It is Saturday evening and you have just uncorked your favourite wine, and as you recline back, you are thrust back to your dissatisfaction with this surrounding space. You ask yourself, bursting out in frustration “why does this room feel so small”?! This isn’t a new revelation, but this room provides a constant reminder of how you ache for it to open up and flow in harmony with the remainder of your home. As you continue to pull out your favourite read you become distracted, but then you decide. I cannot continue to sit here in frustration. But “what can I do?” you ask yourself aloud?

You contemplate starting with a new paint colour. But the Dulux Grey Pail colour selection you spent months fretting over is soothing and makes it easy to pepper contrast within the space. Well, what about tweaking the wall hangings? Or maybe your quirky furniture isn’t sized correctly for the room? These all seem to be logical solutions before you recall Sue down the street speaking about evoking a sense of space into her kitchen by adding two new area rugs. Your mind begins to create new connections and you relate this back to your living room. Perhaps finding a new rug could be just the fix as you peer out to the Jacaranda tree bursting in bloom outside your living room on this sunny day in Queensland, Australia. But where do I start?

With Sue inspiring you from the get-go, you decide you should meet up at a funky little café in Burleigh Heads. With the aim to pick Sue’s brain for how to pick the perfect rug to make your room feel more spacious. Sue first digs into her kitchen reno project, and how the success of this project has inspired her to move onto the outdoor lounge area next. After she flips through before and after pictures on her iPhone, she is ready to assist you on your overly cozy living room. She raves about how area rugs have been a game changer for her, and she loves the ability to easily transition them with the seasons, or when the trends move along, she can easily move out bohemian chic and onto the next trend. You hand Sue your phone and your anxiety climbs. What if this room is unfixable?

But then Sue swiftly fires back. The textures in your room are all wrong! Let’s start from the ground up. Your timber flooring with its cool undertones ties in nicely with your grey paint colour, however it is easy to get lost in your timber flooring’s herringbone design. I suggest keeping it simple and seeking out a neutral area which will provide not only a bit of warmth for this cool space but will help provide protection and soundproofing with your active young children. Further, this will prevent wear and tear to your original timber flooring when your kids might be overly eager to play tug-a-way with Snoopy - your energetic Jack Russel Terrier.

One area rug I’ve pinned to my Pinterest board for you is the Kendall Contemporary Diamond Rug White Grey with grand diamond shapes curating a sense of space and adding an element of grandiose into your living room. However, do ensure you take your time measuring up your room, to ensure it at minimum hugs the edges of your furniture. This will help focus the eye outward and if possible, try to allow your timber flooring to peek through along the perimeter of the room. I am around after breakfast, so I can grab my painters’ tape and we can map out the correct dimensions, to save you re-ordering down the pipeline. You nod and inside your head are gleaming with joy as you envision this room all coming together.  

Sue pauses as the waiter drops a plate full of smashed avocado on a crusted slice of bread in front of her. This jogs your memory on how the kids have been wanting to hang in the living room after school with their snacks. You want to continue to explore other options, and from your previous days working at Bunnings, you recall a customer interaction where they were seeking hand tufted area rugs due to their ability to hide stains well. Sue chimes in “no, no, no this is not a good idea at all”. Hand tufted rugs can typically find to be overly decorative. While this could work well in a large space, in a small space all the details can feel snug and evoke a sense of clutter. On top of this, a hand tufted rug will weigh down your room and are far too heavy for the plentiful hot and humid days we experience throughout the year here in Queensland.

She continues to crunch through the slice of bread while spinning off on a tangent on textures. When considering an area rug, avoiding big textures will help in providing a minimalist design feel that is light and will help to create a more spacious feel to the room. I suggest seeking out rugs with low pile, flat weave, and avoid hand tufted materials at all costs. You could consider the Bliss Blush Rug. This oozes contemporary vibes and keeps things fun with a romantic pop of colour. Opting for a solid colour versus patterns can keep your room feeling spacious allowing your eyes to easily sweep over and avoid getting caught up in the details. Plus, if the kids are looking to lie down on it while they play, it will be soft and cozy on their skin. It embodies both functional and minimalistic design elements.

After you find Sue to be dishing out all the recommendations, you want your opinion heard. A quick Google search brings you to ICONIC RUGS, and the Opulence Sophia Silver Rug stops your scrolling with its speckle of neutral colours. And then you see the Angel White Shag Rug that looks heavenly like in its softness. Since you like them both equally you suggest to Sue, why don’t I buy two small ones and I can layer them underneath my sofa and coffee table? Both sophisticated pieces and Sue agrees they boast well together and are complementary to the base of your timber flooring and grey walls you are working with.

But she nudges you towards your bedroom for these pieces. She suggests they aren’t the correct fit for your small living room. While layering is great when looking to bring lots of texture or create interest into a space, it adds too many elements into a small space encroaching on your prime real estate. You are brought back to your surrounding environment in the beachside café as the sun is now out in full force. You glance at Sue for any last recommendations before you need to dash home to grab your sunglasses. Sue points you towards the Allure Sky Rayon Rug. She loves its subtle hints of colour, soft touch and the ability of this rug to pull out the cool undertones from your walls, creating a calming and enjoyable space.

Further Sue explains how by selecting a lighter colour rug, will reflect more light found in your living room with your expansive bay window. With more sunlight being reflected, your room will actually appear bigger! Plus, by selecting the correct area rug such as this one, it can provide a great connection with your oversized sofa and unconventional coffee table.

Other tips in making a room feel more spacious:

  • opt for multi-use furniture. We love large sectional couches which can replace the likes of a sofa, love seat, ottoman and storage unit
  • swap the heavy drapery that is dated and opt for sheers to create a sense of lightness and to allow more light to penetrate into your living area
  • keep trinkets and giftware pieces to a minimal or avoid. Clutter creates less space, when the goal is to create more space in the room
  • seek out oversized art pieces versus a collective of small paintings to create more space
  • design with a purpose. While adding art and greenery to a space is important, consider if you have a clock on the wall and you frequently check your iPhone for the time, this piece no longer serves a purpose in this room

Area rugs provide one of the easiest solutions in making a room appear larger than it actually is. This has been a proven technique in interior design amongst the elite. Read here for further ideas on how to pick the perfect area rug for your living room. Feeling stuck on a rug solution? Reach out to our expert team to guide you to your perfect area rug selection based on your paint colour, room dimensions, flooring and furnishings. We are here to make you feel better about the places you spend time in.