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Design Dilemma

How to Mix Multiple Rugs In The Same Room

Emily Henderson Mixing Rugs3
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There are certain design dilemmas I’ve been in denial of for a while – mostly because the answer is super tricky. But, after thinking, staring, pinning and of course shopping I’ve finally figured out how to mix two rugs in a shared space and have furthermore provided you with 20 pretty darn good pairs (that are EHD approved).

Let’s start with the easiest option –

Use the exact same solid or simple rug, TWICE. Duh.

Emily Henderson Mixing Rugs9
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This is a conservative, safe and yet totally classic and acceptable option. I didn’t round this one up for you because you simply double your order and you have succeeded in this look. You can also mix two solid rugs in different colors very easily in the same room. That’s just a matter of choosing both in your color palette.

The rest of the combinations are trickier. Let’s keep going shall we?

Emily Henderson Mixing Rugs8
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Mix different patterns in the same color family. Now this photo, above is more about layering rugs but if these were in different areas of a shared space they would work just as well. I think one of the reasons it works is that they are all similar weights visually, and the styles of the rugs are bohemian which lends itself well to mixing and matching. But, if you are not into bohemian then make sure that the rugs both work with the color story of the room, like so:

Emily Henderson Mixing Rugs2
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Emily Henderson Mixing Rugs6
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Now what about this??? (This pic may look familiar as it is from The Fig House which I designed a few years back)

Emily Henderson Mixing Rugs5
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Ha. That’s trickier to do, but doable. The reason these work is that they are all the same style and virtually the same pattern (1930’s deco) and are all very saturated in color, even though they are different colors. If one of them had been an oushak for instance or a calm Persian style rug it wouldn’t have worked.

You can always pair a solid with pattern. We do this all the time (see below) and its not only legal and safe, but it allows for more flexibility and prevents it from being too busy. Check out Cup of Jo’s whole makeover HERE.

Emily Henderson Mixing Rugs7
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Here’s the deal – you can mix any two rugs together if they share the color palette of each other and definitely the palette of the room. I find that burgandy persian rugs are hard to mix with others (so best to play with solids there) and you should know that two bold patterns are fun, but will make your room feel busier/smaller (and more energetic which isn’t a bad thing). Also, virtually ANY rugs look good combined with a cowhide or a sisal rug. So if you are totally stumped with your rug, just bring it to a carpet store and get a simple carpet bound into the size you need or grab a cowhide. Pull the color from the busier rug and call it a day.

But for those of you who are in the process of buying two rugs right now, feast your eyes on these couples (which all come in various sizes, but we have priced them out as 8’x10′ on the roundup):

Emily Henderson Mixing Rugs

1. Sumack Rug + Ardabil Persian Rug | 2. Skyline Rug + Dash and Albert Wave Sisal Rug | 3. Geo Tufted Wool Rug + Flokati Fluff Rug | 4. Thea Wool Rug + Gold Cross Hatch Wool Micro Rug | 5. Half Stripe RugMonroe Hide Rug | 6. Sahara Sand RugFringe Hand-Loomed Rug | 7. Desert Dhurrie RugCrush Rug | 8. Mali Indigo Rug +  Cut Stripe Silver Viscose Hand Knotted Rug | 9. Grand Canyon Faux RugHand-Loomed Shine Rug | 10.  Kajal RugSeagrass Rug | 11. Boho Textured Rug + Textured Rug | 12. Changes RugDollop Rug | 13. Masinissa Hand Knotted Rug + Citra Hand Knotted Rug | 14. Arlequin RunBarkley Silver Rug | 15. Palani Rug + Hadley Jute Rug | 16. Faded Shag RugScallop Hide Rug | 17. Kalpana Kilim RugMangrove Rug | 18. Wool Kilim Rug + Sisal Chenille Jute Rug | 19. Desert Tribal Print Rug + Harper Denim Rug | 20. Anice Hand Knotted Oriental Rug + Gray Cross Hatch Wool Micro Rug

I own #13 and I LOVE IT. I wanted to own #14 but when I was shopping for the guest room it was out of stock, so I just stared and stared at my sample wishing I could get it. Of course now it’s back but I already have another rug. I also love #1, #13 and #14 and have them in my house. Deciding between them for a favorite would be VERY hard. Check us out on Snapchat today where we each announce our favorite in a fun office game we are playing ‘Rapid Fire Styling’….

