Your dining room is one of the easiest spaces in your home to dress to the nines. It might not always be the most high-traffic area but it’s a special room, most often used for occasions like fancier meals with special guests or holidays for visiting family.
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You likely already have your dining room centerpiece - the dining table - and your functional accent chairs to complement. But one thing you might be missing that takes the dining room aesthetic to the next level? The dining room rug.
The dining room rug is another great design element to bring into your dining room, but getting the sizing right is incredibly important. Too small and the rug causes the dining table to lose functionality. Too big and it swallows the entire room. There’s a perfect ratio of rug size to table size to room size, and we’re going to cover it all so you can be sure you pick the perfect rug.
Meet the experts
To put together this guide we consulted with a range of interior design and furniture experts. Throughout this article, you'll hear from:
Wilfredo Emanuel from WE Designs and HGTV's Table Wars.
Does Your Rug Have to be Larger than Your Dining Table?
In short, yes. A dining room rug should always be larger than your complete dining set, because, at the end of the day, a rug that’s too small can actually affect your guests’ dining experiences.
“Make sure it’s large enough that when guests pull out their chairs, the chairs remain on the rug,” says Ben Hyman. That should also account for any table extensions or leaves - make sure you measure around the maximum perimeter of your table. You should always aim to have both the back and front legs on the rug when a chair is in use so it remains level and doesn’t wobble.
Wilfredo Emanuel suggests that your rug should be 18” - 24” larger on all sides than your table. Grace Hoffend, Design Advisor Maiden Home, agrees and notes that a good rule of thumb is about 36” wider than the footprint of your entire set.” This will allow for the best circulation around the dining table and within the room.
It’s also important to remember to measure not just from the dining table out, but from the walls in. There should be 18” - 24” of space between the outermost edge of the rug to the wall on any side.
What Shape Rugs Work Best in Dining Rooms?
Choosing the rug shape for your dining room rug is fairly simple: match the shape of your dining room table. “The rug should complement your dining room furniture, “ Hyman suggests. “If you have a round table, choose a round rug. Likewise, a rectangular rug for a rectangular table. It’s not necessary, but it will create an aesthetically pleasing effect.”
If you are interested in getting a bit more creative and non-traditional, you can mix and match your shapes. But getting the spacing right in this instance is key. “You can use a rectangular rug with a square dining table as long as the square table sits centered within the rectangular rug,” says Emanuel. “It can work great, and create a creative parallel.”
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Size Guide: The Right Rug Sizes for Different Size Dining Tables
Rug Size for Dining Table With 2 Chairs
You may have limited space for your dining room table, and you may not even have a dining room at all. But you can still put a smaller rug under a small dining or bistro table that shares a space with the kitchen or just occupies a cozier room of your home. A 2-seater dining table works well to create a dining area in these spaces, and you can include a dining rug that’s around 4’x6’.
Rug Size for Dining Table With 4 Chairs
A dining table that seats four is still on the smaller side, but tends to be around 3’x3’, or 3’ in diameter for a round table. At this size, Emanuel suggests choosing an 8’x10’ rectangular rug, or an 8’x8’ square rug. If you do opt for a rectangular rug with a square table, you can fill some of the additional space with a credenza or buffet console.
Rug Size for Dining Table With 6 Chairs
The smallest size of a six-seater dining room table is 5’x3’. At that minimum size, Emanuel recommends a 6'x9' or 8'x10' rectangle rug. Both of these dimensions will allow enough room on all sizes so the dining chairs can be moved back but still sit fully on the rug.
Rug Size for Dining Table With 8 Chairs
A dining table that seats eight people is the most commonly used in homes. These larger tables measure around 3’x6’ or 4’x6.’ At these rectangular sizes, Emanuel recommends choosing a 9’ x 12’ rectangle rug.
Rug Size for Dining Table With 10 Chairs
If you have the space for a more elaborate dining room, you might be able to fit a 10-seater dining table, which measures 4’-6”x10’. A 10’x14’ rectangular rug is the best fit for this size table. This statement dining table and rug combination is perfect for oversized dining rooms that are great for hosting dinner parties and elaborate luncheons.
Rug Sizes for Round Dining Tables
If you prefer a round dining table, not to worry! The same basic rules for measuring rug to table to room space still apply. Like rectangular dining tables, for example, you’ll still want to ensure that there is 18” - 24” of space between the chairs (tucked under the table) and the edges of the rug.
The most common sizes for round dining tables are 4-seater and 6-seater. If you opt for a 4-seater, you’ll want to pair it with a 6’ rug. Similarly, if you go with the 6-seater, you’ll want to choose an 8’ round rug.
Don’t forget, if you like your round table but aren’t sold on complementing it with a round rug, you can go for a rectangular area rug as long as the table is centered on it.
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Tips for Finding the Perfect Dining Room Rug
Now that you’ve got the sizing for your dining room rug down, it’s time to think about the style. You want the rug to make an aesthetic statement and match your interior design style, but it also has to be functional enough to withstand a lot of wear and tear. As Hyman notes, your dining rug will need to withstand a lot of foot traffic. It’s also worth thinking about rug pads to ensure it stays in place during busy dinners.
Emanuel suggests finding a balance between the look of the rug and its ability to last a long time, “You always want something that is fashionable, yet functional. It is best to have a rug that has a beautiful pattern or texture, and have it be a low pile. This makes it easier to clean and manage care, while still looking chic and stylish.”
“You always want something that is fashionable, yet functional. It is best to have a rug that has a beautiful pattern or texture, and have it be a low pile. This makes it easier to clean and manage care, while still looking chic and stylish.”
When it comes to choosing rug patterns and textures, Hoffend advises that you choose a rug that is different from the rest of the space and decor. “Finding a rug with minimal texture or a smoother finish will help with the functionality of the space,” she notes. “Additionally, with such a heavy focal point of wood in your space, you don’t want to drag the style down by choosing a rug that is too close in color or tone. I would recommend finding something with enough contrast to keep the focus on your dining set.”
As with most rooms in your home, choosing a rug is a great way to add another layer of aesthetics and style. While the dining room is no different, it is essential to get the correct size first before considering overall design. Once you’ve got the perfect fit, the dining rug can tie together the entirety of your dining room and create a cozy, but elaborate experience for your dining guests.
Ash is the founder of Living Cozy. He's been featured by publishers like MyDomaine, Realtor, Real Homes, Architectural Digest, The Spruce, Homes and Gardens, and more. As a writer his work has appeared in publications like FastCompany, TNW, and Entrepreneur.
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