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The practice of layering rugs simply means combining two different rugs of the same or different shapes and sizes, one on top of the other. This is quite a common feature in today’s interior design world. One that creates a deeper sense of decor and character.
You can layer rugs to define a space, make a statement or even make a certain piece of furniture more prominent. While one rug can attract some attention, two or more layered rugs can really become a focal point in a design.
In addition, layering rugs can provide extra warmth and cushion to the floor. Doubling up on rugs, one on top of the other can add extra color and style in a room, in addition to textures and patterns. All these features can really spruce up a space and make it more appealing, playful and unique.
Since there are different mediums that have to be taken into consideration when layering rugs, the entire process does require care and taste. This is especially important when it comes to mixing patterns and colors in order to create one interesting element of decor.
Keep reading to find out how to layer rugs like a pro and come up with the perfect combination for your room.
How to Layer Rugs
The different rug layering designs are all based on the style of the rug, the colors, materials, patterns and of course the layering techniques. The two main layering techniques include overlapping and simple layering.
Overlapping rugs means the rugs do not necessarily need to go one completely on top of the other. The overlapping technique defines a process where even small parts of the rugs, such as corners, can overlap. The only thing to keep in mind is that the rugs need to share a common detail such as material, color or texture.
Overlapping rugs is a good way to make use of several smaller rugs instead of investing a lot of money into two area rugs. This method allows you to play with angles, textures, and piles in order to create an interesting decor.
In addition, overlapping rugs can give life and coherence to a dull room. This is also a great way to protect every part of the floor. It allows you to fully cover even the smallest areas.
Layering Rugs on Carpet|
Layering rugs over carpet is a perfect way to upgrade the carpet without having to change it. You can add color and character to the carpet, hide any old stains, wears, tears or even just try to make the entire room look more lively.
The way to layer rugs over carpets is pretty much the same as placing them on a hardwood floor. That is if the carpet is only displaying one color. If the carpet has different colors and textures, on the other hand, there are some tips you can follow to make the pair work.
Firstly, pay attention to texture and make sure that the texture of the rug does not clash with the texture of the carpet. Next, make sure that the color of the rug complements and matches the color of the carpet. Also, layer a rug that is big enough to anchor the furniture (see our rug size guide for further advice).
In terms of pattern, make sure that you do not overload the entire room. Some balance is always needed. Therefore, if the carpet has too many patterns, go for a block colored rug. If the patterns of the carpet are faint, you can fancy up the room with some more patterns.
- Short pile carpets work best with fancy shag rugs.
- Soft plush carpets work best with thin woven rugs.
- Long-pile carpets cannot provide a stable foundation for rug layering.
Layering Rugs on Rugs
Layering rugs on rugs is a designer’s move used to add depth, detail and inject color into a room. This technique works vice versa too. If you have a beautiful rug that is too overwhelming for the room, you can add another one on top to create some balance.
Generally, however, if you are buying the rugs from scratch, it is better to go for a neutral bottom rug and a colorful textile on top. This is a great trick to cover more area with a supporting rug and accentuate the main piece in the room without worrying if it is not the right size.
One thing to keep in mind is the hierarchy of materials. It is best to keep the heavier rug on the bottom to create a good support for the top rug. In addition, try to avoid high-pile rugs as a bottom rug. Natural fiber rugs are better choices as bottom layers.
In terms of placement, you can be creative and literally think outside the box. Not all rugs need to be placed in the middle of the room, directly one on top of the other. You can overlap them too.
- Go for two patterns that complement each other at least in one detail, either texture, color or style.
- Rustic interiors allow you to experiment more with patterns than modern chic interiors.
- Make sure the bottom rug is noticeably bigger than the top rug.
Layering Rugs Over Jute
One of the most common rug layering styles is using any rug material over Jute. Jute rugs are soft rugs made of natural fibers. They have certain advantages such as being durable, easy to clean and visually pleasing.
They usually come in a natural tan color that adds an organic element to the house. In addition, they add more texture, warmth and sound insulation to the floor. These rugs are great to layer other rugs on top since they are flat and provide good support.
Jute rugs work well if your area rug is not big enough to anchor all the furniture in the room. In addition, they add another level of detail and texture to a floor. The best way to layer a rug over a Jute is to place it in the middle and allow the Jute to look like a thick frame.
- Seagrass rugs over Jute look quite good together.
- Oriental rugs of different sizes can add character to a Jute rug in a space.
- Rugs layered over Jute work better if placed in a central position in the room.
- Heavily patterned rugs go really well over the natural look of a Jute rug.
- Jute rugs can be perfect supports for high-pile or plush rugs.
Layering Rugs Sizes
Layering rugs can be done in two ways. One way is to overlap rugs. In this case, it does not really matter what size of rugs you are overlapping as long as they cover up the floor nicely. Be creative with their placement.
