Interior design is about scale and balance. In my mind's eye, I assign some (for the lack of a better word) gravitational value to the pieces within a space. That includes area rugs as well. If your rug is too small or too large it will just seem...well...off. Too large and it will swallow your pieces within its merciless, black hole of humongous ruggery. Too small, and your furniture will be flung violently into the Earth's atmosphere. OK. Not really. But it's a fun visual. (Yes, my mind really does work like this.)
If you have a traditional seating area in your living room make sure that you get an area rug that is large enough to fit under at least the front legs of all of your furniture. If your room is large go ahead and splurge on a rug large enough to fit under all the legs.
This gorgeous space is humongoid and definitely supports that gargantuan area rug.
In this smaller space, the designer chose the "front feet touching rule." Personally, I think the rug could be a smidge larger but it's purdy.
If you are gravitating toward an area rug under your bed, again, you don't have to put the entire bed over the rug. I like to put the lower two-thirds of the bed over an area rug (like in the pic above) but I have seen it done well with just half of the bed over the fuzzy stuff — with a smaller rug and smaller room.
I am also digging this "side runner" look in the below pic. It's a good alternative if you don't want to commit to a larger piece or if you want to show off more of your floor.
The Dining Room
In the dining room, you don't have to play the "leg game." Here you just want to make sure that you have a rug large enough to enable your guests to scoot out their chairs without them tripping on the rug. At least 24 inches.
These are guidelines, of course. They can be broken (and often are) but it depends upon the totality of the space. The size of the room, the shape of the room, your furnishings, style and the overall look and feel you are trying to achieve. Every space is different and unless you have that critical eye, it could be a challenge. Then you might want to consider calling in some interior design pros. I might know someone...Thank you for reading! If you could click that little "LIKE" button below, that would be swell. See you next time!