The Layered Look

One of the current home trends is the layering of area rugs. Rather than reinvent (or in this case, re-write) the proverbial wheel, here are four useful tips from Overstock.com.

  1. Find a color scheme. Layered area rugs look best when you mix two similarly colored rugs. The goal is to make the layered rugs look like one unit that flows on your floor and doesn’t compete with furniture. Neutrals work well because they are easy to mix without overwhelming the room. For this reason, organic area rugs made from materials like hemp and or straw make good base layers.
  2.  Mix textures. The key to making layered rugs work is mixing textures. This will make your decorating look intentional and give the room depth. If you use a coarse rug as a base layer, try putting a thin sheepskin rug on top. Your rugs should balance each other rather than compete for attention.
  3.  Don’t forget proportions. Layering a small rug on top of a giant one will look slightly strange, so keep that in mind as you choose rugs to layer. The only time this look works is if you’re laying a smaller rug over a larger rug that takes up the full space of a room. Ideally, you’ll want to find area rugs that are almost the same size if you plan on layering two rugs.
  4. Play with patterns. Re-mix a traditional look by making a patchwork pattern out of small oriental rugs. Layering several small rugs so that they are just barely overlapping gives you the look of one large, uniquely patterned area rug. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns; just make sure that they have a common color scheme if you plan on using this style when decorating.


The floral area rug adds a unique contrast to the plaid carpet underneath. Keeping the rugs within a similar color palette helps keep the area cohesive and elegant yet creates a softness to the room.

Animal print is a bold design move in any space but if you aren’t totally comfortable with it, consider adding just one main focal point, in this case, the zebra print rug layered on top of the carpet.

While this bedroom is neutral in its color scheme, the Flokati rugs add a textural depth when layered on top of the striped area rug keeping things visually interesting.

When your area rug isn’t large enough for the space you want to use it in, consider “framing” it by layering it on a larger, similar shaped rug. This brightly colored rug stands out beautifully with the sisal rug as its background.

Layering various rugs is a great way to cover unappealing floors. Consider using a similar color palette but don’t worry too much about  doing the “matchy matchy” thing. Think outside the box.

Becky Pickrel

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