By Pamela Masin

Published on March 28, 2017

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Photography by AMBER INTERIORS

Sometimes all a room needs is a throw rug to tie the space together, make it feel more balanced, or give a pop of personality to feel like home. Here, we’ll show you the spots where a small area rug is an absolute must, with pictures to inspire you to get decorating.

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Photography by OLD BRAND NEW

The Narrow Entryway

Create a welcoming first impression in a compact foyer with an eye-catching throw rug that leads the way into the rest of your abode. Without a rug, wood and tile floors come off as cold and uninviting, which is definitely not the tone you want to set from the get-go. If you have a long hallway-style entryway, a slim runner is a great option to subconsciously direct guests through the space. Or, if you don’t have a defined foyer, a throw carves out an area. Since an entryway gets a lot of foot traffic, we suggest something durable like an indoor-outdoor throw or a rug that’s colorful or patterned since it won’t look dirty as easily.

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Photography by SARAH GIBSON & DANA MILLER

The Kitchen Sink

A comfy landing pad in front of the kitchen sink makes washing dishes a little more delightful—and a lot nicer on your feet. We especially love a throw rug in this spot because it helps add texture to a room that’s typically filled with sleek finishes and appliances, and it can feel sterile without one. Consider machine-washable throw rugs like flat weave cotton or natural fiber rugs like jute or sisal that can withstand lots of wear and tear…and the inevitable spill. If you’re worried about the rug sliding around on your hardwoods, a rug pad does wonders to keep things in place so there are no broken dishes.

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Photography by A HOUSE IN THE HILLS

The Cold Dining Room

Turn your dining room into a more intimate setting by draping sheepskin rugs over chairs. While the luxe accents warm up just about any piece of furniture, they can also make trendy dining chairs—like industrial metal or wooden Wishbones—more comfortable. Sheepskins feel right at home on these furnishings and add a sense of coziness to the room.  

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Photography by MOLLY WINTERS

The Carpeted Bedroom

Bring some personality to a basic wall-to-wall carpeted bedroom with an area rug at the sides or foot of the bed. It may seem odd to put a rug on top of carpet, but it’s far more common than you think. Carpeting tends to be very basic and neutral, which doesn’t contribute a whole lot to the design aesthetic of the room. That’s where throw rugs come in. Layering a rug helps give the space a sense of style that ties in with the rest of the decor. Choose something in a different material and color than the carpeting, and make sure it’s low-pile so you won’t trip over it when rushing to get dressed in the morning.

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Photography by MOLLY WINTERS

The Office Corner

For the makeshift office that’s really just a small corner of your teeny apartment’s living room, a throw rug creates a distinguished work zone that makes the space appear bigger. Don’t worry if you already have a rug under your couch and coffee table—as we mentioned before, layering area rugs is super on trend. This tip works in any multi-purpose room where you want to separate two different areas.

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Photography by AMBER INTERIORS

The Character-Less Bathroom

Nix the traditional bath mat for something more chic and modern, like a colorful kilim rug. These pattern-happy, flat weave throws have become extremely popular in the bathrooms of designers and bloggers since they pack a lot of visual punch in a small amount of space. They also offset shiny tile floors with something more grounded. Whether you need to add flair to your all-white décor or compliment the effortless look of your bohemian powder room, a kilim rug will do the trick.

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Photography by CHY AND MARSHAL PARKER FOR DESIGN SPONGE

The Blank Wall

Hang a throw rug on an awkward empty spot of a wall—like the space above your armchair or the corner of an entryway—for an unexpected alternative to artwork. Cheerful prints and graphic patterns work especially well and create a conversation piece. This can also be an affordable option since you can cover a large section of wall with one piece.