How to Layer Rugs Correctly

How to Layer Rugs Correctly

Modern interior design trends seem to come and go quickly. However, the cool thing about the 2010s and early 2020s is that nothing is really out of style and that everything can make a comeback. Case in point — layering rugs. While it was somewhat popular a few decades ago, it's coming back thanks to the Scandinavian hygge trend gaining ground. 

Nowadays, most interior designers will suggest layering rugs, but they will all have ideas on how to do it perfectly. Of course, they draw these ideas from personal experience, which is fine. Yet, what might work for one homeowner will not work for another. For example, we might prefer something daring and chaotic or something simple and streamlined. So, how do we layer rugs the right way if we have never done it before? Well, hopefully, our article can help answer that question.

Color Coordination (or Lack Thereof)

Let's say that our room has a consistent black and white motif going on, with the walls, the furniture, and the knick-knacks all fitting this selection of colors. With that in mind, we have several options when it comes to layering different rugs.

The first option should be obvious. We should layer two rugs, both matching the color palette of the room. For instance, one can be a black rug and the other one a beige rug, or they can both be overwhelmingly black-and-beige with some minor additions of different colors in between. Keep in mind that materials and patterns don't even have to play a role here. It's all about the colors.

The second option is a little more daring. Imagine a black-and-white room with hot flaming pink rugs layered one atop the other. What about an aquamarine blue carpet with a small, olive rug on top of it? Yes, these colors deliberately clash with the room's ambiance, but that clash can define your space. Moreover, it can bring just a little bit of discord in your otherwise stable, orderly room for some extra oomph. 

Layering Along with the Bias

For those readers who don't know a lot about rug terminology, a bias is a direction that goes diagonal to the original weave of the fabric. More often than not, designers will tell us to place the top rug along with the bias of the bottom rug. However, that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. We suggest experimenting with different angles and positions to get some exciting ideas. Furthermore, shifting the furniture around will also result in some intriguing patterns. 

Defining a Space

Some spaces are pretty large. A lot of people with wide, spacious rooms have a problem with so-called 'floating furniture.' They have everything that a room needs, but it feels empty and somewhat depressing. Adding more furniture doesn't help, especially if it clashes with the aesthetic of the space. Naturally, people add oversized rugs to these spaces to connect the room somewhat, but that might not be enough if the room is too big.

In this respect, layering rugs is somewhat necessary. After all, it 'grounds' all of the furniture that 'floats' and gives our room a clear pathway of movement. But, sadly, sometimes a single rug underneath all of the furniture will look lonely for lack of a better term. So, if we layer a carpet or two, we immediately expand the space's 'reach' and cover more ground. Furthermore, we add some spontaneity to this vast room, which is always a good thing.


Rugs come in different sizes, and when layering, we should have that in mind. Sometimes, we can layer rugs of the same size one atop another, but we would have to do it in a way that exposes the best features of both rugs. The best example of doing that is to cover roughly one-fourth of the bottom rug with an equal amount of the top one, usually at the corner. However, we also want to avoid covering horizontally, i.e., when roughly half of the whole rug is occupied by the other.

When we have rugs of different sizes, small rugs go on top large rugs, and we will use these small rugs as accents. We can buy a selection of different small rugs and roll them up, unrolling them when we have guests or during special occasions. Sometimes, guests like to sit on pillows or mats on the floor, so adding the appropriate rugs will make their experience far more engaging than usual. Furthermore, we can buy entire sets of entirely different rugs and mix-and-match according to the occasion itself. 


Each home has that one element that the owner wants to highlight to draw our attention to it. It can be an antique dresser or an old grandfather clock, or anything else. And while they can directly point it out to us or even feature it in a prominent location, there's another exciting way to point the element out. And yes, it does involve rug layering.

Humans are visual creatures, so anything visible that is striking and beyond the norm will get our attention. So, if we place two layered rugs underneath a particular room element, our guests' eyes will be directed straight at it. It's a neat way of drawing attention subconsciously without having to do it outright.

Funnily enough, we can also use rug layers to draw attention away from something else. For instance, if we have a piece of furniture we don't particularly like, we will leave the carpet underneath as is. However, we will rug-layer a different part of the room so that the guests will direct their attention away from the undesirable furniture piece. 

Layering for All Seasons

Depending on the season, we will swap out different types of rugs while layering. For example, when it's winter, we can layer faux furs or other thick materials. That way, the room will both look and feel warm and cozy, as it should during those cold months. However, when the summer rolls out, we can experiment with woven cotton rugs or other light materials. Not only are they lightweight, but they also let the room breathe and bring some much-needed coolness to the space around them. 

Material, Pattern, and Shape Experimentation

We already mentioned experimenting with colors, so let's cover something a bit more daring. Imagine having the bottom rug made of cotton and the top rug made of fur? How about a nice jute-cowhide combo? Maybe something natural clashing with something a bit synthetic? These are all options that bring a sense of adventure to our room. 

Furthermore, we can go one step beyond and mix a nice circular rug with a rectangular one underneath. Triangular rugs can bring some nice edginess to our living space, while natural-looking cowhide rounded shapes provide a homely, quaint feel. And to go even beyond that, we can fiddle around with the patterns. A neat, traditional Turkish rug with its famous geometric patterns can perfectly match a modern, chaotic pattern choice of contemporary rugs. The sky's the limit when it comes to experimenting with pattern and shape ideas. 

Rug Layering: Final Thoughts

If done correctly, rug layering can make our home feel entirely different. The best thing about this practice is just how easy and creative it is. It doesn't take a lot of effort to rearrange a few rugs, one atop the other. What's more, it gives us literally countless different designs to play with, which is perfect as it will make you feel at home at every waking minute, no matter what you choose.

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