Google+ House Revivals: How to Layer Rugs

Saturday, September 22, 2012

How to Layer Rugs

Maybe it's the cooler temperatures, but I have been thinking a lot about rugs lately.  Rugs are a great way to add warmth, texture and acoustic comfort to a room. 

From a space planner's perspective, we use rugs to anchor, "pull together", and define a space, as well. Rugs are definitely workhorses!  Lately, I've been thinking quite a bit about layering rugs --  *LOVE* the look!

Even outdoor spaces can be enhanced with layered rugs!

The muted tones of a hide rug over sisal allow the colors in the room to pop, while still adding texture and warmth.

Layering a less expensive sisal rug under a collector rug can visually enlarge the collector rug.  In the room below, the smaller rug would have been lost in the space. By layering the sisal rug underneath it, the collector rug feels larger and richer, the space is well anchored, and the lighter tones of the sisal help balance the darker walls.

Here is another example of a rug that would have been "lost" on it's own.  The larger rug underneath is used to anchor the entire space, while the plush wool rug is used to add "wow" factor to the room.

The eclectic space below might have felt a bit jumbled, with so any floral patterns. The designer reinforced the bohemian feel by overlapping rugs.  Carefully controlling the color palette and editing scale, keeps the space from feeling chaotic.

Now, I want to know what you think!  Do you layer your rugs?  Love the look?  Hate the look?

**An important note about collector/ investment rugs:  always check with a rug expert before layering these rugs, to avoid inadvertently damaging rug fibers.


  1. I love the look of layered rugs ... as long as the bottom rug has some neutrality to it and a sense of naturalness to it .. ie sisal ... I am not a fan of the last example where the rugs are overlapped ... that always looks a little too haphazard to me ..

  2. Yes! Bring on the layers! I've even picked up very heavy upholstery fabric remnants at my local fabric warehouse to add another layer into the mix that brings in a splash of accent color.

  3. This is a really good idea, especially if you hate the flooring you have (which I do!) I just wish rugs were cheaper :)

    layering always brings a lot more interest in a room


  4. I never thought about layering rugs. Great idea, I have been saving and hunting the clearance section for a new 8x10 rug for my bedroom but nice pattern rugs are so expensive...but now I can get the cheaper smaller one and put it over the cheaper neutral rug! Thanks for the info and idea.

  5. Love it! I did years ago (20yrs!) in apartments with wood floors, not one on top of the other but angled with partial layering. Currently I'm not just because we're re-doing and floors will be the last. We have all carpet...everywhere! If I fine a large cheap rug, I may just throw it over the carpeting!

  6. Great types of upholstery or clothing materials when their uppermost layer is finished in a raised pile format. It can help your rug to continue serving you for years.

  7. It's a great way to save on using a smaller rug for a great look......especially layered over seagrass! Classic.

  8. Sisal rugs are made from natural fibers derived from the 'agave sisalana' cactus plant that is grown in the semi-arid regions of Brazil and Africa. The plants are known for their toughness and durability, to the extent that the commercial production of Tanzanian sisals have survived every drought in over a century. The fibers are harvested by hand from the leaves of the plant and can grow up to three feet long. Each leaf contains about 1,000 fibers which are processed (crushed, beaten, washed, dried, brushed and baled) to make rugs and the remainder of the plant is used to produce electricity to sustain the local economies of the grower countries. Not only are sisal rugs extremely durable, they also pose several environmental benefits; they are harvested in a sustainable manner and are renewable as well as biodegradable Sisal rugs are generally very refined looking and are available in a variety of colors. Although they are not as soft as silk, they are very comfortable to walk on as the fibers don't stab you and leave bits of sisal rugs in your skin. Sisal is different from coir, hemp grass and jute; it is much stronger and hence durable than most natural fibers. Its strength makes it perfect for making plaster reinforcements, dartboards, ropes and twine for marine and bailing purposes. Sisal's textured look makes it a favorite among interior designers across the world. These qualities of sisal also make it a preferred material for rugs and carpets. Because of their tough construct and inherent durability, sisal rugs are ideal for in home use and are recommended for high-traffic areas and commercial use. Most sisal rugs have a layer of latex applied to their backsides which helps keep the integrity of the rug's weave and makes them extra durable, thus prolonging their life. There are also several protective products for coating sisal rugs to resist liquid spills, repel water and retard soiling. Machine woven, natural fibers such as sisal, sisal wool, wall-to-wall carpets, mountain grass, jute area rugs and sea grass rugs have non-toxic and anti-static properties which make them an excellent choice for light-commercial and residential use. The natural fibers create healthy indoor humidity levels, prevent the buildup of static and do not have any off-gassing fumes that can cause irritation to the eyes or throat.It must be kept in mind that sisal rugs must not be placed in areas where there are chances of exposure to direct moisture. . jute rugs is because moisture can cause the rug to become water stained and wavy over time.


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