Be a rebel and break those area rug “rules!”

Anna & Alex Carbonell Realtors
Published on March 28, 2022

Be a rebel and break those area rug “rules!”

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 shmules,” 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

Absolutely; this is true in almost all cases. Rugs often convey the overall size of a room.

But that doesn’t mean you can only choose carpet that covers the entire room. You can still look at smaller rugs that help to discern between the different activity spaces within a room or open plan space.

Rule #2: Furniture Legs Must Be on the Rug

It’s true that this often looks the best in a smaller room with carpet. But, it’s not a hard-and-fast requirement.

Consider just the front feet, or, just the front feet of the couch while the armchair legs are all on the area rug. Think of this as more of a guideline that helps you to choose the right size rug for a room.

Rule #3: 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.

Get additional tips from area rug rulebreakers online at, and


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