How to Use Carpet to Make Your Room Look Bigger

Living room with gray couch on tan fringed area rug

The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

Most people have at least one small room or space in their home that they wish were bigger. Even when you can’t physically enlarge the space, there are ways to achieve the feeling of a bigger space through the use of properly selected décor elements. Carpet is one of those elements. Whether you have a wall-to-wall broadloom or an area rug laid over another type of flooring, choosing the right carpet can help your space feel bigger. Here are some tips for making that happen.

Broadloom Tips

Installing wall-to-wall broadloom in a room can help to make space feel bigger by providing continuity. Changing floor surfaces provide visual stops and starts for the eye. By contrast, having a carpet extend from wall to wall means there is nothing to stop the eye, thereby giving the impression that space is larger than it is.

Cream-colored wall-to-wall broadloom carpet with houseplant and small bench

The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

Area Rug Tips

The key to using an area rug to help your room look bigger is to use the correct rug size. A common decorating mistake people make is selecting an area rug or carpet that’s too small, making the room look choppy and disjointed, and therefore makes it look smaller.

The exact size of the rug that's optimal for your room will depend on several factors, including your furniture placement. Always remember that all of the furniture in a room should be sitting atop the rug. If it isn’t possible to achieve this, have at least the front legs of larger pieces on the rug.

White couch and stacked rattan poufs on cream-colored area rug

The Spruce / Sanja Kostic


Most people are familiar with the notion that light colors help to make a room feel bigger than dark colors do. That doesn’t mean that you have to install white or off-white carpet throughout your home, however. Using lighter tones of your favorite color throughout the space helps to visually expand the space. Also, lighter colors reflect more sunlight (or artificial light) than darker colors do, so the increased light in the space contributes to a more open feeling.

Lightly colored patterned area rug under white and wicker chair

The Spruce / Sanja Kostic


If you choose to have a pattern on your carpet or area rug, make sure that the size of the pattern is scaled appropriately to the size of the room. The typical rule of thumb is larger patterns for larger rooms; however, this rule is not written in stone and depends more on the amount of visible floor space. For example, a small room that does not have a lot of furniture can handle a larger pattern, while a large area that is crammed with furniture may require a smaller pattern. Your floor covering is an important component of your room’s décor, and can have a big impact on the overall feel of the room. Choosing the right floor covering can help make the area feel bigger.

Geometric patterned area rug under side table and white chair

The Spruce / Sanja Kostic