Your entryway is one of the first impressions a guest has of your home. Because of that, it’s a space that you want to consider stylistically—but it also needs to be highly functional. This is the space where shoes and jackets come on and off, where keys and bags are dropped, and where pet supplies are stashed.
Something that helps optimize both the functionality and style of your entryway? An entryway rug. Rugs look nice and add some style, pattern, and color to your entryway. Rugs can also help define the space if you’re trying to fake an entryway. However, since all entryways are different, landing on the right size and shape of entryway rugs can prove difficult.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to entryway rug sizes and shapes, there are some general guidelines you can follow when considering entryway design ideas. We’re breaking down everything you need to know about choosing a rug for your entryway, with examples of the best options for common entryways shapes and set-ups.
Types of Entryway Rugs
First off, what are your entryway rug options? This part is actually fairly straightforward, as there are only three common types of rugs that you’d typically use in an entryway.
A doormat is a small rug made to fit directly in front of your front door. A standard doormat ranges from 18”x30” to 24”x36”. They’re typically very durable and less decorative, as they’re primarily used to wipe shoes and catch dirt and moisture so they don’t get tracked into the house. This is a practical way to keep your floors clean, and with a lot of design options out there, a doormat can be a cute way to personalize your entryway.
Runners are narrow and long rugs. They’re commonly used in hallways, in longer entryways, and in front of wide doorways. In terms of size, they’re typically 2’-3’ wide and 5’-14’ long. While a runner is a great option for a standard hallway, an average runner rug might be too narrow for an extra-wide hallway.
An area rug is a larger rug, meant to cover a larger “area” of the floor. (Hence the name.) Its purpose is to cover and protect your floor while adding decorative colors and patterns to your space. A rectangular area rug is most common, but you can also opt for a round or oval rug if that works better for your space! In an entryway, a rug size will range anywhere from 3’x5’ to a 9’x13’ rug, depending on the size of your entryway or foyer.
Early Considerations When Choosing an Entryway Rug
Aside from the size and type of entryway rug, there are a few other things to consider when choosing an entryway rug. Specifically: rug pile and material.
In general, rugs don’t interfere with doorways since they tend to reside in the middle of a room—but that’s not the case in an entryway. You often have front and closet doors to contend with in an entryway, so you want to make sure your entryway rug’s pile isn’t too tall. (There’s nothing worse than having your front door catch on your doormat everytime you open the door or having to kick aside your area rug everytime you want to open the coat closet!) Not only will a lower-pile rug make it easier to open and close doors, but low-pile rugs are also easier to clean and vacuum. Since this is a high-traffic area, you’ll want to avoid high-pile and shag rugs, which can trap dirt more easily.
For an entryway rug, you’ll want to look for something durable and easy to clean—both hugely important in such a high-traffic area. The material you choose can impact how easy it is to clean. Indoor-outdoor rugs are good options for entryways, since they’re both durable and easy to clean. They can be brought outside and hosed down to clean, then simply hung to dry. Natural fiber rugs are also known for their durability, and machine-washable rugs are also a great option for an entryway. Stay away from lower-durability materials, like silk and cotton. And, consider color too! For example, you wouldn’t want a white rug in a busy entryway, as it would get dirty and damaged far too easily.
Ready for more specific guidance on how to choose a rug for your entryway? Read on for a breakdown on your options depending on the size of your entryway!
Best Rugs for Narrow Entryways
If you have a narrow entryway, a small rug is best—either a doormat right inside your front door or a runner rug that extends the length of the entryway.
Doormat in a Narrow Entryway
Doormats are good for narrow spaces, as they provide a practical solution for floor protection without taking up too much space in your entryway. For a more decorative look, you can layer a durable doormat over a more stylish accent rug.
Runner Rug in a Narrow Entryway
For an entryway that’s more of a passageway or corridor, a runner rug is a great option. A runner will cover more floor space than a doormat, without being too wide for the narrow space. Runners tend to be more decorative, too, and help visually draw you into the space by elongating the entryway.
