Small Space

Small Space, Big Print

Can you put oversized prints in a small space?

We’ve all been there, in that small space that feels overwhelmed by a pattern or a color. We’ve all read the magazines and websites that tell us a small place is no place for a large-scale pattern. We’ve all been told the “Rug rules” by countless tv personalities and home design shows. Well, throw all that away because you are about to learn how to break the rules!

First, regardless of the scale of the print or the color, you need to get the size of your rug right. It is important in any area, but it is relatively more significant in a smaller space. In order for your space to appear larger, you want the walls to recede. You can achieve this with an area rug, provided it is the right size. You want your area rug to be as large as possible, and at a minimum, you want the legs of the furniture to be on the rug. Optimally, you would want your rug edges to be roughly 6 to 12 inches from your wall. It helps to push the walls out as your eye travels across the room.

Now, on to the print of the rug. Over and over again, we are told not to use a large print in a small space because it is too overwhelming and only draws attention to the area space. But designers know that if you choose the right furnishings, a large-print rug looks amazing in a small space.



This is where you need to alter your room furnishings. If you cram a room chock-full of grandma’s antiques and have a bold, over sized geometric print on the floor, it is going to be a visual nightmare. You don’t want the furniture lining the walls and covering every inch of the rug. Instead, opt for lighter pieces, perhaps a light metal-framed glass coffee table, small end tables with baskets underneath to hold books instead of bulky cubes of dark wood side tables. Get the built-in look by lining one entire wall with bookshelves instead of dotting small pieces of furniture around the room to hold your items. Place a large mirror opposite of any windows in order to maximize natural light and push your walls out. All of this will make your space appear large enough to handle the rug with an oversized banana leaf or red and white chevron beautifully.



If you have an area rug with a large-scale print and a small space, remember these key design tips. The rug itself must be large enough for the furniture to sit on. Keep the amount of your furnishings minimal, you want your eye to sweep over the room without too much interruption. Use a large mirror in the room, put it across from a window if you can. Design “rules” aren’t set in stone and they often change. Knowing how and when to break them is one of a designer’s best-kept secrets. And now that you know the secrets of designing a small room with a large-scale print, get out there, grab that rug, and design boldly!

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