Lessons from Rooms that Nail the Layered Rug Look

published Apr 25, 2017
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(Image credit: Anthropologie)

Layering rugs lends a certain tactile element to a room that a solo tapestry just can’t pull off (plus it’s often a more budget-friendly—believe it or not—solution to pulling off a stylized rug…more on that later). Although you might be hesitant to flex your design muscles with this trend, the options and results can be unlimited. Just look to these pretty interiors and our round-up of curated combinations for endless inspiration that take the “more the merrier” concept to heart.

Here are a few reasons we’re on board with the layered rug look, and some rooms that do it right:

(Image credit: Amber Interiors)

They add visual interest/contrast to a room:

A common layered rug formula is large jute rug + smaller patterned rug, but you don’t just have to stick to a natural seagrass as your base. Try a delicate flokati (like in the photo in this post’s lead from Anthropologie) or layer pattern upon pattern such as the room above from Amber Interiors for an eclectic mix. Choose a veritable rainbow of rugs in similar textures, hues or patterns to unite your space.

(Image credit: The Glitter Guide)

It can be more budget-friendly than buying an oversize rug.

Room-sized rugs (like a 9’x12′ and above) can be quite pricey, but if you opt for a smaller version of your dream rug, you can easily layer it atop a more reasonably priced natural woven or shag for a cost-friendly option that achieves a similar look. For instance, let’s say you’re over the moon for a Moroccan wedding rug such as the one above in this room found via The Glitter Guide. An 8’x10′ (or larger) version of a similar rug is either quite difficult to find or upwards of $1,000+. If you pick up a 9’x12′ jute rug like this one from Overstock for just under $300 and layer it beneath something similar to World Market’s Moroccan Style Wedding Rug ($229.99 for a 5’x8), you accomplish just the look you want for half of what you would have spent.

(Image credit: Cloth & Kind)

It can anchor an open floor plan.

If you have an open floor plan or live in a studio apartment, solve the “where does the space begin and end” dilemma by layering a smaller more stylized rug over a much larger one to create defined, cohesive spaces. The room above by Cloth & Kind anchors floating furniture in a spacious living room with multiple rugs.

One size doesn’t have to fit all.

A small decorative rug from years (and homes) past that doesn’t quite fit your new space can absolutely still work thanks to the layering trick. All you have to do is highlight and frame it atop a larger neutral textile; now the too-small rug is a perfect, cozy addition to your living room.

(Image credit: The Fox & She)
(Image credit: Studio McGee)

It can add texture to create a cozy ambience.

By pairing a high pile shag like The Fox & She did or cowhide a la Studio McGee atop a nubby jute rug, you’ve just doubled the texture and depth in your space. Not to mention it’s just looks and feel so cozy.

Get the Look For Yourself With Our Curated Rug Duos:

Combo 1: The Globetrotter

(Image credit: Arlyn Hernandez)

Say you found an amazing vintage rug on your last vacation abroad, but it’s just too small to be usable in your living room. Bring in the trust natural fiber rug to make it work.

For the base: Safavieh Natural Fiber NF734 Rug, 5′ x 8′ at RugsUSA, $108

Layer with: Hand Woven Qashqai Red Wool Kilim, 3’3″ x 6’8″ at EcarpetGallery, $168

Combo 2: Going With the Flow

(Image credit: Arlyn Hernandez)

Want some movement in your room via an organically shaped rug, but want to play by the rules and keep your furniture legs on a rug? Here’s how to do it.

For the base: Lohals Flatwoven Natural Rug, 6’7″ x 9’10” at IKEA, $139

Layer with: Gold Printed Cowhide Area Rug, 5’x7’6” at World Market, $149.99

Combo 3: New Traditionalist

(Image credit: Arlyn Hernandez)

Fell in love with a traditional or vintage style rug but not ready to bite the (incredible expensive) bullet? Opt for the smaller more affordable size and then have a little fun with a subtly graphic larger jute rug.

For the base: Charcoal Herringbone Woven Jute Area Rug, 6′ x 9′ at World Market, $84.98

Layer with: Trinity Mocha Rug, 3’7″ x 5’7″ at Magnolia Market, $159

Combo 4: Color Punch

(Image credit: Arlyn Hernandez)

For those who aren’t afraid to make a statement. This is the perfect combination of dig-your-toes-in cozy with a bold, colorful look.

For the base: Standard Shag Greek Flokati Rug, 5′ x 7′ at RugsUSA, $183

Layer with: Desert Blaze Rug, 3′ x 5′ at Lulu & Georgia, $262