How to Use Rugs to Make a Room Look Bigger

How to Use Rugs to Make a Room Look Bigger

Posted On January 24, 2024

Decorating a small space poses a unique challenge, with furniture often claiming the majority of available real estate, leaving limited room for decor. However, the confines of physical space don’t have to dictate the perception of that space. Enter the versatile tool in every designer’s arsenal: rugs. These textile wonders possess the transformative ability to create the illusion of a larger, airier space through color and texture.

Yet, like any powerful tool, rugs demand a nuanced approach. Thoughtlessly chosen or improperly placed, they risk overwhelming a room, resulting in clutter and disarray. As a homeowner, navigating the delicate balance is crucial to ensuring that your design choices enhance your room rather than detract from it. 

In this guide, learn more about rug styling tips to make your room look bigger, unraveling the secrets of rug selection and placement, and how to harness their potential to make your room feel more expansive, organized, and visually captivating.

How Rugs Make Rooms Look Bigger

Creating the Illusion of Space

Rugs can help create the illusion of more space. Opting for light or neutral-colored rugs becomes a strategic choice, particularly in smaller areas where maximizing the perception of space is paramount. These hues effortlessly reflect light, allowing it to bounce around the room, creating an open and airy ambiance.

Beyond color, the synergy between the rug and the wall color becomes a pivotal factor. When navigating the realm of rug selection, remember that it’s not merely about covering the floor but orchestrating a symphony of colors and textures that collaboratively elevate the spatial experience.

Defining Your Area

The impact of flooring on a room’s overall aesthetic and the perception of space is undeniable. Rugs can be versatile tools in reshaping these dynamics by artfully delineating various sections within a room. 

Consider the scenario of an open-plan space where the living area seamlessly merges with the dining space. Rugs step into this design narrative as boundary markers, bringing clarity and definition to each functional area. By placing a well-chosen rug beneath the living room furniture and another beneath the dining set, you can add a layer of design sophistication and contribute to a more organized and purposeful layout.

Creating a Focal Point

Every room has a focal point, whether a key furniture piece such as an ornate bed or a sleek couch. This is where rugs come into the picture. Rugs excel in creating focal points, serving as dynamic canvases that enhance the existing decor or furniture in your room. 

Within a room adorned in a serene, neutral palette, for example, a rug becomes the virtuoso, introducing a burst of energy and character. Opting for a rug with bold colors or captivating patterns infuses life into an otherwise monochromatic setting. 


How you place the rug can make a difference in how you perceive space. For example, placing a rug diagonally can create an elongated appearance, ideal for making small rooms appear larger. 


The artful technique of layering rugs unveils a world of possibilities, allowing you to imbue your room with dimension and depth. You can try placing a smaller rug strategically atop a larger one, ensuring that the expanse of the bottom rug remains visible. When executed thoughtfully, this approach contributes significantly to a room’s overall styling and aesthetics.

Harmonious colors, complementary patterns, and a balance of textures are paramount. The layered effect should enhance the room’s visual appeal without creating a sense of clutter.

Styling Guide For Every Room

Small Bedroom

Smaller bedrooms present the challenge of maximizing floor space, as it can easily be occupied by beds and cabinets. If your bedroom is too small for area rugs, then there are other options you can explore without having to step out of bed. For beds against the wall, a small rectangular area rug works perfectly. For beds with their headboard at the room’s center, you can try runner rugs on either side of the bed that extend out to the sides. 

Small Living Room

Styling small living rooms involves finding a rug to accent the rest of the furniture and anchor the couch and chairs. Go for rugs that help accent the room, whether it is a patterned rug or one that can stand out from your solid-colored furniture. For an area rug, try to get one that lets you place the legs of your chairs or coffee table at the edge to give the illusion of more space and prevent the legs from sliding on the floor. Shag or flatweave rugs can be excellent options for rugs that work for small living rooms. 

Small Office

While an office space may not experience the same level of foot traffic as a living room, it pulsates with its unique brand of busyness. Introducing a carefully chosen rug into this environment serves a dual purpose—infusing personality into the workspace and safeguarding the floor from the perpetual movement of your office chair. Opting for a larger rug will prevent your chair’s wheels from snagging on the edges, ensuring a seamless and efficient work environment.

When selecting a rug for your office, durability takes center stage. Given the constant motion and demands placed on your chair, a robust and resilient rug is essential. Durable materials like high-quality wool or synthetic blends are stalwart companions, capable of withstanding the rigors of daily chair movement. 

Tips for Using Rugs To Make A Room Look Bigger

Choose Light Colored Rugs

Rugs with lighter colors are one way to brighten up a room. Why is this the case? Lighter colors can help reflect more light, tricking your eyes into thinking that the space is much bigger than it is. On the other hand, darker-colored rugs can invoke a feeling of inwardness at the expense of a cozier feel.

You can choose from neutral-colored rugs such as cream and beige to give your room that open feel to make it truly stand out. 

Play with Lines and Stripes

Unless your room is square-shaped, there is typically a longer wall. You can use striped rugs and place them perpendicular to the long wall of your room. This helps create a widening effect and adds some much-needed lines to your room’s decor. 

Add A Little Texture

If you find your room looking plain, it doesn’t hurt to add a little texture. The key for small spaces is to add enough texture without cluttering the room. Remember to choose a rug with small patterns as large patterns can make your room feel small. 

You can play with different kinds of textured rugs such as shag rugs or hand-loomed rugs to give your room that sense of depth. 

Experiment with Round Rugs

Round rugs are not as common as rectangular rugs, but they can add much-needed character and personality to a room. You may want to consider our extensive inventory at Cyrus Artisan Rugs like our round rug collection for more design inspiration.