South and Hickory Facade

Layer Rugs Like a Pro

Photo of a living room with layered rugs. Image credit: LeeAnn Cline

May 2021

Adding a rug is an easy way to add texture, color, and warmth to a room. But why would you want more than one? Layering rugs started as a trend, but it’s definitely stuck. Designers love it because it allows them to experiment with a pop of color. That’s way it’s normally done with a neutral base rug topped by a smaller more colorful rug. And they don’t have to both be area rugs. You can place a colorful area rug on top of wall-to-wall carpeting to better define a space and add color.

If you’re game to try it, here are four things to consider that will help you get it right.

  1. More space, less furniture. Layering rugs works better in a room that’s larger, or has less furniture.
  2. Color is key. You can mix and match patterns, but if your colors don’t coordinate, the room will look like a circus. And remember, this usually works best when you place a smaller rug of a bolder color on top of a larger, neutral rug.
  3. Highlight an area. Placing a smaller rug on top of a larger one can be used to direct someone’s eye to a specific area or piece (like a coffee table).
  4. Play with textures. Beyond color, another way to ensure your two rugs are distinct is using different textures. From jute to sheepskin, don’t be afraid to be a little adventurous.