Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What Size Rug Should I Buy for My Master Bedroom?

Currently I am elbow deep in the design plans of two Master Bedrooms- and how I love to design Master Bedrooms! 

I love the task of creating a beautiful and welcoming sanctuary for the homeowners to lose themselves in at the end of the day. In terms of space planning, the Master Bedroom is usually fairly straight forward which leaves a lot of opportunity for me to exercise my creative juices with colors, textures and unique design elements.

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In fact, when designing a Master Bedroom there are just a few key pieces needed regardless of size, style or layout of the room: 

  • A Bed 
  • A Nightstand or Two 
  • A Dresser or Two 
  • A Rug
  • Occasionally a side chair or bench
Since there are so few key pieces used in designing a typical Master Bedroom, each piece is quite important and should be selected thoughtfully. Which brings me to a key piece that many homeowners seem to flub when left to their own devices: The Rug. 

Their biggest mistake? Getting the wrong size rug!

So how do you know what size rug will fit best in your Master Bedroom? First let's discuss the purposes the rug will serve for the homeowners in the Master Bedroom.

1. A rug will unify the pieces of furniture
2. A rug will enhance and tie the design scheme together
3. A rug will help the acoustics of the room by introducing a soft layer
4. A rug will be another form of insulation in the room, offering warmth over tile or wood flooring
5. A rug provides warmth and comfort underfoot when first getting out of bed barefooted

So let's get to the technicality of it all!
First, find your room measurements. For this example, we're going to use an average-sized Master Bedroom that is 14'x14'. In the room we're going to put a king sized bed, two nightstands and a dresser. 

Here is the bedroom shown with three different sized rugs: 5x8, 8x10 or 9x12 rug. Now let's discuss....

This is what I call a 'postage stamp' rug. It is just plopped right on the floor in front of the bed and instead of uniting elements, it becomes an element on its own. A rug that is so disproportionately small will actually make the room feel smaller and disjointed. 

In my experience, many clients who are doing it on their own tend to pick the 5x8 rug. It's less expensive and often a client thinks it's big enough to serve their sized room. I'd put that on Craigslist and put the money towards a bigger rug!

Now here is the same room with an 8x10 rug. Much better! The proportions of the rug with regards to the bed is good. The rug grounds and frames the bed making it seem more important in the space. You will probably have a little more then 18" of rug to put your tootsies on on either side of the bed and plenty of rug left at the foot of the bed, if laid 2/3 of the way under the bed as it should be. I prefer a little more rug on either side of the bed but this is manageable! If this was a queen bed in the space, there would be almost 2 feet of rug on either side of the bed which would make this size ideal!

Finally, here is the room with the king bed with a 9x12 rug. We've got a winner! In this room, the rug not only grounds the bed in the space but it also aligns with the nightstands so it makes them feel more cohesive in the space as well. While I placed the rug 2/3 of the way under the bed, you can slide it a little forward or back so that it lays nicely in front of a dresser. In this room, there is just 1 foot of wood floor exposed on two sides of the rug. The longstanding "rule" has been that an area rug should be 18" away from the wall. I think this rule can be played with- as all rules can be! 

Given these measurements, I would strive for a 9x12 rug with a king bed and an 8x10 rug with a queen bed. However, if the room were a little larger and a dresser was going to be placed along side the left wall, I might actually recommend the 8x10 with the king so it doesn't sit awkwardly under part of the dresser! See? No hard fast rules! Just some good old-fashioned, solid space planning! If you're struggling with space planning, hire a professional to avoid making costly mistakes! It's our job to weigh all the options, proportions, costs and considerations to make the best recommendation for your space!


  1. i really like the 8x10 look in the bedroom. I was always told that you should have at least 3 feet of carpet on either side of the bed. It looks better and feels good when you get out of bed in the morning. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I've never bought a rug for my bedroom; there's either been carpeting or I've simply put a mat beside the bed. This will be valuable information when I redo my room!

  3. We don't have a lot of room at the end of our bed, could it be wider than it is long? Right now I have a small rug on my side of the bed.

  4. The graphics really show why you should opt for the bigger rug. Great post!

  5. great graphics, sound advice and a great post. very helpful information. dana

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  7. I have the same bed, nightstand, dresser set up as well as a bench at the end of the bed. our room has wall to wall carpet but I want to add an area rug to help pull things (colors and furniture) together. should I follow the same rules as you stated - the 8x10 or the 9x12?? thanks

    1. Absolutely- follow these guidelines but choose what is best for the size of your room. If your other furniture is close to the bed- the 9x12 might be too big. Use some blue painters tape and tape it out to be sure. Good luck!

  8. My room is 17x12.9 with a cal king bed and frame ( 9-
    X6.9) Would you still use 9x12 or opt for an unusual size? Since my bed sits more towards the far wall of the room would you recommend laying the rug equal on all sides and move the bed more centrally located or pull the rug so that more shows on the one side?


  9. My room is 11x11. I have a queen bed and only have about 20 inches available on each side of bed. Right now I have a 5x7 rug underneath. I would like an 8x10 but not enough room. Is 5x7 sufficient or should I get a different size? There is 12 inches of rug to step on each side of the bed.

  10. i really like the 9x12 with a king bed. Also, dresser was going to be placed along side the left wall. It looks better. Best king size bed frames

  11. I prefer a queen bed two night stand and a dresser. Rug is queen bed frame

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  15. The over size rugs are very rare because these are manufactured of special demand of room, hall size
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  16. I have a small 10x10 guest room. I purchased a full size "cart" bed not headboard or footboard. I am placing the bed horizantally..Could I use a 5x7 rug?

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  20. Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic blog post. Much thanks again.

  21. Very helpful info!!! Thanks a lot for sharing this with us!

  22. Hi Joanne,
    Your tips on what size rug to buy for a master bedroom is very informative. I will keep them in mind if I decide to buy one, or share them with my friends. By the way, I read your story about the weekend getaway you and your husband spent at Inn at Stony Creek, where you raved about the stuffed french toast you had for breakfast. Perhaps you may want to check out KingCal Kitchen meal prep in Carmel, Indiana. We offer healthy foods that are made from the best ingredients sourced directly from farms and don’t contain artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. Cheers!


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