I love my rug but it’s too small for my space…


Buying the right size rug for your room can be confusing… How small is too small? What even is the right size? Good question. James Treble is here to answer all your questions.

Rugs are a great way to update your interiors. They mask unsightly carpet, ancient floorboards and contribute to the aesthetic style of your home.

Here are a few tips to getting it right or working with a rug that’s too small for your space.

Found on domainehome.com, casasugar.com, and canadianloghomes.com

Size matters

Here’s JT’s rule of thumb for working out the right size rug for your room:

  • In your dining room: the rug should be big enough so that when the chairs are pulled out all legs stay on the rug. (This is one space where a smaller rug really doesn’t work – better to go with no rug than have it look like a bathmat that got lost.)
  • In your living room: I like to use the rule that the two front legs on the sofa should always sit atop the rug.
  • For the bedroom: the rug should come out about 50cm on all sides.

Measure up your space. Better yet make a newspaper version of the size you think you need and try it out for size.

Find more helpful tips on our blog: How To Choose The Right Size Rug For Your Room.

Found on jonesdesigncompany.com, rilane.com, and domino.com.

Too late! You’ve already bought it!

Here are some handy tips for working with what you’ve got. If your rug is too small for this, think of it as a practical or decorative piece.


If you’re working with a limited budget (or have a small rug that you love), layering is a great trick. If you have an interesting small rug, and can afford to buy a large generic one, you can place the large rug according to the design rules and place the smaller one on top as an embellishment.

Found on brit.co, feedly.com, and thissillygirlslife.com.


If you have two small rugs, try overlapping them slightly. If they are similar styles or colours, they’ll create a cohesive look, and if they are quite different you’ll achieve a more undone, bohemian style.

The best thing about this is that if you like to revamp your space frequently, change just one of these and you’ll get a completely different look!

Found on apartmenttherapy.com, thehandmadehome.net, and apartmenttherapy.com.

In your bedroom: Put it to one side to keep your feet toasty when climbing in or out, or place it at the foot of the bed for an ornamental effect. Or place runners down the sides of your bed or at its head.

Rugs aren’t necessary in this space – floorboards give an open, airy feel – but rugs can help warm up your space, soften hard flooring and turn up the pattern.

In your living/dining room. What shape is the right shape? Fit your shape of rug to the shape of your dining table or coffee table: round for round, square for square, rectangle for rectangle…

Yum! Go forth and invite the textures and the patterns in. To shag or not to shag? That’s a question only you can answer… Thanks for the tips, JT. We heart you!

Feature images found on: westcoastcapri.com, amberinteriordesign.com and powwow.com.

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.