I Love Layered Rugs

Do you have a too-tiny rug gracing your living room? Did you read my last post and cry because you didn’t measure, and now the rug you bought barely has enough room around your bed for you to put your feet on? It’s ok. Grab a tissue for your issue, because I’ve got a potential solution for you: layering!

I love the look of layered rugs when done right. Now, buying an even larger rug to go underneath your tiny one doesn’t save you money, but it keeps you from throwing away a rug you might really love the pattern of. This is also great if you’ve inherited a vintage rug but the size doesn’t work in your home.

via Rue Magazine

Without the natural fiber rug underneath, that striped rug would look wonky. Only the middle leg of the sofas is resting on it. Together, they give a relaxed vibe to the otherwise buttoned-up space.

Via House Beautiful

I know we are all distracted at how gorgeous Sarah Bartholomew is and how we want to know where she got her jeans from (just me?), but look beneath her cute pointy shoes and you’ll see some layered rug goodness. The tone-on-tone makes it subtle while still introducing a pattern. 

One thing to keep in mind is that two rugs = a higher pile. So if a door will be swinging over it, make sure it won’t get stuck! The two examples above have a thin flat weave rug on top.

via Mark D. Sikes

Both of the above rooms are from the same house. LOVE how inviting the rugs make the rooms feel.

via MyDomaine

This room by Ryan Street & Associates is exactly what I mean by taking a vintage rug and making it work through layering. Without the natural rug underneath it would be dinky. Beautiful, but definitely dinky. 

via Apartment Therapy

This room is so crazy I kind of might love it. Would I want it in my house? No. But I would want to visit these people and learn about their weird life. They don’t give a poo about rules, which totally makes all of these layered rugs work. I’m kind of wondering how they vacuum them, but nevertheless it’s an example of layering rugs that aren’t jute or seagrass. 

Now for layering a cowhide rug – one of my favorite options!

They give such good shape to a room and are perfect for layering because of how thin they are. Plus they have a natural oil that makes them super easy to clean (read: kid’s rooms, under dining tables, etc.)! If you aren’t in to real cowhide, there are plenty of good faux options that are soft.

via Liz Marie Blog

The sheepskin + the cowhide is a little too much animal shapeliness for me, but I do love how the edge of the cowhide brings the reading nook into the rest of the room.

via Studio McGee

Having the cowhide the same tone as the jute rug makes for such a subtle way to introduce texture. I can imagine sitting on the cowhide part around the coffee table for game night or a casual hang out!

via One Kings Lane

This. Room. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I love it first because it shows you an example of a layered cowhide rug, and second because the whole house (click on the link for a tour) just appears as though a stylish, fun person lives there. I really don’t like when you walk in a house and it feels like, “HI I JUST HIRED A DECORATOR EVERYTHING IS PERFECT” like nobody feels comfortable in that. In the article, the owner Sara Ruffin Costello says “I’ve decided flowers are just too expensive, so I just cut stuff out of the garden, banana leaves or weeds or otherwise. Literally I have arranged weeds and they looked great.” THIS IS MY KIND OF PERSON!! Sorry for yelling. Just very enthused.

via Southern Living

SO cute. It definitely screams “southern” with all the color but it’s done well! I think the cowhide does a great job of pulling in all the different pieces of furniture together. Kind of like the cow is stretching out his little cow legs trying to grab the chair legs. Hahahah I’m laughing at myself right now. 

Layering Tips

If you are nervous to layer rugs and don’t have the confidence to just throw them together, here are my tips for pulling this off in your own home:

++Start with a natural fiber rug. Jute is my favorite for softness, seagrass is my pick for durability, and sisal is weird and scratchy and stains easily and I haven’t really figured why people like it yet. (somebody enlighten me!)

++Make sure your natural fiber rug is big enough. It should reach at least behind the front legs of each piece of furniture. For a bedroom, I would suggest that it reach no less than up to the front legs of the nightstand. If you don’t get a big enough rug, this whole layering thing might look really really silly.

++Get your second, smaller rug. Cowhide, vintage, flatweave, whatever. I’ve seen really fluffy rugs layered on top of a natural fiber rug and it looks great, but most commonly the smaller rug is not high pile. 

++Play around with the placement of your smaller rug until it feels right. It may be under the coffee table or strategically used to pull in a piece of furniture in the corner. Wherever you put it, make sure it is grounding some piece of furniture so that they have a relationship. Don’t leave it out in the open looking like you rolled it out to take a picture for Craigslist. 

Wa-la! A gorgeous, inviting, layered rug situation is now happening in your home. 

If you are ready for your house to feel like a home but need help, contact me and let’s make it happen!


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About Briana

Hey! I'm Briana, the author behind this blog.

I'm a self-taught interior designer from South Carolina who loves sweet tea, cats, and open windows on a nice day.

If you prefer a home with soul and life over a "perfect" home, then browse on my friend.