The second way how to layer rugs is by placing one on top of the other, keeping them in line and centered. When doing so, try to have some tables or furniture at every end of the rug to keep the rugs in place.
In addition, keep in mind the rule of thumb about rug sizes. Typically, the top rug should be almost ⅔ the size of the bottom rug, to create a noticeable design. Some of the most common rug sizes include 5 x 8, 6 x 9 and 8 x 10.
Here are some common rug layering sizes that have proven to work:
- A small 3 x 5 rug could go on top of a larger 6 x 9 rug.
- A 6 x 9 rug can also go well with a 4 x 6 top rug.
- A bottom 12 x 18 large rug can be layered with a 6 x 9 rug.
- If you have a 5 x 8 rug you can also place it nicely on a 12 x 18 rug.
- A 9 x 12 bottom rug goes quite well with a 3 x 12 rug.
Layering Rugs in Different Areas
There are many areas in a house that can greatly benefit from layering rugs. In addition to providing a cozy and warm landing, they also add color and a sense of completion to a room.
Each room can have it’s own style when it comes to layering rugs. Here are some of the most common spaces in the house and some ideas on how to layer rugs like a professional designer.
Layering Rugs in the Living Room
The living room is the core of the house. It always requires extra attention when it comes to implementing design decisions. The same goes for layering rugs. As a result, the living room can support larger area rugs than the rest of the rooms in the house.
Depending on the space you have you can either layer or overlap rugs. If your living room has a fluid open area that stretches to other rooms as well, such as the dining room or kitchen, you can cover the entire space with overlapping rugs.
If you have a small composition of beautiful pieces of furniture that you want to anchor together, you can use a larger area rug for the bottom and a smaller design piece for the top. Make sure that the larger rug touches parts of the furniture.
The best practice is for at least one of the couches to be placed over the bottom rug. Next, you can place a coffee table on the top rug to create some stability.
The last piece of advice when layering rugs in a living room floor is to cover up the areas that have more traffic with the bottom rug. This way you can protect both the top rug as well as the floorboards.
Layering Rugs in the Dining Room
Layering rugs in the dining room is a very good way to make the dining table more prominent. In addition, it creates a good and warm landing for your feet when you are having dinner.
When layering rugs in the dining room make sure to consider both the area of the room as well as the size of the dining table. One way you could do it is to have a very large bottom rug in Jute. This is a natural material that is easy to clean.
The top rug could be any material placed under the dining table. Make sure that the bottom rug is big enough so that the chairs can move freely. You do not want yourself or your family members to trip on the rugs at any point.
Layering Rugs in the Kitchen
Layering rugs in the kitchen mostly refers to layering runners, between the kitchen cabinets. The way to tackle the entire process is actually determined by the empty floor area in the kitchen. Chances are there is only a small space where to place a rug which is why runners are more effective.
Jute rugs are a good option for any space that is at risk from water splatters or any other stains. In addition, these rugs add a sense of nature and organic material to the kitchen. The top rug you can use just needs to be slightly smaller for it to make an impact.
This could be any colorful rug, Oriental or other. The best ones to use in the kitchen are slim, flat-woven rugs. The kitchen experiences a lot of foot traffic during the day and a flat rug is the safest option.
Layering Rugs in the Entryway
The entryway serves as an introduction point for your house. To someone who has never been at your place before, the entryway can totally set the mood for the entire decor of the house.
This is why it is important to carefully design the entryway in a manner so that all the rest of the design story that is unraveled in the following rooms is beautifully introduced. Layering rugs in the entryway is a good method on how to add more elements to a small space.
In this case, you can pick two of the most important design elements of your house, whether color or pattern and combine them so they create a cohesive story with the rest of the decor. Make sure you choose long-lasting and durable materials.
Layering Rugs in the Bedroom
Bedrooms are very creative when it comes to rugs. You can place them in the empty space between the bed and the wardrobe, use them as runners on both sides of the bed as well as place them underneath the bed.
The best thing about the bedroom is the variety of soft fabrics that compose the room, which can all be combined with both rugs you use. This allows the whole layering process to be more flexible and versatile, and as a result, more creative.
You can play with colors as long as you keep a palette of three main shades that do not overwhelm the room. In terms of materials, keep the bedroom rugs soft and warm. You can have a flat cotton rug for the bottom and a plush flokati for the top.
Also, try different material combinations as long as the top rug is always soft and thicker. Keep the bottom rug a heavy material so that it does not slip. Placing both rugs under the bed is a great way to increase stability.
Layering Rugs in Studio Apartment
Layering rugs in a studio apartment is a tricky practice. Studio apartments feature open plans but in small spaces that are usually crowded with furniture. This is why there are two ways to layer rugs in a studio apartment.
The first way is to go bold and cover the entire apartment with layers upon layers of rugs. In order to make this statement work, you need to cover the entire floor area with rugs and combine colors, patterns, and textures with the rule of three: keep your palette with up to three shades, motifs, and textures.
