Master's Class: Rug Layering 101


I happen to love a great rug. There is something about the workmanship and attention to detail that really resonates with me. I believe a rug should be bought with great care, as the right choice will last you a lifetime.

But the whole “lasting a lifetime” thing can present its own set own set of challenges too. The rug you buy now may be perfect for your current place, but will it be the right size for the place after that, and the one after that?

Click here to create this look in your own style and see similar ones on nousDECOR.

This is fairly common problem. (Notice I totally ignored the question of color and pattern, as I believe that a well-bought rug is design-neutral and fits most styles and colors.) I think the first time I ever saw someone layer rugs was when I was visiting a country home in England. It was beautifully decorated home that was quite modest, but had two seating arrangements in the living room. The floor had one large natural fiber rug that almost filled the room, and on top of this were two small traditional rugs, each anchoring one of the seating groups. I was gobsmacked at the idea of a rug on a rug, which had always seemed silly and wasteful, but all of a sudden it made total sense.

Image via Desire to Inspire.

Click here to create this look in your own style and see similar ones on nousDECOR.

So what should you keep in mind when you are trying to pull off this designer trick?

  1. Don’t make the bottom rug too plush. Think of it almost as you would a rug pad in a regular installation.
  2. While I like to mix and match, let the top rug be the star and make the bottom rug a worthy support. This is a great technique to use with antique rugs, where the budget may only support a smaller rug but you have a bigger room.
  3. Do not use another pad under either of these rugs,,, its a floor covering, not a trampoline! You may have to tape down the bottom rug though to stop if from sliding.
  4. Be creative with the bottom rug. There are lots of choices from seagrass squares sewn together all the way up to water hyacinth wovens.
  5. For a summer look, you may want to pull up the lower rug.
  6. For something a bit different, you can try an animal hide as the top layer. I like to use a natural rug in a bedroom then a sheepskin on either side of the bed.

Happy layering!

Image via Twine Interiors

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