Here are some hints and inspiration to get you started with your own rug layering interior design

the rug edit blog rug layering ideas

Rug layering has become a hot interior trend in recent months and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. The concept may seem a little odd at first, since you bought your area rug to cover an area. So why buy something to cover up the rug? But when you see a well planned rug-layering concept, you start to understand the allure.

Maybe the reason the layered look has stayed on trend for this long is that layering rugs provides decorators with a virtually infinite number of ways to use the same rugs in different arrangements and combinations to create something truly unique. If you do it well, you have a look and feel in your room that is specifically personalized to your style and your interior decor needs.

After all, a lot of people may have a rug that looks like the one you just placed on your floor. Did they add the same cowhide accent or throw rug as well?

The concept of layering rugs on carpet or hardwood floors involves finding the right mix of colors, textures, sizes, and even rug construction. The idea is to create a look that’s visually inviting and texturally interesting, while at the same time not looking random or cluttered. But beyond the appearance, there are also some practical reasons to layer rugs:

  • Create a “landing spot.” This is particularly useful at bedside, but a favorite lounging sofa can benefit as well. A thick, soft pile added on top of a flat weave rug can provide a pleasant variation of texture, as well as a warm landing for your feet.
  • Highlight an area within the area. On a large rug, you may want to call attention to a centerpiece, such as a glass center table that might not stand out to the eye. Whether you want to make sure people notice the beautiful piece of furniture, or just keep people from banging their shins on it, adding a smaller rug with a darker color or patterns (or even a shag texture) can add just enough visibility, while the larger base rug defines the area as a whole.
  • Get more use out of smaller rugs. By layering, you can still incorporate a smaller rug that you really like into your seating area by either adding a large base rug, or by buying two or three rugs that can combine to form a consistent look for the space.
  • Protect your carpet (or rug). Area rugs are easier to clean — or replace — than wall-to-wall carpet. If you have a high-spill area in your home, or if your home is populated by high-spill individuals, putting a less expensive (and preferably stain-resistant) layer in the right spot makes a lot of sense.

Picking the right rug-layering base

If you decide to go with a large base rug, the standard sizing rules apply. The rug needs to fit the space, and should be large enough to bring together all the furniture or other elements you want to include. Your best bet is to use a neutral tone rug that has a sturdy, low pile. (You don’t want to layer on top of a shag rug!)

The single most common trend we see in layering is the use of a sisal or jute rug as base. This provides a strong durable foundation for your other layers. And since natural colors are so versatile, you can choose from a wide range of colors and patterns for your layering scheme.

You can also use a more decorative flat weave rug for your base, but you will want to pick layering rugs that don’t compete too much with its design. A cowhide or shag accent works quite well. If you’re particularly proud of the flat weave, use it as a top layer, or in combination with another similar style flat weave for an overlap effect.

Using multiple rugs together to define a space can work well. Multiple Persian style rugs can create amazing combinations of color and pattern. Be careful that the rugs complement each other and that they don’t create a look that’s more cluttered than colorful. Also, when overlapping, it’s best to use low-pile or flat weave rugs to avoid tripping hazards.

More helpful links on rug layering

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