Layered look - how to combine rugs

One rug is good, several layered rugs are better! These five tips will help you get the popular layered look.

We love to wear long, patterned tops with our slim-fit grey trousers, and combine that with a plain jacket, completing the layered look. We can use this fashion style in our own four walls too, by combining and layering multiple rugs. This layered look for the home adds structure, variation to your space and really takes it to a new level of cosiness. Let us show you how to mix and match rugs!

  1. Use a neutral, flat-woven rug as the base

In general, the layered look suits every colour and decoration style, as the rugs can be coordinated to match. However, it is easier if the bottom, largest rug has a neutral colour (beige, white or shades of grey are ideal). That gives you flexibility in choosing the other rugs and avoids excessively wild mixtures of patterns.

Ideally, the base rug should be woven or short-pile, so that the other rugs can lie better and flatter on them. On the base rug, you can lay either other flat-woven rugs, or deeper-pile rugs.

  1. Find matching rug patterns

You can place rugs with a range of patterns on the neutral base, tying them together visually and stopping them slipping.

Rule of thumb: If you want to combine very different rug patterns, ensure that one colour is repeated in all models. That keeps the look consistent. Blue and beige are the uniting elements in this advanced rug combination. In addition to this, conspicuous and subtle patterns in different sizes alternate.

  1. Stay in the same colour family

If you want to achieve a simpler layered look, you should choose rugs from the same colour family – the more conservative the base colour, the more unobtrusive the overall effect is. Similarly coloured rugs combine particularly well if they have completely different textures, like in this example.

  1. Play with textures and shapes

Successful rug mixes are not just about colours and patterns of the layered rugs, the different materials, shapes and sizes are just as important. For a cool contrast, all these characteristics of the rugs should be different – for example if you lay a mottled, irregularly shaped cowhide (or soft lambskin) on a stripy rug or a coarse sisal mat.

  1. Overlap rugs asymmetrically

If the base rug is very large, feel free to lay smaller rugs on it entirely (especially if they are irregularly shaped). When combining two rectangular rugs, as shown in this image, it is best to offset them. If the second rug only covers part of the first (parallel or perpendicular to it), this creates new structures and links in the room.

With multiple rectangular rugs, the coolest look can be achieved by overlapping all rugs to different degrees.