We’ll let you in on a little secret: you don’t need to be an interior design aficionado with years of Instagram cred to pull off a layered rug look. While it may seem like a risky or expensive home décor trend, layering rugs can actually be an easy and affordable design trick, and the best part is there are endless ways to pull it off.
Modern or farmhouse, bohemian or coastal; whatever your vibe, layered rugs can add character to any room (or outdoor space) and is a great way to have fun with color, texture, and pattern. We’ll walk you through a few simple guidelines that will help you master this trend that is here to stay.
1. Start with a Natural Base
Pairing a natural-woven, structured rug, such as one made of jute, with a patterned rug is pretty much an instant formula for success. The mix of color and texture brings depth to your room, and layering can actually save you some cash. Instead of springing for the larger size of your dream rug, opt for a smaller size and center it strategically on top of an affordable, natural jute rug.
ROOM HIGHLIGHT: NEUTRAL JUTE + A CONTRASTING VINTAGE STYLE RUG GIVES A TIMELESS FARMHOUSE LOOK SOME EXTRA PERSONALITY (via @whitefarmhousehaven)
2. Tinker with Texture
If you love the durability and natural texture of jute but long for the coziness of shag, have it both ways! Layering rugs of different textures is a great way to add comfort to a room, and it’s also a fun way to switch up your house in the different seasons. Placing a thick shag rug on top of jute creates a warm winter landing spot for cold feet; swap the shag for something thinner and flatwoven in the summer, like these indoor-outdoor styles, for an airy feel that doesn’t sacrifice style.
PRO TIP: Whichever rugs you choose, try to keep the rug that’s most stiff on the bottom layer to provide a supportive base. Placing rugs with fluffy, forgiving piles (shag) on top of something more structured and with less give (jute, flat-woven styles) can cause uneven walking surfaces and tripping hazards if you’re not careful.
ROOM HIGHLIGHT: JUTE + PATTERNED SHAG MAKES FOR A DREAMY BOHO VIBE (via @sare_xo)
Layer a patterned shag rug on top of a muted jute rug for a bohemian look that will beautifully complement a colorful room. The contrasting textures add visual intrigue and infuse the room with extra warmth. For an even greater relaxed feel, try mixing rugs of different sizes (8x10, 5x7, 3x5) and layering them diagonally.
3. Consider Color
When it comes to color, the trick is to choose shades that are complementary but different enough to stand out. You may have to go back to the art class color wheel for this. Maybe your room has an existing color scheme; if that’s the case, (first, congratulations, you are super put-together), draw from those colors. Otherwise, make sure your colors are complementary, meaning the colors harmonize with each other, or tonal, meaning all colors are very close to the same hue. In short, pair warm-colored rugs with similar warm-colored rugs, and vice versa with cool-colored rugs. If your base rug is neutral, it’s easy to make nearly any color work on top.
ROOM HIGHLIGHT: NEUTRAL JUTE + A POP OF COLOR ADD DEPTH TO A DYNAMIC FAMILY HOME (via @charlieandbodie)
If you love the clean and classic coastal look, combining a neutral palette with different shades and textures is a great way to infuse color in a room without going overboard. Try a natural-woven rug (like jute) topped with a blue rug in a similar tone for a look that really brings it all together.
4. Carpeted Room? No Problem!
Good news for renters and apartment-dwellers alike: a carpeted home should NOT keep you from trying (and mastering) the rug layering trend. Think of a wall-to-wall carpet as strictly functional whereas a rug is a way to add art and personality to a room. The key to pulling this off is switching up the colors and textures. Look for a rug with texture—like jute or shag—or a colorful, patterned, flat woven rug that will contrast with the first layer.
ROOM HIGHLIGHT: CARPET + A TASSELED RUG ADDS MODERN SOPHISTICATION TO A QUAINT KIDS’ BEDROOM (via @raising.little.darlings)
Place a modern-style rug (with your favorite pattern and tassels, perhaps?) on top of wall-to-wall carpet to help distinguish a space and bring extra life to a room.
5. Have Fun With It
Now that you’ve got the basics down, there’s really no limit to your rug layering game: go wild. Explore colors, textures, patterns, and sizes. Take it outside to your porch, patio, deck, or pool–just make sure all materials are elements-friendly. Well Woven is a one-stop shop with the variety you need to create an array of looks, feels, textures, and styles. Want to see more? Keep up with the latest trends by signing up for our newsletter below.
For more stories like these, subscribe to the Well Woven newsletter where you'll receive all the latest rug news.