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Will a striped area rug help my room look wider?

The question

I am thinking of adding a striped area rug over the wall-to-wall carpet in my bedroom to help make the room look wider. Is this a good idea?

The answer

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This is the best idea. Layering is a fantastic way to make a room feel larger. Some people mistakenly think that adding more pieces to a room will make it cluttered or cramped, but, in reality, carefully placed items can give the illusion of extra width.

Have the stripes run in the shorter direction to fatten up the room. (Think horizontal stripes on a muscular sailor.) You can pick up the stripe theme in lampshades or drapery trim.

The trick is to make sure the striped rug is spaced away from the walls so that it floats, while having the furniture just kiss the area carpet. Don't hide all that striped beauty under the bed.

Next, add pillows, a throw blanket and possibly a tray with some objets d'art on a bench at the foot of the bed. Now that your room is artfully enlarged, you can get some shut-eye.

Starting June 1, architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace will be appearing on The Real Designing Women, which airs on HGTV Saturdays at 4 p.m. ET. Follow her on Twitter @ddtaylordd. Have a design problem? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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