America's top interior designers have hit upon a new technique that is greatly expanding their decorating options with area rugs - layers. That's right - why settle for one rug on the floor when you can add one or two on top of it to make a totally new three-dimensional design?
Nicole Gibbons of So Haute in New York City calls this new look "a hot design trend." She recommends placing multiple rugs on hardwood floors so that there is at least 12-18 inches of space on all sides. That way the contrast between the rugs is most evident. You want to stay away from placing two rugs on top of each other that are too close in their overall dimensions.
Some designers recommend looking for rugs that fall into the same pattern and color family so as to not create too "busy" of a layout on the floor. The same holds true for fabric. Most people find it more pleasing to put wool on wool rather than mixing in cotton or silk. However, don't be afraid to experiment with using polypropylene and wool. They often match well enough not to create a problem.
Kristen Hutchins, a professional designer based in Los Angeles, sees a floor as a blank canvas on which to build a nice layer of art. Wh recommends starting with a large, neutral rug as the bottom layer and buiding up from there. You can add one patterned rug, or multiples to define seating or activity areas. The only limitation is your imagination!
If you are a bit bolder and more adventurous in your decorating, you might try an animal-skin print or a natural fabric such as jute or seagrass. It's amazing what a black-and-white zebra pattern rug can do to enliven a room, especially when placed over a darker contrasting color. Give it a try!
Some people are afraid of layering because it means they are going to need to buy two or three rugs instead of just one. However, the fact of the matter is you end up buying smaller rugs than you would if you were covering the floor with only one. It's pretty easy to do a cost comparison when starting with a room with nothing but a hardwood floor. Sketch out the areas, figure out how many rugs you will need and in what sizes. The go to Rugs Direct and have a ball figuring out what goes with what, and what will look fantastic on TOP of something else.
There are some very practical benefits to layering area rugs, especially over wall-to-wall carpeting. In a kid's room, the extra layer will add a protective cushion to the inevitable falls. It also protects the carpeting from spills and stains. It is certainly more economical to have a rug cleaned than to call in the carpet specialists or rent a steam cleaner from the local hardware store.
As you experiment with layering your rugs, don't fall into the trap of always aligning the edges parallel or perpendicular to one another. There's nothing that says you can't lay one rug on top of another at an angle. Also don't be afraid to lay two small rugs side-by-side on top of a larger one. This effect can sometimes be very striking in that you are creating a design that doesn't exist anywhere else in the world.
So the next time you find yourself looking at a large, blank floor in your home, consider layering two or three rugs in the space to make it uniquely your own. Your options truly are limitless, and the potential unlimited. Visit Rugs Direct and start exploring.