Decor Tips

Rug Shapes: Choosing the Perfect Rug for Your Space

Nikolett Papp
Nikolett Papp
May 25, 2023

Rug Shapes: How Do I Choose The Perfect Rug For My Space?

When choosing an area rug for your home, one of the most important considerations is determining the right shape for your space. The shape of your rug can make a huge impact on both the functionality and aesthetic appeal of the room. In this blog post, we'll provide an in-depth overview on selecting the ideal rug shape for different areas of your home.

Popular Rug Shapes

Rectangular Rugs

The rectangular rug is the most common and versatile shape. Rectangular rugs are available in sizes ranging from small accent rugs up to oversized rugs over 12 feet long. This elongated shape works well in most room layouts. Rectangular rugs are great for anchoring furniture groupings in living spaces, running the length of a dining table, or grounding the bed in a bedroom.

Photo by domino magazine

Square Rugs

Square rugs offer a tailored look, especially when centered in a space. The balanced shape brings symmetry and order. Square rugs work well in square-shaped spaces but can also put an artistic spin on rooms with awkward layouts. Layer a square rug under round coffee tables or dining sets for a play on shapes. Square rugs come in a wide scope of sizes too.

Photo by H&M Home

Round Rugs

The round rug's continuous curve and lack of angles lend free-flowing style. Round rugs feel casual, relaxed, and fun. Large round rugs can define sitting areas in an open concept room. Smaller rounds do well under round dining tables or as bright accents in foyers. The circular center also makes a round rug ideal for highlighting special pieces like a piano.

Oval & Runner Rugs

Oval rugs soften living spaces with their elliptical form. Their elongated shape can be aligned with doorways and hallways or positioned under dining sets and seating groups. Runners are long narrow rugs designed to line hallways and galley kitchens.

Photo by Etsy UK

Accent and Irregular Rugs

Beyond the basics, some companies offer rugs in a variety of fun and funky shapes. Paw print rugs, star-shaped rugs, heart rugs, butterfly rugs, and more can infuse whimsical flair. Just take care that these unusual shapes don't clash with the style of the rest of the room.

Photo by Urbanflooringrugs

Matching Rug Shapes to Rooms

Living Rooms

A large rectangular rug is usually best for anchoring a traditional living room layout. Make sure there is at least 18-24 inches of floor showing around the edges of the rug. This prevents the rug from looking too crammed. For open concept living spaces, an oversized round or oval rug can define a sitting area.

Photo by Sabrina Miller

Dining Rooms

In dining rooms, the rug shape should match the shape of the table. A round rug complements a round table, while a rectangular rug fits better with a rectangular dining set. Make sure there is at least 2 feet of floor space around the edges so chairs don't slide off when pulled out.

Photo by Carol de Mauro


For master bedrooms, a large rectangular rug can span the sleeping and sitting areas next to the bed. In guest rooms or kids' rooms, square and round rugs add fun. Just make sure nightstands and dressers sit atop the rug.

Photo by Canadian Log Homes


In long skinny entryways, a rectangular runner draws you into the home. Round and oval rugs can soften small foyers but leave some floor space to prevent tripping when entering.

Photo by Sophia Lee


For kitchens, rectangular rugs align best with the workflow between counters and appliances. Make sure the rug doesn't extend under the entire stove or sink area where spills would happen.

Photo by Emily Henderson

Home Offices

In a home office, layer a small rectangle rug under the desk. Make sure the front chair legs sit atop it so the chair doesn't slide. An office rug should not span the entire room or it will make the workspace feel too casual.

Photo by The Brain and The Brawn


Bathroom rugs should be rectangular or square in shape. Circular rugs typically don't work as well around angular bathroom fixtures. Place bathroom rugs in front of sinks or tub surrounds only. Keep the toilet area rug-free for optimum hygiene.

Photo by Magnolia Lane

Rug Shapes

Beyond just size considerations for each room, also factor shape. Here is an overview of the unique perks of different rug shapes:

Rectangular – Most common shape, tailored 
Square – Balanced symmetry, stable 
Round – Casual free-flow style 
Oval – Softens linear layouts

Photo by MoroccanZone

Octagon – Artistic appeal 
Runners – Hallways and layers 
Specialty – Heart, star, irregular, prints for fun

When deciding between rectangular vs. round rugs or debating square vs oval rugs, think about both your existing furniture as well as the mood you want to set in the room. With some planning, you can choose a rug shape that pulls your room together beautifully.