Most sources on adjective order (e.g. EF) mention that when ordering adjectives, Size comes before Shape. Example:

The small round table


*The round small table

However, what about the adjectives "little" and "flat"? A quick search online seems to favor e.g. "The flat little box" rather than "The little flat box". To my ears, both sound right.
Any opinions? I'm mostly interested in AmE, if applicable, but opinions from other variants also welcome.

EDIT: Here's another example I just came across while trying to research this. Would you say "hot lazy afternoon" or "lazy hot afternoon"? Because the former seems to be used more, although the rule affirms that Quality/Opinion comes before Temperature

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    I don't know why you say A quick search online seems to favor e.g. "The flat little box" rather than "The little flat box" According to my quick searches there, the former gets 29 hits in Google Books, where the latter has 148. But although preferred adjective sequences often fall in line with principles, they're not subject to rules (there will always be exceptions, quite apart from individuals having different preferences anyway). Dec 8 '17 at 17:02
  • It seems my error was to perform a Google search, not an ngram or corpus search Dec 8 '17 at 20:05
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    The 'rules' concerning the 'Royal Order of Adjectives' are among the best rules of thumb one finds in English, but are not perfect. // Prosody can be a major factor in preferred order in individual pairings etc. // This thread is probably the go-to resource here for research on the topic. It's well worth reading. Dec 8 '17 at 22:45

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