Roomology Loves: Layering area rugs

What do a California living room and Prince Charles’ country home have in common? Something I am absolutely obsessed with… small, vibrant area rugs over larger, natural, neutral carpets. Here’s the California living room from House Beautiful:

And here’s the photo of Dumfries House from Architectural Digest:

To me this look brings a feeling of comfort and casualness into spaces where hardwoods might look overly bare. Here are a few more examples:

 From Houzz and designplusyou, respectively.

Not only is this a great look, but it’s a budget-friendly solution to covering floors, especially in buildings that require you to have a large percentage of your floors carpeted, because a large jute or straw rug is very economical, allowing you to splurge on the smaller rug in the center. If you’re going to try this look, it’s best if the larger rug is significantly larger than the smaller rug; if the two are too similar, it gets visually confusing. As you can see above, it may take more than one jute rug to cover the floor. It’s also good if there’s some contrast between the two, so that the smaller rug will pop.

Here are some great affordable natural weaves for the bottom layer:


The Tarnby rug from IKEA is a rock bottom $149 (about 7’x10′).


A 9’x12′ braided jute rug from Ballard Designs is on sale for $240 right now.


Jute Boucle rugs from West Elm, $399 for 9’x12′.  And now, my nominees for the accent rugs

The light yet geometric Souk rug from West Elm, $199 for 3’x5′.

I’m fairly obsessed with the colorful Tauna Kilim collection at Pottery Barn, made of recycled yarn. 5’x8′ for $299.

If you’re into the cowhide look, you can get a great one at IKEA for $199,

or a fuzzy little sheepskin for $30.


The Caura rug from cb2 has it all– great colors and a pop of light. $299 for a 5’x8′.

My favorite might be this ivory hide rug from West Elm, $599.

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