Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!
Mom to Otto born April 2018 and Lucy born August 2020!

How to layer vintage rugs in a bedroom! I'm obsessed!

I've been working on our bedroom the past few months since we moved our bedrooms around and moved upstairs. We're in a large square room with sloped, low ceilings (7' at the highest) and one window. (You can see my posts about it in my recent bedroom posts.) We upgraded to a king-sized bed and got a nice big 9'x12' rug to fill the room a little better, but it's been feeling kind of plain. Even with the fun pattern and color I've added with the DIY fabric-covered sconce shades and dyed curtains.

I thought about it, and I'm so glad I tried it... turns out layering a smaller vintage rug over our jute one was a great solution to adding interest, and I LOVE it!! I'm sharing my top tips for how to layer rugs in a bedroom below, too!

Thanks to Wayfair for partnering with me on this post! They have so many great affordable vintage and one-of-a-kind rugs!

I went with another neutral colored rug on top of our jute patterned one. I'm dipping a toe into decorating with more color and pattern... this time I went with pattern. 

It's a yellow-ish tan and is a vintage 1980's hand-knotted Turkish rug (here's the listing for the exact one I got). This particular one has been shaved and distressed and had the edges refinished so it has the feel of an even older rug. It's relatively flat and would be thin on its own without a thicker felt pad underneath, so it's perfect layered on our (also flat) jute rug. 

I own a few smaller vintage rugs I've found at estate sales and such, but I've never ordered one online and I am SO happy with this one. I really, really love it. The texture, the slight variation in the colors here and there... it so cool! I actually didn't realize Wayfair sold vintage/one-of-a-kind rugs until recently. They are super affordable as well (this one was under $400 and it's about 5'x9') and Wayfair is easier for me to shop at than online auction sites or a lot of other online places you can hunt for vintage rugs. I'm kind of obsessed with this one and will definitely look there again.

Our headboard is this one I ordered from Wayfair when we upgraded to a king bed. It's really versatile and I'm taking it in a bit more English country than modern traditional with the block print floral shades and pillows. Because it's not a huge statement (and I had a lot of beige going on in here with it, the rug, and the quilt) I think the extra rug layered at the foot of the bed adds a lot!

There's a little bit of dusty sage green in the rug, too, which picks up on our green curtains perfectly. 

We still have a few things to do to this room (like add trim to the window) but it's really feeling nice in here!

Now the tips!

How to layer rugs in a bedroom

The easiest way to layer rugs is this: take a plain rug like a neutral jute or wool flatweave and add a patterned and/or colored rug on top, creating a picture frame look around it with the base rug. That's it. That can work for semi-traditional, eclectic, farmhouse, lodge, rustic, even midcentury styles. (For a boho look or other maximalist style, you may want to layer color on color or combine three or more rugs at different angles, but that's a spin-off from this lecture.)

In a living room layered rug situation, I like the top rug to be just a little bit smaller than the base rug--an 8’x10′ with some color or pattern on top of a plain 9’x12′, for example. The top rug still needs to cover a lot of the room so it's not in the way of all the people and furniture moving around on it (even truer in a dining room with chairs pulling out and moving in). But in a bedroom, there's a lot more flexibility on the size for the top rug.

The general rules for bedroom rugs are pretty important, still--if the room is large enough, you want about 18-24" on all three sides of the bed. (That means, for a Twin go for a 5’x8′, a Full 6’x9′, a Queen 8’x10′, and a King 9’x12′.) There are exceptions for smaller rooms when the bed isn't centered or you don't have the space, or if you're just doing runners on either side of the bed. The feet of the footboard side of the bed should always be on the rug (don't put a non-runner rug floating outside the bed).

Well, that last rule helps us when layering rugs. You can actually go pretty small compared to the base rug! This vintage one is 5'2" x 8'10", and it's on top of a 9'x12'. But it anchors the bottom end of the bed because it runs underneath. The top of the bed has the headboard; the bottom of the bed has the bench and now this rug. Especially on a larger bed like this one, it really makes it feel intentional. I do think it needs to extend at least 10" or so beyond the sides of the bed to not feel like a throw blanket tossed on the floor, though!

I also love this look because there's not much else you can do with a 5'x8' or 6'x9' rug, unless you have a very small rug or large entry space. They are great for layering!

So in a nutshell, here's how to layer rugs in a bedroom:

  1. Chose a base rug that's the right size for the bed. Chose a basic, probably neutral rug with not too much pile. Jute or wool in ivory or tan are great choices.
  2. Size the top rug so that it can hold the bottom feet of the bed and still show on both sides.
  3. Chose a top rug that is either a complementary color, providing some bold contrast, or tonal (different shades of the same color). 
  4. Chose a top rug that's really special. I love vintage, but a bold pattern or color could also work (and a smaller size in that rug might be easier to decorate with). 

That's it! I think it's really fun to play around with this, too, if you have a couple of rugs that aren't feeling quite right where they are.

So, so happy with this extra interest and love the unique vintage touch!

Thanks to Wayfair for partnering with me on this post!

I'll link a few other one-of-a-kind and vintage rugs I considered, as well as other elements of our bedroom, below!

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