5 Pro Tips for Layering Rugs

Do you have a room in your house or apartment that needs a fresh look? You don't have to buy new furniture, install new carpet, and repaint the walls. You can create the look you want using the trendy design technique called rug layering.


Rug layering is just want it sounds like—positioning two or more rugs on top of one another. The rug layering look creates visual interest and adds warmth and style. All you need to apply this technique in your home are a few rugs and the professional design tips below.


1. Consider How You Use the Space

Rug layering is fashionable, but it should also be functional. As you the select the rugs you'll layer together, take into account the room's purpose and shape. Rug layers can add the following elements to a room's overall look:


  • Comfort. Put a large rug under your bed, and add a small fuzzy rug over it where you get in and out every day. Or, place several soft rugs in your bathroom space to catch water when you get out of the shower and keep your feet cozy when you get ready to go out.
  • Definition. Divide your open concept living area into smaller segments by putting rugs in each living space. Try a long rug under the desk in your office space, a rectangular area rug near your sofas, and a smaller area rug under your dining table.
  • Pathways. Guide people through your home with rugs that create a pathway. Use a long rug in your entryway, and have it lead to a larger area rug in the main living area.


2. Create Contrast
Rug layering works because each rug included in the overall look contrasts from the others. When you choose rugs for your layered look, add contrast to your design with at least one of the following elements:

  • Size
  • Shape
  • Colour
  • Pattern
  • Texture
  • Angle


Contrast ensure that each rug serves a purpose in the design and allows you to create a focal point, or several focal points, depending on your goal.


For example, use a large neutral rug as a supporting piece under a smaller patterned Persian rug. The neutral rug creates a border or frame for the more eye-catching patterned rug on top. This trick also extends the living space, and it's the perfect solution if you love a particular rug but it feels too small on its own.


Contrast is an important element of rug layering, but you have to use it with discretion. The next three tips explain how to use contrast without going too far.


3. Mix and Match Patterns
If anyone ever told you not to wear stripes with plaid or polka dots with paisley, go ahead and disregard that advice now—at least when you layer rugs. Rugs with contrasting patterns work well together because they force our eyes to compare them and notice the details of each one.


Try these methods for pairing rug patterns:

  • Choose two striped rugs, and place the stripes perpendicular to one another. Pair wide with wide and thin with thin because this look feels most natural when the stripe thicknesses are not too varied.
  • Put total opposites together. Try rigid geometric patterns with organic animal prints or an elegant antique rug with a modern pop art rug.
  • Layer three or more Oriental rugs with similar but not identical patterns. Their main colours should complement one another to unify the design.


4. Stay in the Same Colour Scheme with a Few Accents
Colour is a design element that adds noticeable contrast, so use it carefully. In general, the more rugs you include, the more you should stay within a set colour scheme, especially if the rugs have intricate patterns. Too much colour contrast on highly patterned rugs overwhelms the design.


If you're afraid to play with colour, start small. Layer a rug with a predominant colour under a rug with that colour, plus an accent colour. Add accents of the second colour around the room with pillows, artwork, vases, or centerpieces.


On the other hand, if you're a colour fiend, choose two or three rugs with bold colours. At least two of the rugs should have the same predominant colour. Arrange them at odd angles, and give the one with the boldest colours prime placement.


5. Play with Angles
Although most rugs are rectangles with strong right angles, you don't have to respect those rigid angles when you layer rugs. If you have two couches that create a right angle, have the base rug follow their lead but place the second rug at a 40 to 50 degree angle on top.


If you're feeling adventurous, place the rugs at haphazard angles. None of the sides should line up with a wall or table edge. This look works well if you're layering three or more rugs that feel similar in size, pattern, and colour.


Rug layering is a growing design trend, so implement it at your house. Use these tips to layer rugs like a pro. Read our other blogs for more information about buying, caring for, and designing with rugs. Remember that in the unfortunate case that a rug is damaged or soiled you can have it professionally repaired or cleaned in Toronto to have it looking as good as new. Babayan’s offers free delivery and pick-up to Mississauga, Richmond Hill, North York, Etobicoke, and Vaughan.

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