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We get a lot of questions to our designers through Decorating Dilemmas, as well as from listeners of our podcast. Over the years, we’ve noticed a few recurring issues.

If you’re unhappy with your room, there’s a good chance one or more of these issues are plaguing your space. Follow our steps, and we’re confident you’ll be pleased with the results.


Your Rug is Too Small

Rugs can be very expensive, so we understand why it’s easy to talk yourself into a smaller size. You can get the nice rug you want, but you feel better about the price you’re paying. We get it. Here’s the problem: when your rug is too small, it breaks up the floor into little pieces, making your room feel even smaller. On the flip side, when you’ve got a generously sized rug in your room, the space feels lush and cozy. Here are our two suggestions that remedy most rug situations:



Get the biggest size that’ll fit in your room.

You want to leave at least 6″ of space around the perimeter of your room, but aside from that, just go with the biggest size you can fit. Of course, be careful not to cover any rug vents and be sure all of your doors can comfortably open.


Layer expensive and inexpensive rugs

If you’re coveting a nice, patterned rug but are uncomfortable with the price, try one of our favourite tricks. Order the patterned rug in a smaller size, probably 5×8 or 6×9, then layer it over a much larger natural fibre rug. Jutes and seagrasses are typically much less expensive than wool rugs, so you’ll be able to get the proper size while also getting the pattern and colour you’re looking for. Voila!


Your Furniture is Too Far Apart

Laying out a room is hard. We totally get it, and we detailed the step-by-step process our designers use to layout a space at the Design Solutions desk in our stores. Here’s what many of the issues come down to — your furniture pieces are spread too far apart. You probably need less space than you think.

Check out the room above. The occasional chairs are only about 10 inches from the ottoman. You really don’t need more space than that. Here’s a quick cheat sheet:

Distance between coffee table and sofa: 8-18 inches
Distance between pairs of chairs: 4-12 inches, or the size of an accent table
Amount of space for a walkway: 24-36 inches

No chair or sofa should be more than an arm’s length from either the coffee table or side table.



Thank you for these amazing tips:

Margaret Hirsch
Margaret Hirsch
Hirsch COO runs South Africa’s top independence appliance company that specialises in all appliances, electronics, furniture and bedding. They give the best deals and the best prices and everything is guaranteed.