When it Comes to Rugs, Size Really Does Matter!

IT HAS OFTEN BEEN SAID that scale is the most important element of design. This statement doesn’t fall short when it comes to selecting the perfect area rug for your room. A correctly scaled area rug will expand your eye with a layer of softness while receiving the proportions of upholstery and furnishings that lay on it.

Often, when initially meeting my clients, I find that they have purchased a rug with a special pattern or texture that they love, but once they’ve placed it in the room, floating in an island with the main seating group in a sea of wood, something feels off and they can’t seem to put their finger on what is wrong. Sound familiar? In this case, by under scaling the rug you are actually visually shrinking the room, forcing your eye to draw only to the central grouping where you have compiled all the pattern, texture and color. A correctly scaled rug will bring your eye first to see the overall size of the room and then to experience the beautiful things that sit on top of it.


Determining the perfect rug for your space can be tricky both for the space plan and for your wallet. In more current architecture, where the great room occurs often and multiple seating and conversational groupings are in place, I suggest always opting for a room sized rug – underlaying all seating areas together with one large area rug. Begin by determining your room’s focal point. Center the rug off of this feature and then size the rug from there. The complete opposite applies if the room is oddly shaped or long and skinny: then you may want to over scale your rug on the diagonal. Furniture should not sit half on and half off your rug and always be mindful of vent returns on the floor. Even in spaces with odd angle, the large scaled rug can be achieved with a custom shape to mimic the architectural angles of the room. Sounds beautiful, but let’s face it, in today’s oversized rooms, an oversized hand knotted rug will take up most of it, if not more, of your entire budget, and customization of fine rugs will take months. In consideration of budgets and time restraints, I often get the correctly scaled rug by selecting a broadloom material and surging its edge. Many quality broadloom manufacturers offer a range to high quality wool and synthetics with a large spectrum of patterns and textures to choose from.

Layering of many textures and patterns in your room give it dimension and interest and your rug is one of these main elements. Selecting the right scale of pattern in the rug is equally as important. An over scaled rug with a soft overall pattern and color, or a washed or antiqued look in a hand-knotted rug, achieves the scale without overwhelming your room and distracting from the architecture of your space. Have a patterned area rug, you have already purchased or an heirloom rug from your family to incorporate, but it’s too small? Try overlaying t on the diagonal by your main seating group and proceeding with a solid textured room-sized custom broadloom rug underneath. When the right rug is designed in consideration with scale, style and feeling, the base of a beautiful interior can be creating.




Blog written by Courtney Griffin | Senior Residential Designer