a guide to custom

Rug sizing

Undoubtedly, rugs are a wonderful way to transform your space. While a pattern or color might inspire you from minute one, you may be wondering how to choose just the right size. Essentially, the ideal rug size will enhance your furniture and optimize the space. This might sound like a simple outcome to produce, but it can often be confounding. Our expert-crafted rug size guide provides easy tips on how to choose a rug size for multiple spaces in your home.

Living room with white rug

Just the right fit: sizing your Ernesta rug

When in doubt, bigger is (usually) better. A common mistake is choosing a rug that's too small for your space. The goal is to use dimensions and proportions that are pleasing to the eye. Rugs that are too small make a space appear crowded; choose one that's too large and the rug could overwhelm furniture instead of enhancing it. The right size rug will help your space feel larger and more cohesive.

To decide on the right size rug for your room, we suggest you start by visualizing your future rug in the area. Generally we recommend you try to contain all or most of your furniture on the rug surface. Focus on the combination of the rug and your furniture rather than just the full room measurements. A well-sized rug will act as a foundational element, tying together separate elements in your space. When entertaining shape, Ernesta rugs are currently available in regular square or rectangle shapes only. Take this into consideration when visualizing your space and preparing to measure.

Living room

Living room with blue rug with white stripes
What rug size do you need for your living room? No matter what size your room is, you can assess the rug size based on the furniture placement. Create an open and inviting living room with one of these appealing options.
Option 1

Rug Beneath All Furniture

Diagram of rug beneath all furniture
For this layout, all furniture legs sit on top of the rug surface. This is ideal to unify mid-sized/larger spaces and open concept plans, but would also work for smaller rooms. Configure your furniture in a way that suits your style and your room. Then measure around the perimeter of the pieces. Remember to leave about 6-18 inches between the rug and the wall or other boundaries in your space.
Option 2

Rug Beneath Front Legs of Furniture

Diagram of rug beneath front legs of furniture
This means the front legs of your chairs and sofa rest on top of the rug, while the back legs sit on the bare floor. Accent pieces do not have to be on the rug. This option is ideal for smaller spaces, or if there is furniture against the wall. Choose a rug size large enough to fit under the front legs of your large seating pieces. Leave enough space between the rug and walls and other boundaries. A rug in this configuration anchors your furniture and helps the room look balanced.

With either of these options, you'll want your rug to be 6-8 inches wider than your sofa on both sides.

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Cormac rug underneath bed
Rugs add a wonderful cozy element to the bedroom. Because the bed is the focal point, it will be your guide when determining the rug placement. Whether you're choosing the rug size for a queen bed or king bed, measure the area so that your rug will extend beyond the sides of your bed. You'll want 18-24 inches past both the foot and each side of the bed. This rug arrangement has several advantages: it's a lovely way to frame your bed, it avoids creating a tripping hazard and you'll have a soft landing underfoot when you wake up in the morning. We recommend two elegant layouts depending on your preference.
Option 1

Rug Beneath Entire Bed Area

Diagram of rug beneath bed and nightstands
In this option, the nightstands and entire bed rest on the rug. You'll want to make sure all nightstand legs are included on the rug to avoid nightstand wobbles.
Option 2

Rug Not Under Nightstands

Diagram of rug beneath 2/3 of the bed
For this layout, the bed and nightstands remain on floor space. The rug starts at the base of the nightstand and continues down toward the foot of the bed.

Remember to keep rugs at least 6 inches away from the wall in either scenario, and out of the way of common pathways to bathrooms or other areas in the home.

Dining room

White rug underneath dining room table and chairs
Rugs are a stylish feature that can breathe life into any dining room. As the focal point of the room, the dining table should be centered on the rug. All chairs should be included inside the rug space.
Diagram of rug underneath dining room table and chairs
When determining how far the rug should extend, it's essential to have enough room so that the chairs can slide in and out with ease. This ensures guests don't trip over the edge, plus helps protect floors that may be susceptible to damage. To ensure sufficient space for your chairs, measure 3-4 feet from the edge of your table, outward. We recommend pulling out your chairs while measuring as a helpful way to visualize the finished result.

Don't forget to account for an extendable table.

Hallways & corridors

Close up of Lissie rug in hallway
Hallway rugs create a comfortable pathway, and give the illusion of width. Allow for 6 inches minimum between the rug and the wall. Because halls and corridors can often be high-traffic areas, be extra mindful of potential tripping hazards.
Diagram of rug in a hallway
Keep furniture legs off of the rug in these spaces. This helps with safety and allows for the hallway or corridor to feel less cluttered.

Outdoor areas

Diagram of rug underneath outdoor furniture
Outdoor rugs add a touch of texture and cushion to the outside environment. And as with any space, your rug size will depend on what you have in the space.
If decorating a seating area, plan for the rug to be large enough to contain all pieces of furniture, or at least the front legs of the seating furniture. If the rug will be beneath an outdoor dining area, the rug should include all chair legs. As you would with a dining room, it's a good idea to have sufficient space so that chairs can be pulled in and out without catching. To do so, give yourself 2-3 feet from the table in your measurements.

If you're dressing up a large outdoor area with different sections/nooks, multiple rugs can help define the space.

What to consider when sizing for your custom rug

Corner of Cormac rug inside bedroom

Functional items in the room may impact size choice. We suggest you note a few key details that might make a difference:


Will each door have enough space to swing over the rug without catching? If not, consider a slightly smaller rug, or a rug with a shorter pile height.

Floor Grates

For safety, ensure your rug won't cover any grates in the floor. Leave at least 1 inch or so from grates as well as radiators.


Take into consideration common pathways in your home. Avoid allowing rug edges to become unintended tripping hazards.


To create a more breathable, uncluttered look, we recommend leaving space between the rug and the wall is key. Regardless of the room type, plan for at least 6 inches of space from rug edges and the walls.

Close up of rug edge over hardwood floor

How to take correct measurements for a custom-sized rug

Photograph of delivery experts measuring the size of an area rug

Before you select a rug size, measuring your space is an absolute must. The extra effort will be worth it, we promise. To begin measuring, gather together:

  • Steel measuring tape
    (plastic will work, but the steel kind will help with accuracy)
  • Blue painter's tape
  • Pencil & paper
  1. First, finalize your furniture placement.
  2. Measure and document the perimeter of your furniture as well as the room.
  3. Double check measurements. This is especially important when buying a custom-sized rug tailored just for you.
  4. Use the painter's tape to create a mock-up of the rug. By placing the tape where the rug will be, you'll be able to more accurately imagine the finished results from every angle.
  5. If you have any questions about your measurements or would like to seek additional guidance, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Care team at help@ernesta.com.

The right rug for you

It's exciting to choose a new rug for your home. The perk of custom-sized rugs is being able to determine just the right fit for you and your home. With these guidelines, you're on your way. Now, the fun part...