Layering Rugs: Tips and Inspiration
I haven’t always been a fan of layering rugs, and in fact my first reaction was something along the lines of, “lol that’s dumb.” About a year ago I finally drank the Kool-Aid and spent too many hours in the rug-covered bowels of Pinterest, and came around to loving the look. And you will too. I promise. It’s a deal. For folks who prefer super clean Scandinavian designs, it might hurt your brain. For everyone else, it might be just what you need to make your space unique and intentional.
Layering rugs can help define a space. It can turn a barebones open floor plan into a clearly proportioned collection of dedicated areas for relaxing or dining or sitting and staring woefully out the window. In minimal rooms, it can help bring in that extra cozy lived in feel, or can help propel you towards a boho look. Overall, it is a chance to showcase your personal taste and eye for design by mixing together two items (the two rugs) in a way in which they were not necessarily intended. And that’s always fun.
And as much as we like to encourage people to break “rules” when it comes to home design and decorating, there are a few tips and tricks to rug layering that we’ll outline below, just to gently coax you in the direction of creating the space you intend to.
Start by defining the purpose. Design should be intentional, like, obviously. So, why are you layering rugs? Do you just want to create a wonderfully comfy living area or bedroom? Consider bringing in shag or furs! Is it to better define areas of a room? A bold color or pattern may help! Trying to add a pop of contrasting textures to an otherwise minimal space? Be on the lookout for the perfect Persian or Moroccan rug! Figuring out the why is a reallll good start to figuring out the how.
Make sure the two rugs have different enough colors / patterns that they’ll clearly stand apart. I love when there is some element of harmony among two rugs that are otherwise totally different. For instance, the two we picked both have horizontal stripes, technically, but the colors and pattern of those strips are completely different.
Make sure the colors and/or patterns are complimentary. This is probably obvious, but you probs shouldn’t just find two rugs you love and slap them together. In general, my advice is to find a larger rug that leans neutral, and a smaller rug that can be a pop of color and/or texture. Cow hides and other faux fur hides on top of jute rugs work great for this. In our case, we went with a jute rug as the base and a white / blue striped rug on top. The blue acts as that color pop.
Things I’d outright avoid: Pairing rugs with small patterns together. Pairing rugs with super bold primary colors together. Using long fiber rug (like shag) as the bottom rug—that’ll just make the whole thing feel weird. But you probably could’ve guessed that. Again, feel free to break these suggestions if that’s what suits you.
Where We Shop
Local consignment shops & estate sales—We love giving great pieces a new home, and consignment shops and estate sales are a great way to do just that. Sometimes you’ll find something really amazing, even though the selection is always more limited than shopping online. Yay for repurposing and having cute unique things! Estatesales.net is a great resource for finding estate sales in your area. Oh and if you didn’t know, an estate sale is when a home’s assets needs to be liquidated, usually when someone dies or in bankruptcy. So, go into the homes with respect!
eBay—eBay is like a treasure chest for vintage and Persian rugs. You may have to do a few different searches, but there are some gems to be found and some deals to be had.
Swoon—This is where we got our jute rug from (bottom layer in header photo), and we absolutely love this little shop. The selection is small, thoughtful, and really incredible—so you don’t have to do much work to find something amazing. They’ve currently got the cutest collection of tiny vintage rugs that you gotta see.
Lulu and Georgia—This shop is pretty much incredible and I’ve swooned over so many of their rugs but have yet to get one. They’ve got a pretty big selection of high quality rugs and every single one is gorgeous.
Anthropologie—A wide selection that is also well-curated. Their Moroccan rug selection is *chef’s kiss* (and this is where the top rug in the header image is from!).
Rugs USA—The internet’s warehouse of rugs. So many rugs. So. Many. Rugs. There is just so much stuff to look at that you’ll probably hate like 90% of what you see—but if you put a little time into digging you’re likely to find a gem at a good price!
Our favorite layered rug looks from around ~ the internet ~ to get you inspired
Thanks for stopping by the blog! If you have any questions or ideas of your own, drop them in the comments below :)
xoxo Beau & Matt