How To Layer A Rug Like A Designer

When it comes to choosing the coziest rug, sometimes two are better than one.

layering rugs October 2022
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

To make a house feel like a home, we often add throw pillows, accent walls, or family heirlooms. One of the best ways to add warmth to a home, though, just might be below our feet. Layered rugs can help add dimension and texture while helping to shape a space. Doubling down allows for a more lived-in yet polished feeling no matter the room. Not to mention, this designer trick can also add an unexpected touch and personality to just about any place, from a rental apartment to a beach bungalow to your forever home. If you want your home to feel a little cozier or give life to one of your old rugs, consider these tips to help you pull off the look.

The Setting

From bedrooms to living rooms to covered porches, this simple trick can work anywhere, but it's best for spots that are spacious and relatively uncluttered. In especially large areas, a pair of rugs can help anchor the seating or a piece of furniture.

The Size

When choosing your base layer, follow standard rug rules. In a living room, that means the front of the furniture (or all legs) should touch it. Make sure the topper is small enough so the bottom rug gets fair play—meaning the smaller one is about two-thirds the size of its counterpart.

The Shape

If you're looking for an (almost) foolproof combination, the classic layering move is to put a smaller rectangle atop a larger one. But design daredevils can experiment with the top rug by varying its shape or changing its orientation (placing it diagonally, for example).

The Style

Because bold designs shine best when they don't have to compete, opt for a bottom rug that's more neutral. (Jute is a traditional choice, but a low-pile find in a simple print, like a stripe, will work too.) Nearly anything can go on top—from a modern geometric to a vintage Turkish style.

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