The Art of Layering Rugs: How to Master the Trend

The Art of Layering rugs - Interior by Tharon Anderson. Image via Elle Decor, Photo by Lesley Unruh

The Art of Layering Rugs: How to Master the Trend

Rugs play such an important role in interior design. They anchor and warm up the room. However, when we think about implementing rugs in some space, we usually imagine it as a single piece on the floor. A relatively new trend of layering rug is a game-changer. It adds extra texture, makes the room even warmer, and instantly transforms the entire interior into an innovative and creative space. Still, there is much more to layering rugs than just adding one on top of another. These tips will help you master the art of layering and make your home trendy and cozy.

If you like to spice up the design of whichever room you choose, you can place boho rugs with various patterns. If you want to place an eye-catching colorful boho rug at the entrance to impress your guests or just a subtle enhancement of the room where you spend most of your time in, bohemian rugs will most certainly satisfy your decoration needs. And they are great for layering, too, with a variety of straight-line or curved patterns, they will provide the versatility or conformity you seek.

Rug Over Wall-to-Wall Carpet

layering rugs cowhide over striped interior design by Christine Dovey - layering with cowhide rugs - living room design ideas Interior Design by Christine Dovey

Back in the day, wall-to-wall carpeting was very popular, but due to dust mites, allergens and other issues people have stopped installing it. However, with organic materials, such as wool, these carpets have made a comeback, especially in bedrooms and kids’ rooms. Wall-to-wall carpets of consistent color and pattern tend to look boring and they have no way of defining different zones in the room. This can be achieved by layering area rugs over them. For example, in the bedroom, you can place two area rugs on each side of the bed to mark the “landing zone”, while in the kids’ room you can use a soft rug for the playing area.

Making Different Styles Work Together

layering rugs - Stefano Pilati's Paris Apartment. Photo by Bjorn Wallander via AD - living room design ideas Stefano Pilati’s Paris Apartment. Photo by Bjorn Wallander via AD.

Layering rugs isn’t something that will fit into every design style. In fact, it would be better not to try it in a traditionally designed room. Eclectic and modern styles are perfect for trying out this trend. In such rooms, you can emphasize the different décor approaches, by layering rugs of different style, as well. Guided by this principle, you can layer an oriental rug over a contemporary rug. Dissimilar textures, like flat weave and faux fur, send a similar message.

Get in Shape

Layering Rugs - Interior Design by Sally Wheat Interiors - living room design ideas - layering cowhide rugs - cowhide rug over carpet Interior Design by Sally Wheat Interiors

Square on square and circle on circle… well, there are much more interesting ways to layer your rugs. When you think about it, colorful round rugs make an ideal match with plain rectangle rugs and carpets. This way, the entire look is so much more fun. Also, an irregular shape, such as cowhide, can introduce some dynamic into every space.
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Mix Up the Patterns

Layering rugs - Photo by Domino Media Group - living room design ideas - zebra print rugs - layering with Moroccan rugs Photo by Domino Media Group

Don’t be afraid to experiment with mixing different patterns. After all, this has been a trend for years in the world of interior design, and all you need to do is to apply what you know on rugs. Layering pattern on pattern, such as Turkish kilim on traditional Moroccan rug is an incredible design statement. However, it should be done with care, to avoid overwhelming the space. In this example, you can use a Moroccan rug in a neutral color, and top it with a vibrant kilim.

Be Messy

Layering rugs - Photo by Sarah Kaye - hallway design ideas - colorful rug ideas - hallway decorating ideas Photo by Sarah Kaye.

Layering rugs doesn’t have to be perfectly proportional. In fact, you will make it seem way more fun if you throw one carpet on top of another in a carefree casual manner. This is a great option if you need to fill a long narrow space like the entryway. Instead of using one long runner, you can combine two small or midsize rugs and place them at a jaunty angle, while making sure the edges are still overlapping. This is something you also do with larger rugs in the living room or any other space.

Make a Patchwork

Layering rugs - Katie Tarses Home. Photo by Nicole LaMotte via One Kings Lane - living room design ideas - layering patterned rugs Katie Tarses Home. Photo by Nicole LaMotte via One Kings Lane.

If you want your place to reflect a bohemian vibe, without investing too much effort in collecting oriental items and eclectic pieces, you can achieve that by making a patchwork out of vintage-style flat weave rugs. Do this by slightly overlapping their edges and filling up the entire floor space. You should still aim to create a cohesive look by sticking to a limited color palette. While the patterns can and should be different, it is still recommended to keep their scale consistent. One of the frequent problems that come with this look is that the rugs can move a lot while you are walking or moving the furniture, so hold everything in place with a rug pad.
All of these tips make a good starting point for layering rugs, but when it comes to implementing trends such as this, nothing beats a little creativity and imagination.

About the Author:
Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls. She’s passionate about fashion, home décor, and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”