to be big enough to fit somewhat under the sofa and should spill out at least a couple of feet past the coffee table. I always opt for a huge rug in the living room, mainly because my floors are wood, and we want to make sure there’s a soft landing for everyone who ends up sitting on the floor. An 8×10 foot rug will usually do the trick, but don’t be afraid to go bigger!

However, don’t go smaller! You’re better off with no rug than with a dinky rug. And don’t go buying a bunch of small rugs rather than one nice big one. Small rugs add more clutter. Myquillin Smith, in her book “Cozy Minimalist Home” (a book I LOVE and use religiously in my decorating efforts), reminds us that the things in our space need to feel friendly toward each other. A small rug placed under the coffee table in the living room has very little purpose outside of offering a soft place for the coffee table to set its legs. Yes, it might be friends with the coffee table but does that amiability translate to the couch, the fireplace, and what about your kids resting their tired heads on the bare floor?

It simply doesn’t work! 

Your bedroom is another spot that needs an extra big rug. It would be best if you had something that fits under the bed and stretches out across across all sides so you can walk around your bed without having to touch the cold floor. Sure two side rugs would do, but again these tend to make things look cluttered, and they rarely stay in place. The big rug is the better rug. Trust me.

And finally, the dining room. While I used to plop a giant rug under our equally oversized farm table, I’ve since removed all carpets from the dining room, finding that the carpet did little service there. Plus, it’s easier to clean the crumbs up with a broom than deal with the vacuum cleaner. But if you want a rug under the table to balance things out, make sure it is big enough to not only fit under the table itself but all of the chairs as well — even better if you can scoot your chair out and not touch the bare floor. Otherwise, opt for nothing.

But Sometimes Small Works

Ha! Threw a curveball at ya! So, big is better when it comes to rugs. But there are a few areas where you can go smaller with rugs.

After moving from our farmhouse in Ohio to a small rancher in southern California, we ended up in a house with carpeted bathrooms. The whole place was carpeted, and it seemed the previous owners had simply forgotten perhaps to let the flooring people know that they needed to STOP at the bathrooms. The carpeting in the bathroom turns into a mold in the bathroom. Keep rugs small in this area. In fact, you can go with no rug at all — a bamboo tile mat works even better!

And while people like to add rugs to their kitchens, I generally don’t. With all the traffic and food falling on the floor, a kitchen rug becomes a mess within just a few hours. I have been using a small mat in front of the sink as of late just because it’s nice to stand on something soft when you’re doing dishes. I take it out every night and shake it. Anything bigger would be a pain to deal clean.

Another area where small is okay? The foyer usually needs a rug, but again it’s a good place to keep your rug small – no larger than 3×5.

So there you have it my friends. Size does matter when it comes to rugs!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top