Which Rug Shape for your Space? Tips to Choose the Best One

Although it is an often overlooked issue, the shape of your rug can make or break the overall look of your room, so, it’s indeed a big deal. Choose the wrong rug shape for the space you want to put them in and you will instantly get a bizarre feeling that something is not right. Like something is out of place. Plus, chances are you’ll be called to deal with impractical instances. Decidedly, you will find an impressive plethora of tips and advice about rugs, but very little when it comes to which size fits your space best. Can a circular rug work in your kitchen? Which is the ideal rug shape for your bathroom? How do you pick a shape for a foyer? Sectional? Living room? Given that the shape of the rug affects the aesthetics of a room, it’s important to pick the right one.

Pop art style rugs and round rugs are perfect for reading nooks and lounge rooms

You will come across a wide array of rules and just as many rule-breakers and exceptions. So, it’s probably best to give advice per case for something that is so case-by-case anyway. Here are some examples of rug shapes that could work (and best be avoided) per room and situation.

General Considerations:

Circular rugs are ideal for smaller spaces and spaces you want to add a more playful, cozy, and whimsical note. They are great options if you wish to make a small space feel larger and fit nicely in circular rooms. Pair a circular rug with similarly-shaped furniture or light fixtures.

Square rugs are best used in square rooms and can be easily paired with similarly-shaped tables or another square rug.

Finally, a rectangular rug is the most traditional rug shape that blends beautifully with spaces with large open floors, such as living rooms, offices, and seating areas. They can also play the role of a kitchen rug or hallway runner or whenever you want something thin and long for your space.

Of course, you can also layer rugs, which is a huge trend right now and combine different rug shapes to bring a modern or cozier feel to a room.

Important Pre-Shopping Tip: Before you start searching for the perfect rug shape, always figure out the exact size you will need. For that reason, measure for the rug AFTER you arrange your seating area and then size up from there (here‘s how to choose the right rug size for your home).

Which Rug Shape Best Fits:

1. Areas with Bay Windows

Circular rugs make great additions in a home at areas with bay windows.

Many homes have beautiful breakfast nooks arranged in front of gorgeous bay windows. Although very eye-pleasing, you need to manage to design the rest of the space around them to have a nice overall effect. If this is your case, the geometric shape of the bay windows (circular in nature, despite its geometric angles) creates just enough space for a small round table and, of course, a circular rug.

There is no doubt that the circular feeling of a dining room where you have placed a circular rug is unbeatable. The combination of that feel and the windows that allow an easy view to the outside space take dining to the next level. If you can also add a window seat and create an inviting spot to drink your morning cup of coffee or study the Bible when the sun rests, then you’ll know you have hit the jackpot.

The only consideration when choosing a circular rug for a dining room is size. A circular rug that’s too small can break the overall effect. So, make sure you measure the diameter of the round (or even trapezoidal) table and add another 30 inches (at least) to determine the perfect rug size for that space. Ideally, the chairs should not fall off the rug when you back them up to stand up.

Note: Bay window area or not, little corner nooks in the house are fun, adorable, and add some practical design to your home. Circular rugs in such little corners are perfect, and they can even be used to play off the table and chair legs.

2. Large Living Room or Sectional Sofa Seating Area

A large rectangular rug usually flatters these areas. The only thing you should pay attention to is to have at least the front legs of every piece of furniture sitting on the rug because if it’s too small, the room will probably feel disjointed and somewhat weird. You’ll get the same cold and awkward feeling if you place more than one small rectangular rugs in a space that screams “I need volume”.

You’ll know that you’ve got everything right when the furniture you have in a room, say chairs, side tables, coffee table, and sofa feel like one space and not separate. The point is not to place the rug all the way down the sofa, rather than pick a large one rug to make everything seem like the pieces of the same puzzle.

And, if you find rectangular rugs a traditional option that doesn’t suit you much, you can shake things up with a circular rug, placed to become the focal point of the room and arrange all the furniture on top of it (great for nice open spaces and large seating areas).

For smaller spaces, you can consider placing a small circular rug in the corner of a sectional and then play with color and accent pieces. The round shape of the rug will transform the small space into a cute seating area.

3. An Open Entry or Foyer

Both circular and square or even rectangula rugs are perfect for a foyer.

This is the case when you can let your creativity and imagination run loose. With options almost endless, you can create a dreamy space that leads guests into the house with circular or rectangular rugs (kilims are excellent options here), whose size depends on the size of the entry or foyer. Rectangular rugs will deliver a timeless classic look and make the place look longer and larger or more bright and open while round ones add interest to the floor, as well as warmth and coziness. You may go for colorful rugs, matched with accents or a light fixture in the same space (say, throw a rug with a tribal design below a light fixture with geometric patterns) or maybe a circular table.

For long entries or open foyer spaces, placing the rug horizontally will help make the room feel more welcoming. Depending on the effect you want to achieve, you can pick a large round rug if the space is more open while a thin rectangular one will be perfect for narrow foyers.

4. Space with Two Seating Areas

Many homes come with large living rooms that the homeowners want to separate into two seating areas. Makes sense, since two seating areas can break up the space to feel used, yet hold on to that open feel. In this case, you can either mix shapes and play with a more whimsical look or follow the safest road and choose two of the same shape to create a cohesive space and seating areas the feel unified. For example, in a minimalistic room, adding two neutral rugs with a simple design will look great.

You may also use the same rug two times, unless you feel eclectic and want to experiment with different rug sizes and, of course, layering rugs and make the two seating areas in the same open space feel like separate entities.

5. Dining Room

Choosing rugs for the dining room is a challenge by itself. The shape and size of the ideal rug for the dining room should pair with the table you have. That aside, very low pile or even flatweave rugs are perfect for dining rooms as they allow for an easy use of the chairs. With higher piles, you will have trouble pulling the chairs out of the table and feel stuck. The chairs should slide smoothly and not go off the edge of the rug when pulled out so that you feel you have plenty of space to relax and sit back.

Now, if you want to pair two rugs in your dining room, they should be of the same size. What you can mix, though, is the shape of the rug with the shape of your furniture (i.e. the table).

6. Bathroom

Usually, we pick typical small, rectangular bath mats to place in the bathroom and add a more playful note with the use of color and quirky touches. However, with large bathrooms things change and you can add a larger rectangular or square rug, even an oriental one, in, say, soft blues. You may even take it further and make the room really unique, fun, and soft with a circular bohemian rug.

7. Nursery or Kids’ Room

Circular as well as rectangular rugs are perfect for a kids' room or a nursery.

Due to their playful nature, round rugs are ideal for nurseries and kids’ rooms. No wonder they are the most preferred for these rooms. Their fun vibe and awesome designs full of colors and beautiful patterns make the perfect options for a room that is filled with joy. Even a simple circular rug can do a great job enhancing a child’s room. However, that’s not to say that you can’t opt for rectangular or even square rugs, which can also add a whimsical note. For example, a green and pink or white and orange polka dot rug is equally playful as its round counterpart (although you can still see circles in the pattern!).

Final Notes:

One of the issues most homeowners have when choosing a rug is with extending tables that can extend to almost double the original size if the table if necessary. Instead of settling with a rug that will be okay most of the time, choose one that is seriously oversized. As mentioned above, you should not feel trapped when you need to pull out the chair, and you should not feel like the chairs are falling out of place. For that reason, it’s best to go for something bigger.

Do you still have trouble choosing the right rug size for your home? Kindly leave a comment below.

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