How to Use Area Rugs to Make Your Rooms Look More Spacious

Size of the rug
Placement of the rug
Colour of the rug
Pattern of the rug

Perhaps you are moving into a new house or apartment and want to make the rooms look more spacious without making any kind of renovations? Since changing the layout or size of a room is never really an option, you must make use of the available resources to achieve the desired result. Though most experts suggest using paint to make a room look bigger or strategically hanging mirrors to create the illusion of more space, there is another way that people rarely talk about – and this using rugs to make your room look bigger. 

If you are smart about the selection and placement of your area rugs, you can easily use them to make a small dining room look bigger. You can even make a narrow room look wider with flooring by experimenting with different sizes, hues and patterns. Not to mention, using area rugs is also one of the most creative ways to add colour to your rental unit.

To help you decorate your home to perfection, we have put together a guide explaining the tips and tricks of area rug placement to make your space appear larger than it actually is.

How to Use Rugs to Make Room Your Look Bigger

Let’s take a look at all the ways you can use rugs to make your room look bigger.

Size of the Rug

An appropriately-sized rug can instantly make your room look more spacious

One of the biggest mistakes people make while buying area rugs is skimping on the size. 

To make your room look bigger and spacious, you must make sure to buy an area rug that is the right size. If you decorate your space with a rug that’s too small, it will make your décor look disorganized and make the room appear even smaller. On the other hand, choosing an area rug that’s too large can also make your room look cosier and subsequently smaller.

So, how do you choose the perfect size of rug for your home?

To start things off, here are the standard sizes of rugs available in the market. 

  • 3 feet x 5 feet
  • 4 feet x 6 feet
  • 5 feet x 8 feet 
  • 6 feet x 9 feet
  • 8 feet x 10 feet
  • 9 feet x 12 feet

Please note that these sizes may vary by a few inches. 

To determine the size of the rug that should be optimal for your room, you need to keep your furniture placement in mind. Most interior designers suggest placing your furniture at least a few inches away from the wall to ensure the space doesn’t look cramped. Ideally, the front legs of your larger furniture and all legs of your small furniture should be sitting on the rug. So, make sure to measure your room accordingly before buying an area rug.

Placement of the Rug

placement of rug
The placement of your rug should always complement the arrangement of your furniture

If you are planning to use rugs to make your room look bigger, you need to pay special attention to their placement. 

As mentioned above, the arrangement of furniture in your room is directly related to the size of your area rug. However, if you have hardwood or another type of expensive flooring in your home, it’s understandable that you might want to show it off by using a rug of a smaller size – and that’s completely okay as long as the dimensions of your area rug don’t make the layout of your room look skewed. 

The placement of area rugs varies with each room, however, the rule of the thumb is to leave anywhere between eight to 24 inches of floor space on all sides. To put it simply, if you are buying a rug for a small bedroom, you can choose one that leaves about eight inches of empty floor space on each side. Meanwhile, you can leave up to 24 inches of empty floor space if you are buying area rugs for the living room that is relatively large. Just make sure the rug is placed in the centre of your room. 

Colour of the Rug

colour of the rug
Buy an area rug that goes well with your colour palate and home design

Want to make a living room look bigger and brighter? Consider opting for a colourful area rug.

Now, as you may already know, experts suggest choosing lighter hues to make space appear bigger than it actually is. On the other hand, dark colours get the bad rep of making a room look smaller. While that is true to a certain extent, it is important to point out you don’t necessarily have to choose white or extremely light-hue rugs for the visual expansion of your home. 

Now, you may be wondering what colours make a room look bigger and brighter. Well, depending on your preference and the colour palette of your home, you can choose pastel-coloured rugs to go with dark furniture in your home, as lighter shades will reflect more sunlight and create the illusion of a bigger space. You can also multi-coloured rugs with a combination of dark and light hues to add some depth to your interior décor. 

Meanwhile, if you have muted walls and furniture with softer hues, consider selecting an area rug that is brighter and more colourful. It will serve as the focal point of your room while adding a bit of personality to your overall décor.   

The Pattern of the Rug

pattern of rugs in home
Consider choosing a small patterned area rug for rooms with a lot of furniture

Contrary to popular belief, patterned rugs or carpets do not make a room look smaller.

There’s no such rule for choosing the best patterns for small rooms. All you need to do is ensure the size or scale of the pattern is proportional to the size of your room. For example, most interior designers suggest choosing large patterns for larger rooms and small patterns for smaller rooms, but this rule is not set in stone. 

Therefore, it is recommended to choose the pattern of your area rug according to your floor place and furniture arrangement. If you have a large room that is filled with furniture of different shapes, opting for an area rug with a large pattern can make your space look more cramped and small. On the other hand, a rug with large print can look great in a small yet sparsely furnished room. 

When it comes to choosing the best area rugs for living rooms, you must focus on the flooring and furniture to determine what type of patterns would stand out and make your space appear bigger. However, if you are unsure about the whole, buying a rug with small patterns might be your best bet.

To conclude, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to buying rugs to make your room look bigger. You just need to make sure the size, placement, colour and pattern of your chosen floor covering fits perfectly well with the surroundings. For more ideas, check out our guides to the top carpet trends for 2021 as well as types of carpets and their prices in Pakistan.

For more rug ideas for small living rooms and bedrooms, stay connected to Zameen Blog – the best home improvement and property blog in Pakistan. You can also subscribe to the Zameen Newsletter and Facebook page to learn about the latest real estate developments in your city.

Moreover, if you have more tips and tricks for making a small room look bigger, make sure to share them with us by dropping an email at

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