STYLING TIPS Layering Rugs, 4 Ways

layering rugs Turkish art collectors apt Brazil bedroom via Yatzer

I admit, I’ve been neglecting my abode. A bit uninspired lately. But this quick trick of layering rugs just might be what I need to get my head back in the game. It’s quick, easy, supposed to look somewhat thrown together, and is instantly chic. Some inspiration and tips for 4 ways to accomplish this look:



The irregular shape of a cowhide means you can pretty much throw it anywhere, at any angle.


One of the layers should be fairly neutral. So, if there’s a lot going of pattern on the cowhide, go for a rug that is solid like a natural jute, or has a consistent colorway throughout.

Alternatively, if you are going for pattern on both, be sure the colors flow together (such as in Christine Dovey’s living room below).

Placement is versatile. You can both center it straight on top of a bottom rug (such as immediately below), or play with angling it on a corner or in the middle.

layering rugs cowhide over seagrass living room Shelby Girard via Domaine
Shelby Girard via My Domaine

layering rugs cowhide over jute Studio McGee
Studio McGee

layering rugs cowhide over Turkish via cheetahisthenewblack
Cheetah is the New Black

layering rugs cowhide over striped by Christine Dovey
Christine Dovey

layering rugs kilim over cowhide Natalie Myers office via SFgirlbythebay
Veneer Designs via SF Girl By The Bay

layering rugs cowhide over seagrass Rumi Neely apt photo by Tessa Neustadt via Homepolish
Rumi Neely, photo by Tessa Neustadt via Homepolish




Pretty obsessed with this look. A natural jute or sisal rug can ground a bright, busy pattern of a Turkish rug. Or try it with a striped rug as in The White Buffalo Styling Co.’s living room below.


As you can see in the examples below, proportions don’t really matter except that the top rug should be smaller. How small is up to you.

Placement looks best when straight on, not angled.

But, as in the example immediately below, you can turn it 90 degrees too — they don’t need to sit in the same orientation.

Don’t leave that Turkish rug hanging out on its own; they look best with some type of furnishing on top of it, even if it’s just a corner.

layering rugs Turkish over jute bedroom by Amber Lewis photo by Tessa Neustadt
Amber Lewis, photo by Tessa Neustadt via My Domaine

layering rugs Turkish over jute bedroom by Elizabeth Stanley via Domaine
Elizabeth Stanley via My Domaine

layering rugs kilim over natural via Glitter Guide
via Glitter Guide

layering rugs Turkish over jute via indeeddecor
via Indeed Decor

layering rugs Turkish over striped by thewhitebuffalostylingco
The White Buffalo Styling Co.

I also liked the idea of a Turkish rug over a striped rug, which in this case works because the couch, table and walls are all neutral.




With the vintage beni ourain rug I bought from Maryam Montague in Marrakech a few years back, this is an update that I can accomplish quickly and easily.


Save money by purchasing a smaller rug. Beni ourain rugs and Boucherouite rugs can be pricey, so layering one in a smaller size over a larger and more inexpensive jute or sisal rug is a great way to save.

If you’d like some color, try a solid shag rug over a patterned Turkish rug, like the example below.

Play with orientation and angle: these examples all show the top and bottom rugs perfectly centered, but you could definitely get away with angling the top layer — just be sure the furnishing on top of it is at a right angle so it doesn’t appear too chaotic.

layering rugs beni ourain over jute Melyssa thenectarcollective
The Nectar Collective

layering rugs beni ourain over jute Christine and Steven Visneau living room via Camille Styles
Christine and Steven Visneau via Camille Styles

layering rugs shag over Turkish Anne and Richard NYC via Apt Therapy
via Apt Therapy

layering rugs beni ourain over jute Martha Mulholland via Remodelista
Martha Mulholland via Remodelista

layering rugs boucherouite over jute via thezoereport
via The Zoe Report




This is such a rich look if you have a lot of smaller rugs but need to cover a large area.


Be sure the rugs are in the same general colorway. The multiple patterns will make it quite busy, so make it easier on the eye with a unifying scheme.

On that same note, layer the rugs at right angles with each other. This will also help to even out the field.

Lastly, if you notice in all of the examples below, keep the furniture neutral (black, white, wood, etc.). This will keep the focus on the rugs, rather than compete with them.

layering rugs kilim colorful via One Kings Lane
Katie Tarses, photo by Nicole LaMotte via One Kings Lane

layering rugs kilim colorful by eliseblaha
Elise Blaha

layering rugs tribal kilim Natalie Myers living room 2 via SFgirlbythebay
Natalie Myers via SF Girl By The Bay

layering rugs tribal kilim Natalie Myers living room via SFgirlbythebay
Natalie Myers via SF Girl By The Bay

layering rugs Turkish stair runners by Christine Lennon via One Kings Lane
Christine Lennon via One Kings Lane

Don’t you love the idea of multi-layering rugs as a stair runner? (Just be sure to have them secured in place!)




Erika Brechtel

Erika Brechtel

Creative Director

Desiring an online space to explore well-rounded, inspired content in all topics she loves most, Erika created 'The E List' (formerly the Small Shop blog) in 2010. When not enjoying an “occasional" glass of wine and wanderlusting for even warmer climates, Erika can be found sharing laughs with friends and family, and trying her very best to keep up with her 6-year old daughter (yet failing miserably).

  1. LOVED all the ideas on arranging rug layering. I am in the process of
    redecorating our master bedroom and want an eastern vibe. Thank you for
    the inspiration!

  2. These are gorgeous! Do you have any idea where I might be able to find the bright jute-looking geometric rug via the Zoe Report? I love it! Thank you.