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What Colour rug makes a room look bigger?

What Colour rug makes a room look bigger?

When selecting a rug for a room, the colour is an important consideration if your goal is to make the room appear larger. The right rug colour can help open up a space visually. Here are some tips on choosing a rug colour that can make a room look bigger.

Go with Light Colours

In general, lighter coloured rugs will make a room look larger compared to darker coloured rugs. Light colours reflect more light, which helps create the illusion of a bigger space. Darker colours absorb light and can make a room feel closed in and smaller. If enlarging the look of a room is your priority, stick to lighter rug colours like white, cream, light grey, or pale blue.

An off-white or light beige rug is a safe choice that can make any room look more open and airy. Stay away from bold patterns or colours that draw the eye. Subtle patterns and solid light colours work best for opening up a space.

Use Monochromatic Colour Schemes

Using different shades of one colour (a monochromatic scheme) is another great way to make a room look larger with your rug choice. The visual uniformity of a monochromatic colour palette helps create flow and makes the room feel more continuous.

For example, use lighter and darker shades of blue or grey to maintain an expansive look. The varied shades add subtle interest without disrupting the uniformity of colour. You can find monochromatic rugs or use rug layers to build a monochromatic floor.

Match the Rug to the Walls and Floor

Your rug colour will look best if coordinated with the wall colour and flooring. Visually, you want the walls, floor, and rug to blend seamlessly together. This expanded field of colour makes the room feel bigger.

A rug that contrasts strongly with the floor and walls breaks up the space. It defines the rug as a separate element rather than seamlessly integrating it into the room. For a large open look, the colours should harmonize.

Strategic Placement Matters

Where you place a rug also impacts how big a room looks. Avoid centering a rug exactly in the middle of the room. This can make a room look chopped in half, smaller and boxy. It’s better to anchor a rug under the furniture grouping, extending well under the front legs.

Extending a rug to the walls can also make a room feel bigger by visually pushing the boundaries out. Use a large enough rug to accomplish this while still allowing 18-30 inches of floor showing around the perimeter.

Use Furniture to Define Spaces

Rugs don’t have to stretch wall-to-wall to make a room look bigger. Defining specific zones with area rugs separated by exposed floor creates the illusion of expanded space. Use furniture to define rug boundaries instead of the walls.

For example, float furniture groupings over two smaller rugs rather than covering the whole room with one large rug. The gaps between rugs keep the floor spacious rather than crowded.

Go for Larger Sized Rugs

In general, opt for the largest rug size that will reasonably fit and function in your space. An oversized rug makes a room feel grand and expansive. Just make sure there is enough floor showing around the edges.

The most common area rug sizes are:

Rug Size Dimensions
2′ x 3′ 24″ x 36″
3′ x 5′ 36″ x 60″
4′ x 6′ 48″ x 72″
5′ x 8′ 60″ x 96″
6′ x 9′ 72″ x 108″
8′ x 10′ 96″ x 120″
9′ x 12′ 108″ x 144″
10′ x 14′ 120″ x 168″

For living rooms, a good minimum size is an 8′ x 10′ rug. Size up from there based on the room dimensions. Just don’t go too big where the rug crowds the entire space.

Layer Rugs for Depth

Layering two or more rugs creates a sense of depth and dimension that makes rooms feel larger. A popular approach is using a larger neutral foundation rug with a smaller printed or textured rug on top.

The layered rugs define a substantial surface area while the variety of textures, patterns, and colours adds visual interest. Just make sure the rug layers coordinate and don’t clash.

Use natural fiber rugs

Natural fiber rugs like jute, sisal, seagrass, and wool tend to make rooms look bigger than synthetic rugs. The natural variations in texture and colour provide depth without obscuring the floor.

Natural fiber rugs also reflect light well, increasing the sense of openness in a room. Materials like polypropylene don’t have the same luminosity.

Avoid dark floors

If your floor is very dark, a light rug will pop more and exaggerate the contrast. The rug will look like an island floating on the dark floor, chopping up the space. To make the room look bigger, the flooring and rug work best with a similar lightness level.

Consider Indoor/Outdoor Rugs

Easy-care indoor/outdoor rugs are a great choice for making a room look airier and larger. The synthetic or recycled materials have an opaque, casual look that keeps things light.

Resist the urge to fill a room wall-to-wall with furniture or accessories. Leave negative space to allow the eye to sweep over an uninterrupted area. A room looks bigger when it isn’t overly stuffed.

Use Furniture to Define Rug Boundaries

As mentioned earlier, floating furniture over two or more rug islands creates a spacious look. The rugs define use zones without restricting the open floor around them.

Arrange seating groups or desks over two smaller rugs rather than cramming everything onto one rug. The exposed floor between adds to the room’s expansiveness.

Pay Attention to Lighting

Proper lighting is key to making a room look open and airy. Add lighting elements like floor lamps, sconces or track lighting. This breaks up the space visually. The more dimension and delineation you create, the larger the room appears.

Reflective materials like glass, metal and mirrors also maximize light. Strategically place mirrors to make spaces look larger.

Incorporate Windows

Nothing opens up a room like natural light from windows. Maximize window exposure when designing a space for a bright, expansive feel. Layer window treatments to filter light without sacrificing openness.

Position a rug parallel to large windows so the light visually expands the rug dimensions. Perpendicular placement can make a rug look like a narrow runway.


With the right colour choices and placement strategies, area rugs can make a tremendous difference in how big a room looks and feels. Stick to light, monochromatic colours that seamlessly blend with your flooring and walls. Maximise rug dimensions but don’t overcrowd the space.

Layer in lamps and windows to boost brightness. Don’t be afraid to float multiple smaller rugs over open floor instead of one massive rug wall-to-wall. The right rug can transform a room from cramped to grandly spacious.