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Design Guidelines for the Right Size Carpet

Hi, it’s Valeta,

Lots of questions arise when you are searching for just the right size carpet for your home. Mary Jean and I like to think of an area rug as the “fifth wall” and a focal point that can add personality and spice to your space.  A carpet can completely transform the look of furniture you already have as well as  provide the inspiration for an original design concept.  Below are size suggestions that we have found work well for our customers.

Living Room

In a small living room or to define a specific seating area, having the rug centered in front of the sofa works nicely.  Usually a cocktail table and perhaps chairs will sit on the rug.  For this look,  4′ x 6′ to 5′ x 8′ size rugs are desirable.

small rug

In larger rooms, the guideline that works well in most situations is front legs on the rug and back legs off. The rug connects the various pieces of furniture together while providing a balanced anchor to the room. Be careful in choosing a carpet that’s too small that chops up the space and makes it look cluttered. A larger carpet adds the sense of expansiveness and helps to connect the pieces of furniture in your room.  The rug sizes that work best for this look are 8′ x 10′ to 9′ x 12′.

large room rug 2

large room rug

In mansion size living rooms, it is best to go with a larger carpet that allows all of your furniture sit on the carpet.  You will need a 10′ x 14′ to 12′ x 18′ rug to accommodate this look.

mansion size rug


So finding the right size carpet for your living room depends on the size and layout of the room, the amount and size of your furniture, and how much flooring you want to show.  A helpful hint, lay down a sheet or use masking tape to experiment with the different dimensions of the carpet you are considering.

Dining Room

Oval Dining TableThe dining room rug is by far the easiest to measure.  A simple rule of thumb — the chairs of the table should sit comfortably on the rug when pulled out.  Allowing 24″ all around the table should be adequate. It’s easy enough to measure.  Just pull your chairs back from the table to allow you to stand and move away from the table.  Then measure this distance on both sides and ends of your table.  Standard sizes are 8′ x 10′ and 9′ x 12′.


Bedroom Oriental 2When placing a carpet in your bedroom, it should extend 36″ or so all around the bed. Everyone likes the feel of stepping onto a comfortable rug when getting out of bed. So placement is import for this to happen. Here are three images of different rugs and placements, all different but very functional and attractive showing as much carpet as possible.  Runners on either side or along the foot of the bed are also a nice alternative.

bedroom 3

Bedroom Rug for Blog

These are a few guidelines to help you determine which approach is most appealing to you and which will be effective in achieving the look you desire.  Remember that we are here to help and would be pleased to measure your space for you and make size recommendations.



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Bath County Sun Room


Hello, it’s Mary Jean,

Valeta and I have been so busy with multiple design jobs that we haven’t been very good about keeping in touch with you.  However, today I’m going to show you how one of these jobs has gone and how it might inspire you.

The Project

The clients have just enclosed a deck in their family vacation home and needed complete furnishings quickly.  The room is about 13 feet wide by 30 feet long, presenting interesting challenges.  It has vaulted ceiling components, huge windows (one with French doors) on three sides, and large openings to a family room and a dining room on the long interior wall.                        porterfield-door-and-window

HunterDouglas to the Rescue

The family didn’t want to lose their great outdoor views with elaborate window treatments but needed light and privacy control.  HunterDouglas’s Silhouette shades  proved the ideal solution.  When rolled up, they disappear into the matching woodwork.  Rolled down with the vanes open, they soften any glare, and with the vanes closed, they provide appropriate seclusion.

Division = Multiplication

The house is often used by three generations together, so this “bowling alley” space had to have maximum seating and flexibility.  Dividing the room into two sections actually made it seem twice as spacious. The         dsc01496

end adjacent to the family room became a gracious seating area with a large Wesley Hall sofa  against the end window wall and a narrower facing sofa effectively separating the room without blocking the pathway or view.  A low-backed swivel arm chair completes the area in perfect scale.  At the room’s other end is a round Canal Dover table and chairs for game playing or overflow dining.  Each of the two divisions is delineated by a Stanton wool sisal rug from the Tierra Collection.


Finding Inspiration

Every room needs a unifying concept, whether color-scheme, collection, or artwork.  In this case, the wooded view right in front of us became the inspirational theme.  A great leafy fabric on the swivel chair and sofa pillow provides the start of a multi-green and neutral color palette, which continues with a ribbed tonal green fabric on the dining chairs and a green binding on the sisal rugs.  Warm wood finishes and a few textural accessories complete the look.  Just “remember your favorite things” when you are looking for a fresh design idea!  See you soon!



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Welcome, Home!

Hello! Welcome to our Halifax Fine Furnishings blog. I’m MaryJean (interior designer). Valeta (owner) and I thought you might enjoy some occasional sharing of the ideas and sights that inspire us in serving you.

First, a little about me: Working after college in arts management, I came to recognize that my passion for great design was more than a personal interest. I was fortunate to be hired by one of Norfolk, Virginia’s premier interior designers, Mildred Sheffield. Then a family move to Roanoke allowed me to take advantage of academic training in Virginia Tech’s superb interior design program. For the past 17 years, I have put all this experience to use at Halifax.

Now, we hope to make it even easier for you to access our services with our enhanced website and commentary. Ultimately, our wish for you is a more delightful home!