You want to visually connect the furnishings, but without
swallowing the furnishings. An area rug that covers too much of
the floor beyond the conversation area will make it a non
discreet section of the room and the intimacy is lost.
Be sure to leave enough exposed floor
around the area rugs for the
rug to work as an accent. This also allows the rug to complement
the furnishings without overwhelming them.
Ideally an area rug bring the sofa, rocking chair, and cocktail
table into one intimate area. To define a conversation area and
create intimacy, choose an area rug that's about as long and
wide as the furnishings in the space.