Is My Rug Too Small?

Is My Rug Too Small?

The worst kept secret in interior design is that your rug is probably too small. It seems like the first piece of advice in any article about how to choose a rug is to go bigger than you think you should—and then to go even bigger still. Wall-to-wall carpet, anyone?


However, not every space needs a jumbo-size rug. If you’re not ready to go big, you can still make a great impression with a strategically placed smaller rug.

Here are a few spots in your house that could benefit from thinking small.

In Front of the Sink

The most common use for a small area rug is in the kitchen. A soft rug made of wool or a wool sisal blend can help keep your feet comfortable when you are standing in front of the stove cooking a big meal or washing dishes afterward. 

One of the main concerns about using small rugs on their own is that they can present a slip risk, especially if they aren’t paired with a rug pad. However, a small rug or runner that sits along the edge of your kitchen counter in front of the stove or sink will mostly be stood on rather than walked on. These rugs are usually well outside the regular path of foot traffic as well, so there is minimal risk of the rug sliding around. 

In a Small Space

Sometimes a big rug isn’t a good idea because the space itself simply isn’t big enough. Smaller spaces like breakfast nooks, mudrooms, and foyers can benefit from the comfort and style of rugs custom-made to fit their small footprints. In areas like these, small rugs can sometimes have the opposite affect than you expect and make the room feel smaller. For transitional spaces like foyers and mudrooms where foot traffic will be heavy, consider a sturdier rug, like natural fiber sisal or jute rugs. And, as always, use a rug pad to prevent slipping if the rug is in a walkway. 

Tie Together Two Large Pieces of Furniture

If you have two large pieces of furniture, placing a small rug between them can create a sense of continuity. A pair of tall bookshelves, for example, will be well served by placing a small rug between them as a focal point. It’s an even better idea to do this if these large pieces are on either side of a smaller furniture piece, such as a bar cart or a record player stand. Placing the rug under the smaller of the three pieces will give it extra weight and provide a sense of balance.  

Define a Small Sitting Area 

While the Large Rug Club will tell you furniture must be placed over the edge of a rug, in certain cases it can be fun to break that rule. For example, if you have two couches that face each other in your living room, put a small rug between them (with a rug pad!) and that space instantly becomes a well-defined, intentional sitting area as opposed to two unrelated couches put near each other. 

On Top of a Bigger Rug

Maybe you have an heirloom rug in your dining room. Maybe you found the most ideal rug for your style and just had to buy it. No matter how you acquired it, if you have a cherished rug that is simply too small for the space you want to put it, consider putting it on top of a larger rug. This will allow you to feature your smaller rug while maintaining a cohesive feeling and avoiding slip hazards. 

Use Small Rugs to Make One Big Rug

This is not so much advice on how to use a small rug as it is how to use many small rugs. If you are after a maximalist design, or you just like the idea of a visually busy floor space, a hodgepodge of small rugs is a fun and unexpected way to decorate your room. 

Be sure to read our guide to rug layering so you know how to select the right types of rugs for this sort of project. Lower-pile rugs will help you to avoid tripping hazards and a pad will help your rugs from slipping and sliding all over the place. 

One Small Rug for You, One Giant Leap for Your Interior Design 

Big rugs certainly have a place in your home, but don’t miss out on all the great ways you can use a small rug. It’s easy to get one that’s exactly the right size for whatever small space you are looking to elevate. Check out our custom cut rugs today! 

Sign Up and Save 10%
No, Thanks
guide guide