Rug Layering: Tips, Tricks, and Picks

Rug Layering: Tips, Tricks, and Picks

Posted by Kolina Cicero on

Rug layering is such a fun way to add texture and elevate the design of your space. Not only that, but if you've fallen in love with a rug that is too small for your space, or if you have a smaller rug budget, you can layer a smaller vintage rug on top of a larger, less intricate rug, and you'll achieve something just as great as having one big rug. 

We've worked with a lot of designers over the years who have implemented a beautiful layered rug look. Here are some of our tips and tricks (plus some rug picks!) about rug layering: 


The first thing we recommend when designing the layered rug look is to measure your space, or, better put, the space you want the rug to fill. We can't tell you how often people exchange rugs because they hadn't adequately measured (or hadn't measured at all) their room. 

It can be hard to measure an open space, so we recommend using blue painter's tape to draw out exactly where you want the rug to lie. This will give you the most accurate measurement. Keep in mind that for places like a bedroom or living room, you may have a little wiggle room when it comes to the size. 

Photo: Styled by Stephanie


Choose Your Base

Once you know the general size your rug needs to be, it's time to look for the base layer. As we mentioned, jute rugs are a great option for the bottom rug. They are neutral in color and design so you can layer any style on top of them.

For a smaller space, here's a beautiful 6'x9' hand-woven rug in ivory. It is so plush and it's got a subtle chevron design that we love.

If you're searching for a larger rug for layering, here's an 8'x10' in braided jute that has a slight patterned look, and here's more of a blank (but lovely!) slate to layer upon.

Measure again

You may not need to pull out the measuring tape again, but you will need to decide an appropriate size to layer on top of the base rug. If you're going with an 8'x10' base, we recommend going at least a foot shorter all around the border, which would be about 6'x8' or smaller. So when searching for a top rug, use 6'x8' as a guidelines, but give yourself a little room to play. 

Here's a pretty Turkish Oushak that measures 5'4"x 8'3" (so it's bigger than 8' but not by much) and would look lovely on top of one of those 8'x10' jute rugs.

If your base rug is the size of the smaller option we linked above (6'x9'), you'll want to aim for something around 4'x7' or smaller, but not so small that there is more base layer visible than top layer. 
Here's a beauty that is 6'7 x 3'9. With a rug like this one below, you don't need a huge size to add huge personality, which is precisely why we love rug layering so much.
Here's another medium-sized rug that would fit on a 6'x9' base:
While you'll likely be compelled to center the top rug right in the middle of the bottom rug so that there's an equal-sized border encapsulating the top rug, you can have some fun with the way you place your top rug. Check out these fun stylings:

Go bold (if that's your thing)

If a simple jute rug isn't your vibe, we've seen many gorgeous rug pairings with mixed and matched designs and colors. It's so unique and memorable! Here's a layered styling we adore:

Try it out

After you've decided which rugs to purchase, now you get to play around with them! We gave you our recommendations above, but feel free to break the rules and do what looks best to your discerning eye. 

Whether you layer rugs because you're on a budget or because you just love the way it looks, we know you'll have fun coming up with your design. If you need opinions or recommendations, feel free to reach out to us! And if you're in the Minneapolis area, you can book an in-person buying appointment here (there's nothing quite like seeing and feeling the rugs in person.) Bring your base rug along with if you want to try out different looks!

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