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Do area rugs make a room look smaller?

Perhaps you have heard the phrase "off-set room proportions" before, but what does this mean? This can refer to any design elements that balance the size of the furniture in a room.

Sometimes, people will add an area rug to make it feel cozy and homey. While this is usually a good thing for a room's look, it could actually make your space seem smaller. It depends on many elements.

What’s the perfect rug size? What is the perfect color? If you’re shopping for a rug and don’t know where to start, this post is for you. W will help you find the right size, color, and placement for your rug so that it looks harmonious with your decor and makes your room look bigger. 

Just like how paint colors can make a room pop, rugs can turn any small space into a spacious palace!


Do area rugs make a room look smaller?

Rugs can have a tremendous impact on a room. From changes in the color palette, ‭by either sobering up a  room with plenty of colors or by spicing up a rather dull room. It can change the perception we have of a specific room, brightening it up, creating a zen space, or making it darker, with earthy tones, and therefore warmer and more inviting. It can also modify the perceived size of a room, and therefore make it look more spacious or smaller.

There is of course a tendency of interior designers and homeowners to want to have their rooms look more spacious, and there are some cases in which the size of a rug can go in the detriment of such objectives. 


Can rugs make a room look small?

Many people consider that area rugs can definitely make a room look smaller depending on three main elements; the rug’s size, the rug color, and its interaction with the rest of the room. Foremost, the size a rug should have in order to complement a room should be very specific regarding the size of the room itself; secondly, dark and light tones cause very different effects o the room, and finally, rugs should always be purchased thinking about how it will work with the furniture of a room.


What size should my rug be?  

Your rug should not be too big but not too small. As Anna Kocharian mentioned for Apartment therapy : "Purchase one that’s too small, and you run the risk of instantly diminishing all the effort you put into designing said room in the first place. Run too large, and the rug can envelop the space and overwhelm its existing fixtures. Finding that sweet spot in the middle is key."

A rug bigger than it should be will reduce the space while one smaller will disjoint the room.

Generally, a rug should cover most of the surface of a room. However, there should be a very important gap between the rug’s edges and the walls of the room. This gap should have 1 or 2 feet, so for instance, 5 x 7 area rugs   could work perfectly in a 7x9 foot room. If the rug is bigger than that, there may be some complications.

For round area rugs   the rule tends to be the same. However, round rugs tend to be small additions to either big or small rooms, and therefore they do not present these complications when decorating with them.

A rug should always be slightly smaller than the room it will be placed in. Large area rugs , tend to take up a lot of space in rooms. You should be careful when decorating your rooms with 8x10 area rugs. Even more so with 9x12 area rugs ; the rooms that could gracefully display these rugs should have a considerably big space to allow for clearance around them.


What colors should my rug have? 

This seems to be a matter of liking and preferences, and although we would like to assure it depends on you only, normally the size of a room is directly affected by the colors   of the furniture placed in them, especially those of the rug. As it is customary, the rug is the centerpiece of a room, and darker colors on it can enclose the space around it, making it look disjointed and small. Fairer colors tend to open the space of a room and make it look big.


If you find area rugs on sale, you must then always prioritize the clearer colored ones; a light mint rug   could work perfectly in a room with little to no light entrance, and a creamy one   could be placed in the center of a small living room   to open up the spaces.


How should my rug interact with the room?  

Rugs tend to anchor the furniture, and then there is the tendency for one's eye to see just how small a room can be. When purchasing area rugs for the living room or for a dining room space , remember that many elements will determine the effect on the way your eye sees the size of your living space. This can also work when you're trying to create more intimate spaces around seating areas with smaller tables like breakfast nooks or backyards with fire pits.


Elements to consider  

When you place an area rug in a smaller room, there might be some elements to take into account in order for it not to look smaller than it already is. Try to always ask yourself:

1. Will your furniture fit on the area rug?

This is usually the most important aspect of decorating with a rug. It can interact with the furniture around in order to create a desired aesthetic. Your rug should always have all the furniture of the room within. As Annie Quigley mentioned for REMODELISTA : "As a rule of thumb, the four legs of the furniture should sit on the rug"

This not only makes the room look more spacious, but also creates an easier space to live in, because everything has a place, and it is easier to get around everything. You may have even noticed this when walking into someone's home who has bare floors, or area rugs that cover regular spaces on the floor. It is much less likely that there will be chairs or furniture stacked up in random places where they shouldn't be.

2. Is the rug the right color? 

This is not only regarding the need to have a lighter rug to make the room look more spacious; but also about contrast: One of the first things people think about when they think of rugs is the way that they work with the flooring. The natural color difference between the floor and rug   helps to create an illusion of more space.

3. Is the rug the right size?

Remember to always allow the rug to cover most of the space in the room and allow for the furniture to be placed over it. If a rug turns out to be smaller than it should be, you could always place it on top of another, bigger one.

As Jess Bunge said for Style by Emily Henderson , "You can layer that beautiful vintage rug on top of a larger rug. Yep, it’s totally legal and can look awesome if you find the right pairing." Desperate times call for desperate measures, and this layered room will look gorgeous.


Where to find the perfect area rug for your room?  

If you're considering adding any new area rugs to your home, start out by going to a trustworthy place that has high-end, but also discount area rugs to fit your expectations. Here at Magic Rugs, we have prepared for you a collection of the most beautiful area rugs, and we have divided this collection by size, so you will be able to find the rug that best fits your room and makes it look more spacious.