The Easy-To-Make Design Mistake David Bromstad Warns To Avoid At All Costs

There is tons of design advice available online, but sometimes it can be difficult to filter the substance from the fluff. One person whose advice we trust implicitly is David Bromstad, a former winner of "HGTV Design Star" and host of the popular HGTV show "My Lottery Dream Home." In the past, we have implicitly followed David's best tips for creating your own dream home. Apart from his proficiency with color combinations and love of colorful art and vibrant objects, David also shares practical advice on how to elevate your home in a simple and effective manner. 

He has also been open with us about what he looked for when choosing his own dream home. Through trial and error, he has been able to identify a number of design tricks that we can follow in our homes, too. Hence, we know that he has our best interests at heart. One easy-to-make design mistake he warns us to avoid at all costs is placing a too-small rug on the living room floor. Here's what he had to say about rugs in living rooms, and why we should be particular about choosing their size.

David Bromstad's living room rug rule

In an interview with popular DIY blogger Brittany Bailey, also known as Pretty Handy Girl, David Bromstad shared his tip about the size of the rug one should lay out in one's living room. The question posed to him by one of Bailey's Facebook followers, which she relayed on her blog, was, "Any tips on picking a rug out of the MILLION choices out there?"

To this, David responded, "When you are choosing a rug, it should be larger than the largest piece of furniture that you have going into the space. So, if you're using a couch that's going to be 8 feet wide. You should have an 8' x 10' rug, so you have some overlap. My biggest pet peeve is when you have a rug and it's floating in the middle of the room. And it's a 5×7, the couch is 8 [feet] long and things aren't touching. The rug should be under each piece of furniture, at least by 2 inches." 

Jess Bunge, the editorial director at Emily Henderson Design agrees with Bromstad's observation and lays out the measurements for rugs in the living room. They should be at least 6 to 8 inches wider than your couch on either side. It should be the same as the length of the couch and the walkway between pieces of larger furniture should be 30 to 36 inches. "That will help to inform your rug size," she writes on their blog.

How to incorporate this rule into your living room

We know that larger rugs can be quite expensive and not everyone has easy access to them. David Bromstad has a great tip for this problem, too. He advocates using duct tape to tape together two or three smaller rugs in a neutral color or in mixed patterns.  The ultimate goal of making a larger rug should be that you follow the "two-foot rule," which means ensuring that the rug is kept two feet away from the walls and that the front two feet of the couch and other seated furniture cover the rug.

As part of their "Styling Series," the team at interior design company Lulu and Georgia shares the "Rug Rules for Any Room", similar to David Bromstad's advice shared above. In it, they note, "A living room rug should be large enough that at least the front legs of the sofa and any chairs rest upon it ... One of the biggest area rug rules of thumb you should use, is to make sure you're not choosing a rug that's too small for your room."