Is Your Area Rug Too Small? No Problem

I find that most clients undersize, rather than oversize their home decor accessories.  What I mean is:  they underestimate the size lamps,  hanging light fixtures, and rugs they need for their space.  I can assure you that a 4×6 is NEVER large enough for anchoring a seating area with a sofa. 

 West Elm Ikat Rug


But what if you already have a rug you love that’s too small and you can’t afford the larger version?  The Decorologist to the rescue:  layer another rug beneath the smaller!  I’ve been craving a cowhide lately, and I think they look great on top of larger area rugs.

House Beautiful


So say you have a too-small rug that’s a family heirloom or a great find from a foreign land you visited?  Layer it on top of a jute or sisal rug.


 It’ll probably look best if it’s centered on the sofa or under a table.



Almost any rug that feels just a bit too small can be stretched into service with a layer beneath that’s at least a bit larger. It might be worth buying the higher-end rug in a 5×8 and layering it over a much less expensive 8×10 neutral fiber rug.

Design by Kristen Hutchins via HGTV

What’s really interesting is that so many people screw up on the other side of the coin when purchasing upholstered furnishings (too large for their space).  What gives?


  1. Barbara

    You are exactly right! How does this happen? I never thought of it this way, but it’s so true!

  2. Dana Tucker

    Another home run tip from the Decorologist.

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thanks, Dana! Looking forward to your launch party!

  3. Donna Frasca

    See, size does matter. The wrong scale can really offset a beautifully designed room. It’s a detail that many homeowners really have trouble with.

  4. Jennifer

    Great tip Kristie!!
    I just successfully did this in a Guest Bedroom for a client, we layered a colorful striped rug on a simple sisal due to the fact that the room was huge and felt cold without it. This simple tip did the trick.
    I love your blog and witting style! Keep the posts coming.
    Happy 4th!!

  5. Sheila @SZInteriors

    I’m layering a rug over a sisal right now as we… speak? Type? Read??? Who knew, right? I really like the way it looks, and it definitely stretches the visual impact.

  6. Susanne

    Aren’t you glad we do screw things up, otherwise we wouldn’t have any need for Decoratologists? Let’s turn the tables on your thinking…no pun intended. Still saving up for your expertise…

  7. Kristy Swain

    What a great article. I just layered a cowhide on top of a natural rug in my family room. Love it in there. To me, that’s the only thing that makes the size of a cowhide really work in a family room.

  8. Cris Angsten

    Hm, I was going to post about this very same problem! LOL. Same wavelength again. As for furniture, it’s not people’s fault. Most of what is in stores is grossly oversize – furniture makers are so not in touch with the average house!

  9. Taryn

    I just love all area rugs and I really like these ones because they are perfect for dorm rooms!

  10. Area Rugs

    Ameya Home the largetst online store in New York, USA, sailing home accents of Area Rugs, Rugs, Bath Rugs, cushion, Curtain, Kids Area Rugs, Carpets, Decorative Cushion, Throws, Bath Mats, Kids Bath Mats; etc.. Free Shipping to USA all place order today at

  11. MzDivaflo

    My table is 36″ H x 48″ W x 48″ D, I am trying to find a nice sisal rug that will accommodate the table and chairs. What size rug should I get?

  12. Shiva Feghni

    Excellent article for small rug area.

  13. LaVerne

    If I bought a rug that is to small for my room can I get a second one??? Of the same and place them side by side?

    • Angela

      I’ve always wondered the same thing. I say give it a try and if it let oks ok go for it. But I’m nit a decorologist


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