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How to Choose The Best Outdoor Rug For Your Deck or Patio

Everything you need to know to choose the best outdoor rug for your deck or patio to create a gorgeous outdoor living space!

How to Choose the Best Outdoor Rug: Create a Stunning Outdoor Living Space: porch with a black and white patterned outdoor rug

Why Use Outdoor Rugs?

I discovered the joy of outdoor rugs about five years ago, and now I’m obsessed! I love using rugs indoors too, and you can see all my favorite inexpensive ones here.

When you’re indoors, you generally have walls and sometimes different types of flooring to define different spaces. But when you’re outside, this is usually not the case. The right outdoor rug will make an outdoor dining space or seating area feel cozy and pulled together.

Plus it can bring color and pattern and tons of style to your outdoor living room. What’s not to love?

If you already know what size of rug you need, here’s a list of my favorite stylish and inexpensive outdoor rugs for 2021!

What Size Rug Should You Choose For your Outdoor Dining Area?

So how do you know which size rug to get? The biggest mistake I see people make when choosing any type of rug is getting one that’s too small. And I totally get it. Rugs are expensive, and the prices increase as they get bigger.

But a too-small area rug will just end up looking funny and be a total pain to deal with. And possibly even a tripping hazard!

Here’s the problem: If the back legs of your dining chairs end up off the rug when they’re pulled out, you’re going to be fighting with the rug all the time! This will be very irritating. You want all the chairs to stay on the rug!

Here’s the rule for choosing an outdoor rug for your patio dining area: you want 24-30″ of rug sticking out from under the table in all directions to allow room for the chairs. So you take the dimensions of your table and add about 50″ to each to get your minimum rug dimensions.

Here’s my patio dining space with this perfect-sized outdoor rug:

outdoor dining patio with a tribal printed Fab habitat outdoor rug under the table

Here are a few layouts that work great:

Which Size Rug Should You Choose For An Outdoor Seating area?

The rules for choosing outdoor rug sizes are essentially the same ones we apply to indoor rugs. The goal is to have at least the front legs of all your important seating furniture sitting on the rug.

diagram showing the best outdoor rug size for a patio seating group

This will often mean that you need to get a size larger than you had originally planned on.

diagram showing 2 good outdoor living seating arrangements with the right-sized outdoor rugs, and 2 with the wrong size of rug

Which Size Outdoor rug Should You Choose For a Small Seating Group?

If you just have a patio chat set or a couple of chairs, the same rules apply. You’ll want to be sure the front legs of the chairs are sitting on the rug. The end table can be on the rug, but it’s not essential.

diagram showing 2 patio seating arrangements with the right size and shape of outdoor rug and 2 with the wrong rug

Outdoor Rugs Sizing Guide

The most common sizes you’ll see outdoor rugs in are below. They’re often within a few inches of these measurements.

outdoor rug sizing chart

Here are some of my favorite black and white picks for 2021. Or click here for my favorite

More Ideas For Your Outdoor Living Spaces…

Boho Porch Swing Reveal!

2 macrame swings on a front porch with a black and white patterned outdoor rug

Backyard Lighting Ideas: A Simple Guide for Outdoor Living Spaces

Patio Shade Ideas: How to Choose

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