Area rugs are a great way to add texture, color, and interest to any room. But when it comes to placing an area rug over carpet, many homeowners are never sure if it’s the right move.

While some feel that it can look messy or tacky, others see it as a practical way to add warmth and style to a space. But the truth is, when matched properly, rug layering can serve as an unmatched aesthetic addition while adding needed extra warmth to your space.

In this blog, we discuss some useful tips on how to use area rugs on top of carpets to create a cohesive and stylish look.

Why Use Area Rugs on Top of Carpets?

There are many reasons you should use an area rug on carpet. 

  1. Area rugs add a layer of warmth and texture to a room, carpets often come in neutral hues and simple textures, so adding an area rug will create visual interest and depth.
  2. Area rug over carpet creates a designated space within a larger room. For example, in an open-concept living space, using an area rug defines a seating area or a dining area and this ultimately creates a sense of coziness and intimacy in a larger space.
  3. Area rugs cover up stains or imperfections in a carpet. If your carpet has a stain or a worn area, placing an area rug on top helps to conceal the blemish and create a fresh, new look.
  4. Area rugs are a cost-effective option to update the look of a room. Rather than replacing a whole carpet, adding a new area rug gives a room a refreshing look and feel without breaking the bank.
luxe weavers area rug  in a living room

Tips for Layering Area Rugs Over Carpet

1. Texture is Key

Before placing an area rug over carpet, it's important to consider the texture of both floor covers. A thick, plush carpet will complement a low-pile or woven rug, which will provide a nice contrast. On the other hand, a short-pile carpet layered with a thick and shaggy rug adds depth and dimension. In both cases, the texture of the rug should be different from that of the carpet, as this will help to create a visually appealing look.

2. Pattern Adds Interest

A plain and simple one-color carpet is the perfect backdrop for an area rug with a bold pattern. Geometric patterns are a very popular option here as they can add modern touches to your space. 

Alternatively, you can choose a distressed Persian rug for a more traditional look. Placing an area rug on carpet, generally helps you experiment with patterns and trends without committing to a whole new carpet.

3. Bold Contrast Works

While contrasting rugs and carpets can sometimes be too much, there are situations where this approach can work. For example, if your carpet is very dark, an area rug with a bright, bold pattern will add a pop of color and energy to your space. However, you should keep the rest of the room’s decor accessories fairly neutral when trying to create a contrast on your floor. Your rug and carpet will appear to be the focal point that way.

4. Color Consideration is Important

Neutral carpets are the perfect canvas for introducing bold, modern-colored rugs. A pop of color adds energy and interest to a space, as long as the colors complement each other and the overall room design. Traditional rugs often incorporate a few bold colors that blend well on a plain carpet. Also, try combining the old and the new by placing a bold, modern rug over a traditional pattern.

5. Size Matters

Before choosing the size of a rug to place on top of your carpet, it's important to consider the purpose of the rug. Is it to introduce a pattern or break up a space? Or, do you want to cover as much of the carpet as possible? If the latter is the case, a bigger rug is obviously better. But if you're going for something bold and patterned, less is often more. You don't want to consume space with a busy rug. But if you're looking to segment your space, consider introducing a few different area rugs in the space, as long as they complement each other.

area rug in a dining room

Keeping Your Rug Flat on a Carpet

When decorating your home with area rugs, there are a few things more frustrating than having to deal with ripples and waves on your rugs. And, if you have an area rug over carpet, the problem could be even worse. Not only do you need to worry about preventing the rug from moving around, but you also need to make sure it stays flat and doesn't create trip hazards.

But here are a couple of simple things to do to prevent ripples and accidental slips.

  1. Anchor with furniture to prevent movement

One way to keep your rug flat and prevent movement is to anchor it with furniture. This is particularly important if you have a larger rug that covers a significant portion of your carpet. By placing heavy furniture, such as an armchair, side storage, or coffee table, on the corners and edges of your rug, you'll be able to keep it in place. It's important to note that the amount of movement your rug experiences will depend on its style and the backing it has. So, it's best to experiment with the furniture layout of your room to see what works best.

  1. Use non-slip mats

Another way to prevent your area rug from moving around and keep your rug flat is to use non-slip mats underneath it. These mats provide an extra layer of grip between the rug and the carpet, preventing the rug from slipping. Non-slip mats are available in various sizes, so make sure to measure your rug and choose a mat that fits snugly underneath it. When using a non-slip mat, it's important to ensure that it's placed flat and even to prevent bumps or ridges from forming.

  1. Consider Rug Pads

When using an area rug on carpet, a rug pad is necessary. Never underestimate the partnership between area rugs and rug pads. A rug pad will help keep your area rug in place and prevent it from shifting or rippling over your carpet. Additionally, a rug pad will help protect the carpet underneath from damage. However, when choosing a rug pad, make sure it is the right size for your rug and carpet and is made of non-slip materials to ensure the protection of the carpet underneath.

  1. Use Double-sided carpet tape

Try using double-sided carpet tape to secure your area rug on your carpet. this can help prevent the former from shifting or bunching up. Place tape strips along the edges and in the middle of the rug to ensure it stays in place. It's important to make sure the tape is strong enough to hold the rug in place but gentle enough not to damage the carpet in the long run.

In a Nutshell…

Adopt these design tips if you’d like to enjoy the coziness of a carpet while creating a beautiful ambiance with an area rug on top. However, balance is key. Do not try to add too many colors to your decor via floor covers, consider rug pads to hold your rug firm, try anchoring with furniture pieces, and most importantly, keep in mind that your space reflects your character. 

Decorate to match your taste. Start by checking out these amazing affordable modern and traditional area rugs by Luxe Weavers

April 25, 2023 — Ademola Ademiluyi