Lifestyle, Q&A

Is overlapping rugs a good idea? Any tips when using patterns and prints?

Jess Bettenay by Jess Bettenay
June 20th, 2013
Overlapping rugs is a great way to add interest to your home and by thinking outside the square you can change your space dramatically.  In saying that you need to be careful that you get it right or it can be an absolute disaster.

One of the most practical reasons for layering is if you have a rug that you love and that works really well in the space but it isn’t the right size or shape then it is a perfect opportunity for you to layer it with something else.  Neutral rugs in sisal, jute, rattan or seagrass are perfect for this as they allow your favourite rug to remain the hero of the room…

Source: http://southernexposure1.squarespace.com/southern-exposure/2010/12/14/layered-rugs.htm

Source: http://southernexposure1.squarespace.com/southern-exposure/2010/12/14/layered-rugs.htm

Another good option is to buy that dream rug you have lusting after but haven’t been able to buy budget wise, in a smaller more affordable size and layer it with a much more cost effective option.  Take this Ikea rug (black and white stripe) has been layered with an expensive Gan (blue and black printed) rug.  The room now has greater coverage and loads more impact.

When overlapping rugs remember that there are a couple of ways to do it that aren’t as tricky and make it much easier to pull off.

1.  Using a plain or neutral rug as one of the layers makes it far easier to get it right.  Select a colour from your main or feature rug and use that as the colour for the neutral rug this will help ensure that they tie back together.

2.  Stay within a colour palette so that if you are clashing patterns there is still an easy reference through colour.  That way it will still make sense.

3.  Use a hide.  These are neutral so will work back with almost any rug and their shape makes it easier to layer also.

4. Don’t layer a rug that is too thick. Pile rugs are usually best as stand alone area rugs.

For those of you who have a knack for throwing things together or for those of you who are a little more confident, you absolutely can layer completely mis-matched rugs or more than 2 like in these examples:
This works best with lots of smaller vintage rugs and as long as the rugs are anchored back to the space with other accessories then “the look” ties together.
If you are nervous to give this a go in a main room of the house such as a living room then give it a go in your bedroom or in a hallway.

J xxx

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