Best Rugs for Open Entryways
If you have a more open entryway—often within a larger room, like a living room—there are a few different approaches you can take. Below, we’ll walk you through where you could place a rug in an open entryway, as well as what sizes of rugs to consider.
A Small Area Rug, Just in Front of the Door
A smaller area rug that defines the entryway can be great if you want to keep the entry to a small portion of the open space—especially in an entryway that opens to other spaces without clear definitions of where one space ends and another begins. These rugs can be larger than a doormat but shouldn’t spill into the other areas of the home if you want to keep the area defined. Depending on the size of your space, a 3’x5’ or 5’x7’ rug would be best, placed horizontally in front of your front door.
A Larger Area Rug, Extending into the Space
If you want your entryway to expand beyond the couple of square feet right inside your front door, lay down a larger area rug that vertically extends from the front door into the open space in your home. This can draw you into the home and cover more floor area. (Anything from a 5’x7’ rug or larger will work—the exact size will just depend on your entryway size.) This is good if you have a lot of people coming in and out of your home, or if you have a large family where everyone tends to gather in the entryway before leaving home. A larger rug will also protect more of your flooring!
Best Rugs for Large Entryways or Foyers
In large entryways or foyers, you have the most options when it comes to entryway rug size and shape. We’ll help you think through where you could place a rug in a large entryway or foyer, as well as what sizes and shapes to consider.
Very Large Rectangular Rug
Large, open entryways can feel undefined—so a large area rug that covers a big amount of the floorspace is a great way to define the space. A large area rug also adds color, pattern, and comfort to such a vast space. This is a great way to incorporate a major style moment into your home right away, plus it adds a lot of practical space for welcoming people in.
Square Rug in the Center of the Foyer
Adding a smaller but symmetrical rug in the center of a large foyer can act as a focal point. This is a good option if you want to show off your beautiful wood or stone floors and have less of them covered by a rug. Since a square rug will be floating in the space more than a rectangular rug, opt for a rug that makes more of a style statement rather than something more plain and neutral. This will help the square rug feel more intentional in the space.
Two Rugs in the Foyer
In a long and large entryway, two rugs can be necessary. Consider the entryway above, which has both a distinct entry and a stairwell area. It would be difficult to have one rug span both spaces—so, instead, we opted for a small runner in front of the front door, along with a round area rug in the stairwell area. If you go for this option, you can choose coordinating rugs or go for a more practical doormat-style rug near the door and a decorative rug further in near the stairs.
Designer Tip: If you have a rounded entryway, like a rounded wall or curved staircase, use a round rug to complement the flow of the space.
Large Area Rug that Encompasses the Space
If you have an entryway with several pieces of furniture, like a console and bench, pick a rug that fits between entryway furniture and encompasses the full entryway. This will create a pathway for people to enter your space while also creating a stylish landing space that protects your flooring.
Layered Area Rugs in an Entryway
If there’s space, you can also layer rugs in an entryway! Simply pick a more durable base rug, then layer a more decorative rug on top—either symmetrically or in one corner. (We love the look of a hide rug or asymmetrical-shaped rug for this look!) Just remember: when layering rugs in an entryway, keep both low-pile, and keep the second rug away from the immediate front door area so your door doesn’t get stuck or cause a tripping hazard.
Best Rugs for Entryways at the Base of the Stairs
Some homes not only have small entryways to contend with, but they also have a staircase right when you walk through the front door. This type of entryway definitely limits your rug options—but don’t worry, you still have options!
Doormat on a Small Landing
If you just have a small landing that acts as an entryway at the base of your stairs, go for something practical and durable. A basic (but cute!) doormat would be our recommendation here, giving you a non-slip place to wipe your feet as you walk through the door.
Small Round Rug at the Base of the Stairs
A round rug can be practical and stylish in small spaces, as long as the circumference isn’t larger than the floor space. It gives you a place to wipe your feet and set shoes while also adding visual interest to a small entryway.
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