The next way you can layer rugs is by being a bit more subtle and elegant. Choose one spot of the studio where you want to add more detail and layer two rugs in that space only. You can layer them centrally or diagonally. However, make sure this is the focal point of the design and any other rugs added to the space should complement this element.
Layering Rugs Ideas
Layering rugs is one of the most popular trends lately. Here are some interesting ideas for you to get inspired. Start layering now!
The Eclectic Rug Layering Style
This colorful and lively composition displays so many different shapes and patterns that might seem overwhelming at first, however they do actually work. It seems like pulling inspiration from different sources can create a playful design that is quite warm and inviting.
This living room is a wonderful palette of textures and even styles. The grey rug looks more prominent when matched with the overlapping Oriental dark red rug. The entire ensemble is youthful, joyful and very creative.
This is a great layering idea when you already have two large area rugs that you want to utilize. Make sure to match the rest of the décor to the rugs, and voila, you will achieve a mesmerizing design!
The Natural Rug Layering Method with a Twist
This living room maintains its elegance through the pale natural colors. It is calming and inspiring. However, the best design move remains the integration of the smaller runner rug on top of the large area rug.
Twisting the rug in such a way creates a charming design detail that instantly spruces up this living room. The color choice is quite interesting as well, complementing the larger area rug in every way.
The Elegant Exotic Rug Layering Technique
Combining different styles of rugs can work in your favor if you want to evoke the exotic feeling of a getaway island, within the confinement of a city apartment. This living room displays just that: a great combination of two styles that results in a chic design.
The larger area rug is an elegant blue rug with a sheen, while the top rug is a flatwoven Oriental rug. Both rugs have been overlaid in a way so that they do not overshadow one another. In fact, they complement the entire design of the room, bringing the furniture more into view.
This is a stylish and very well-thought interior. It displays a perfect way on how to layer different styles of rugs and not end up in a Boho style. Instead, you get an elegant and comfortable living room!
Can You Put an Area Rug on Top of Another Area Rug?
YES! You can layer area rugs as long as the top rug is ⅔ the size of the bottom rug. Make sure to consider the space, furniture, and function of the room before layering area rugs on top of each other.
How Do You Connect Two Rugs Together?
You can layer or overlap two rugs together. Make sure to match their colors, patterns, and sizes when layering rugs. Materials are important too. Keep a heavy rug for the bottom and a lighter rug on the top.
How Do You Layer Rugs Boho Style?
The main characteristic of layering rugs Boho style is to think outside the box and be more free-spirited. Boho style allows you to match more than 3 patterns, colors, and textures and still make sense. Another feature of Boho style is layering bold colored rugs in a diagonal or somewhat random way.
How Do You Layer Rugs Diagonally?
Layering rugs diagonally is quite easy. The rule is to keep the bottom rug laid straight according to the furniture. Next, move the top rug diagonally to make the room look bigger.
What Size Rug to Layer Over 8 x 10?
You can use a 5 x 8 or 6 x 9 rug over an 8 x 10 rug.
What Size Rug to Layer Over 9 x 12?
You can layer a 3×12 top rug on a 9×12 bottom rug, or any other rug that is 2/3 the size of the bottom rug or smaller.
Friday 15th of January 2021
I have a double door entryway with a staircase directly in front and off to the side by the stairs is a wall with a bench and shoe rack and then the other side is open to a very large front room.
To give a little division to the entryway and have an area to take off shoes I'd like to put a 4'x6' natural fiber rug down (jute or seagrass) that will span from the door to the far edge of the bench.
But those rugs aren't generally the best for dirty, wet shoes and it has no color.
So I want to put a colorful rug runner on top of it just right in front of the door. Currently I have a 2'x6' rug spanning the double doors, but then it would be the same width as the jute rug.
Is that ok, or should I get a 5' rug runner?
Is it ok to have the runner at the one end of the jute rug, so that you can wipe your shoes on it, or do the top rugs really need to be centered?
Saturday 9th of January 2021
I have an 8x10 rug that seems just a bit small under my king size bed. What size rug can I put under it?
Sunday 10th of January 2021
Hi there, please check this guide: https://homelyrugs.com/rug-size-under-king-bed/
Kaitlin L Watson
Sunday 1st of November 2020
Hello! I am searching for this answer and cant find it anywhere!! Can you layer a rectangle rug over a square rug? For example...what size of rectangle rug would you layer over a 10x10 square rug?
Tuesday 17th of November 2020
I personally think that the two shapes are a bit too similar to be layered together. However, if you must, then make sure that the shape at the bottom is quite large in comparison to the shape on top.
For example, if the square rug is 10x10, then the rectangular one should be either 4x6 or smaller in order to create the right kind of shapely contrast.
It wouldn't look good if both rugs are similar in size.