How to Find the Right Sized Rug

We get it. You know what size shirt you need from your favorite shop. You know the size latte you want on your morning coffee run. But sizing a rug for a room isn’t something you do on the regular. And every room is a little bit different. 

  Looking for other rooms?
Check out our other Rug Sizing Guides below!

General tips

Sizing a rug for your space is easier when your core furniture is already arranged. Either way, we definitely recommend busting out the tape measure and getting clear on the exact amount of space you’re working with. Boundless starter kits come with a tape measure, so you’re all set!

Rugs should define a space — pulling your furniture pieces together to create an environment, rather than looking like a standalone item. A small rug in the middle of a room will often make the space look smaller and less cohesive. Ideally, you want 24 inches from the wall to your rug, but 18 inches is totally fine for smaller spaces.

Maybe it seems weird, but try using painter’s tape or your Sunday paper (after completing the crossword), to mark out the space you plan to fill with a rug. Live with it for a day or two, and see if it works with how you use the space.

One trick for a big room is to define the space with an inexpensive jute or sisal rug, and then lay the rug you love on top!

Living Room


If your living room furniture is mostly arranged along the walls, try to get the innermost legs of all furniture pieces on the rug. That will help pull the room together and create an environment.

If you are floating your furniture in the room (meaning it’s not all touching the walls), you’ll want to arrange all furniture on your lovely rug island, with at least 6 inches of extra space all around so nobody’s cramped.

Dining Room

Nobody likes to scooch their chair out from the table and feel that drop off the edge of the carpet. When choosing a rug for a dining area, use the old “the floor is lava!” game and leave enough room for chairs to pull in and out without touching the floor around the rug.

Typically, 24 inches around the table is a good rule of thumb.  If you’re like us and only use your dining room twice a year when you put the table leaf in for holiday dinners, keep that in mind for sizing.


Ah, the bedroom. Definitely the most challenging space for rug sizing!


Ideally, the bed and nightstands will all fit completely onto the rug. But if not, don’t freak out. It’s totally fine to start the rug a few inches down from the nightstands, leaving the lower two-thirds or so of the bed on the rug. 

Alternatively, if you just can’t bring yourself to hide all that gorgeous rug under a big old bed, go for two smaller rugs on either side. Problem solved!

Halls & Stairs

Hardwood hallways are great for sliding around in your socks, but not so great for moving around your home quietly and comfortably. 


Try a runner with 4 or 5 inches on either side to cushion and liven up hallways. This move will also score you some major #adulting points with visiting guests, in-laws, etc. An anti-slip rug pad can be helpful in high traffic areas. You can buy them here.

A fun runner is a nice alternative to boring carpet on a staircase (particularly if your stairs are made of something nice looking that you want to show off a little!). 

To find out how long your runner should be, measure your staircase by adding the depth of the stair to the height of the stair, then multiply by the number of stairs you want to cover. We recommend leaving about 2 inches on either side of the runner so it looks centered.