Craving more roundups design mistakes and dilemmas… check out: The Generic Sofa Roundup | Rugs That Are Too Small | Painting a Small, Dark Room White | How To Hang Art Correctly | How to Hang Curtains

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  1. great round up! It’s funny how you post things right when I am thinking about them. I am working on a living room design for a friend and she already has one rug, but we need another-moroccan style- for her dining space. This has given me some fun options to play with! Also glad you mentioned everything goes with cowhide because there was a bit of panic on my side until I saw that line. I have a cowhide and an overdyed teal persian rug and I am obsessed with the combo… so glad you approve!

    -Stefanie
    http://www.thestylesafari.com

  2. I’m so glad you posted this. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do about needing a second rug in my living room for a smaller sitting area. The chairs are scratching the hardwood floors and my husband is not on board with rearranging the furniture in a closer pattern for the one 8×10 rug we already have.

  3. You posted soon many options! I loooove it!

  4. Great article. Really helpful.

  5. Gah. Kind of obsessed with all the rugs. And currently in the market for like three, so what perfect timing.

  6. LOVE the layered look of all the rugs in the 3rd photo. Great roundup!

  7. How do you like the Serena & Lily scalloped rug? I see you have it in your living room. How do you think that would look layered over a jute rug? If I have 9×12 jute what size would you recommend for layering?

    1. I have this rug and LOVE it. It is so so beautiful. It’s even stain resistant. Before ordering, I purchased a sample and let my two toddlers spill things on it to test it out. I even spilled red wine on it. Everything came out!

      1. Thanks for the info!

  8. Such a great post–and super timely for me. My dining area is a weird size, and no standard rectangular rug size seems to fit. And nice round rugs are practically impossible to find. I was thinking of layering–it just might work!

  9. Such a helpful post! I asked about this issue a while back when you posted about your basement/guest room/former office, and ended up going for the similar pattern/similar color story option which worked well. But I love the pairings you chose here – well done team Emily!

  10. Emily, what are your thoughts about layering rugs over carpet?

    We have a few great area rugs that I love, but are moving into a house that’s mainly carpeted. I want to keep the carpet for at least 5 years while I have babies/toddlers then get hardwood floors, but I’m trying to figure out if I should layer rugs over the carpet for the meantime or part with the ones I don’t really love anyways.

    Thoughts?

    1. Good question. I’d be interested in a post just on choosing carpet, too. I know it’s not an “IN” thing right now but some rooms need it (and some budgets). I have a tile-locked family room carpet that needs replaced. I could go with wood and a rug, I suppose, but something about paying $$$ for wood then $$ to cover it with a rug rubs me wrong.

      1. Check out FLOR carpet tiles. Cheap and great for kid-friendly spaces!

      2. Hi Mary!

        I read your comments… please have a look at our webstore- richclassdecor.com and I am sure you will be surprised actually how reasonable wool rugs are. We are direct manufacturers there is no retailer or high shipping costs involved.

        Let me know if you like any wool rug from our collection.
        Have a great Day!!
        Kind Regards,
        RCD

    2. I can’t remember which posts, but I have definitely seen Emily use area rugs over (plain, neutral) wall-to-wall carpet. A lot of other great designer/bloggers do it, too, including Jenny Komenda from Little Green Notebook. A room without an area rug, even a room with wall-to-wall carpet, will always look a little bit unfinished (imho). That is, UNLESS you have a patterned and/or colorful wall-to-wall carpet (think FLOR tiles or colored tweed). Then you might not need an area rug on top.

  11. This is great! ugh you have the best taste in rugs. Kind of unrelated question but what is a good price for an 8 x 10 persian rug at the flea market?

    1. That is going to very SO much based on the rug’s quality, provenance, color-scheme, and age. My advice is to check out eBay first to see what price rugs you like are going for (also consider just buying a rug on eBay). If you want something in the red color family and are not too picky about pattern or condition, then you could get something for under $500. But you could also easily pay in the thousands for something amazing, even at a flea market.

