Layering Rugs Takes Your Room to the Next Level

Some hints and inspiration to get you started with layering rugs in your own interior design

Layering rugs is a hot interior trend. 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.

Laying rugs Photo Credit @kfogara
Photo Credit @kfogara

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 textually 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.