Small Kitchen Rugs

Revamp your small kitchen with the addition of an accent rug to complement your color palette and even to cover imperfections in floors.


By: Alison Miller

Small kitchen rugs are often among the last decor touches added, but they're no less important to overall layout and design. These hard-working additions define different areas in your kitchen while serving as a focal point.

Pops of Color for the Kitchen

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Pink Colander

Because it’s finally fresh berries time! Reston Lloyd Calypso Basics 5-quart enameled steel colander in magenta, $22,

Photo By: Mellisa Punch/Studio D

Adjustable Stool

A tufted seat boosts the style, and it’s wipe-clean vinyl. Flash Furniture Contemporary barstool in orange, $73,

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufactuer

Shapely Goblet

Yes, that is a wine glass under $6. Cheval glass in aqua, $5.50,

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Veggie Peeler

It’s sure to stand out in a crowded utensil drawer. Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Polka Dot steel and plastic peeler in green, $5,

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Stacking Mugs

Perk up coffee with pretty mugs in Lilly Pulitzer’s famous tropical prints. Lilly for Target ceramic mugs, $30 for a mixed set of 4 with metal caddy,

Photo By: Lara Robby/Studio D

Cookie Jar

It would be wise to keep this constantly filled. Owl 10 3/4"-tall ceramic cookie jar, $13,

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Heart Glass

Show them some love with their a.m. juice. Heart 12 1/2-ounce glasses, $39 for a set of 4,

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Floral Plate

This 16-piece set (salad plate shown) is anything but garden-variety. Kim Parker for Gourmet Basics by Mikasa Provence Garden porcelain dinnerware set, $70,

Photo By: Mellisa Punch/Studio D

Salad Servers

Indigo-hued handles for a big bowl of greens. Two’s Company wood and bone servers in circle, $36,

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Food Processor

Don’t be fooled by the small size. This guy’s a powerful chopper. Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus food processor in peridot, $40,

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Napkin Holder

A cute design to keep on the kitchen table. Bird Song 4" x 6 1/2" cast-iron napkin holder in lime, $30,

Photo By: Lara Robby/Studio D

Purple Toaster

The cord retracts (like a vacuum’s) for tidy storage. Oster 2-slice toaster in purple, $40,

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Salt and Pepper Mills

Grind like a pro with a matched pair. 8"-tall maple and stainless steel salt and pepper mills set in butternut orange, $60,

Photo By: Lara Robby/Studio D

Mixing Bowls

They look like ceramic, but this set is actually lightweight melamine. Nesting bowls, $35 for a mixed set of 3,

Photo By: Lara Robby/Studio D

Fun Flatware

Each piece is sold individually, so you can buy only what you need. Printed stainless steel and plastic flatware, from $4 each,

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Easy-Grip Tongs

A trio of cooking essentials at a bang-for-your-buck price. Cook Pro All Purpose stainless steel and nylon tongs, $19 for a mixed set of 3,

Photo By: Lara Robby/Studio D

Sweet Timer

Keep track of what’s cookin’! Rice DK Ice Cream 4 1/4"-tall plastic timer in lavender, $13,

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Ice Cube Trays

Silicone makes it easy to pop out pineapple shapes. Pineapple ice trays in dazzling turquoise and vibrant yellow, $16 for a mixed set of 2,

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Serving Bowl

It will be your go-to for backyard BBQs. Watermelon 9 1/2"W x 7 1/2"D x 3 1/2"H earthenware bowl, $60,

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Shelf Liner

Dress up drawers and shelves with wipe-clean liners in a graphic pattern. Duck Brand Deco 20"W x 12'-long adhesive laminate liner in seafoam, $5,

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Strategically placing a rug or two in your small kitchen can also give your bare floors an instant boost of warmth and a shot of color.

Area rugs are widely referred to as decorative anchors in a room. Their placement signals a gathering spot and helps to define the flow of a space, which is especially helpful in an open floor plan.

Even in the case of a small kitchen, rugs define these separate zones. Place them underneath the portable kitchen island to define the cooking prep area, or set one below the dining table to anchor the mealtime zone. Although rugs situated under dining tables should be large enough so that the table and all of the chairs fit on top, be sure to scale the rug to the dimensions of your small space so that it doesn't overwhelm your kitchen.

If you're still unsure of where to set your rugs, then look to your floor plan. In a small kitchen, the layout is the best determining factor for where to place a rug and which shape best suits your space. For instance, galley-style kitchens have a prime location along their narrow aisle for an elongated rug known as a runner. An L-shaped breakfast nook with a round table looks finished and polished with a round area rug underneath. It's worth noting that round tables aren't required to have round rugs underfoot; however, the visual symmetry often works well.

A key factor in rug selection is choosing one that fits your lifestyle and design style. If you have a revolving door of children, guests or pets coming in and out, then bring home a rough-and-ready style that can take on the heavy foot traffic that kitchens naturally attract. In other words, avoid anything too delicate. Don't shy away from rugs in rich colors and bold patterns to echo the vibe of your room. Whether modern, casual or cottage charm, popular motifs can reinvigorate your bare floors—and even expertly conceal imperfections! If you opt for multiple rugs, they needn't match, but they should definitely coordinate.

Eclectic Rugs
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