  12. So Emily, which rug would you pair with the vintage square kilim rug of yours that I scored on Chairish yesterday?! I have green chairs and a navy couch. Something jute? Or copper/caramel/blush-y?

  13. This is soooo good, Emily. My girlfriend just asked me what to do with her open concept family room/ kitchen dining area! Thanks much, am pinning for sure

  14. This post just blew my mind!! Thank you for sharing. I do sort of feel like you need to be a rug dealer (and have a few hundred rugs laying around) to find the right combo. Luckily, I’ve been collecting rugs for a few years and I have a little stash in my basement waiting just for the right moment….

    PS. The roundup is wonderful. That Lulu and Georgia Blue Kajal rug is BEAUTIFUL.

  15. Yay! #3 is my new living room rug (the indigo one). It looks great. Also, my throw pillows are fuzzy faux sheepskin, just like the matching rug. Happy.

  16. I just bought rug #5 in mint for my guest room – it’s wonderfully cheap for the size. And so very cute.

    I adore the leather cutout rugs. And I’ve heard that they’re easy to keep clean? Just wipe off spills?

  17. Can’t help but be distracted by the alien artwork up top… Obsessed. Details?

  18. I love rugs! This was a great round up…I keep staring at all of these beautiful rugs!

  19. Ughhh I just got so excited about that Persian rug in #1 I’ve almost cried because I’ve been searching for one exactly like it. I went to immediately buy and whomp whomp whomp, it’s not for sale. But does anyone know if that rug esale site is reputable?

    But I love this roundup so much!!! Thank you!

    1. I’ve heard good things about erugs. Most of them are one of kind finds that are sold there like a “marketplace” of sorts. So when you see one you like, don’t hesitate! RugsUSA also has a large selection but are not one of a kind pieces.

  20. I have a cow rug already and although i like the no. 9 combo , not sure if the dusty pinky will go with my navy blue chairs, any other suggestions with the cow rug please

  21. How do you feel about two cow hides in the same room. Do they need to be identical?

  22. Did I miss this or how do you round up the perfect rug on a carpenter-grade apartment rug, which is what I’m looking to do. You look at that carpet and it stains!!! However can I give my place class, and cover up the dirtspots? Thanka you, for your suggestions as always, Emily…….

  23. I love this post… a little different from the norm and so informative.

    Also, I would be so thrilled if your ‘mixing rugs’ image (and others like it) were clickable to the sources. I suppose the long image is good Pinterest material, but the Cup of Jo blog has a new tiled layout for linked merchandise and it’s so user-friendly.

  24. Just – thank you for this. Exactly what I needed. Pinning now and keeping forever.

  25. How do you read my mind?! Any design dilemma I seem to have ends up as a full post on your blog. I bought my first house and it has a very open floor plan for the main living areas and I’ve been struggling with how to pick out a rug for the dining nook off the kitchen that works with the beautiful runner I have by my sink. So many ideas now. Big thank you!

  26. I’m trying to pick out 2 non-matchy but “coordinating” dressers for our master bedroom and am clueless! Would LOVE to see this kind of foolproof rug pairing story done for dressers. Please please please help and thank you!!

  27. What would you partner with Target’s Belfast rug (used in the sunroom and the shelter), but preferably not a sisal?

  28. The timing of this post couldn’t be more perfect. I have a chenille/jute rug from Pottery Barn under my bed, so it will go with anything. But I want something a little more fun under my sewing table which is in the same room (separated by a room divider). This gives me great ideas. Thank you!

  29. The Moroccan Rugs are still some of the most impressive and decorative folk art rugs. While the vintage / mid century examples are escalating in value, they are still cheaper than the news ones that are being mass produced in India!!!

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  31. Thanks for such a nice article to share, really i like it. For mixing rugs in a room, you must have to select good color combination rugs according to your room.

  32. This is a conservative, safe and yet totally classic and acceptable option. I didn’t round this one up for you because you simply double your order and you have succeeded in this look. You can also mix two solid rugs in different colors very easily in the same room. That’s just a matter of choosing both in your color palette.