Be A Rebel And Break Those Area Rug “Rules!”

Karin Carr, Owner
Published on November 16, 2022

Bob Vila claims that there are “9 rules of area rugs that everyone should know.” House renovator Jenell Beals at claims that there are 11 rug rules. We say “rules mules,” and remind you that some rules were made to be broken.

Some of them just don’t fit when we’re attempting to put a personal stamp on decorating or updating the appearance of our homes. And, area rugs can add that personal stamp, even if you have to break the “rules” in choice, size, and placement of them.

Let’s break some area rug rules

Rule #1: Scale Matters

Undoubtedly; this is true in the vast majority of situations. The dimensional accuracy of a room can frequently be inferred from the rug’s placement.

However, this does not imply that the only option available to you is a carpet that is large enough to cover the entire space. You might also look for more compact rugs that serve the purpose of delineating distinct areas for a variety of activities within a room or open-concept space.

Rule #2: Furniture Legs Must Be on the Rug

It’s true that this style looks the most attractive in a cozy space that’s covered with carpet. However, this is not an inflexible prerequisite at all.

Think about only the front feet, or just the front feet of the couch, while the back legs and legs of the armchairs are resting on the area rug. Consider this more of a guide that will assist you in selecting the appropriate size rug for the space it will be placed in.

Be A Rebel And Break Those Area Rug “Rules!”

Rule #3: Place the rug all the way around the bed.

It is a common recommendation among interior designers to have carpets in the bedroom stretch 12–18 inches all around the bed. This rule helps to achieve balance in the room and can be extremely beneficial in making sure that the bed, as well as the rug, are of equal significance in the space they occupy.

Putting a rug at the bottom of the bed is an exception to this rule, which can be made by some people. This eliminates the need to search for a rug that precisely matches the dimensions of the room, which might make it easier to complete the space.

Rule #4: Runners Are for Hallways

Yes, runners are perfect for hallways, but they can add depth to bedrooms when placed at the foot of the bed and in long, rectangular living spaces. In general, you will want to use larger runner rugs to get the right effect, but you can use runners in any room.

There are a few more rug rules you might want to break. Those include the use of patterns that contrast slightly with your furniture and window treatments, layering area rugs, and adding rugs to rooms with wall-to-wall carpeting.

But there is one area rug rule you should never break: take measurements of your room before shopping for your area rugs. And don’t forget to take color swatches with you when you head out to the stores.

Rule #5: Mix and match rugs

When decorating a space, it is often a good idea to use more than one rug. This is often useful in situations in which the room is quite vast and a single rug would simply not be able to fill the space. Rather than searching for a rug that adheres to the other requirements, you could consider purchasing many rugs that either are the same or match. This will help you get the style you desire while also maintaining the appropriate proportions for the room.

Rugs have the ability to give any area a lot more personality and character. Essy recommends “Don’t overuse rugs. If you do a good job of decorating, the rugs and the hardwood floors will complement each other, which will make the appearance of your complete home more attractive.

Get additional tips from area rug rulebreakers online at,, and

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