How to Layer Rugs


I love incorporating vintage rugs into just about any space. They bring so much character, color and texture into a space and make it feel instantly more unique.



The only negative with vintage rugs can be the sizing. You typically aren’t going to find one in your standard living room sizes, which can be a challenge to design around.  One of our favorite solutions is layering your vintage rug over a larger, natural rug like a jute or sisal.


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Below are some of our favorite natural rug choices.

natural rugs

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One of our favorite places to find vintage rugs at fair prices is Etsy. There are SOO many options there and you could easily spend an entire day sifting through them! Here are some of our favorites.


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  1. Leigh

    Thank you Jenny! What do you feel is the right size roughly for a king size bed with relation to both the jute/sisal option underneath and the vintage rug on top?

    • Jenny

      Hi Leigh,

      I would always aim for a 9×12 under a king size bed. In this instance you could have your natural rug be the 9×12 and anything around 6×9-8×10 for your vintage rug!

  2. Coleen

    Thanks so much for this post. I have been searching for the right rug for our foyer forever and this post led me to the right one. I have been playing the bidding game on Ebay until today. Why didn’t I think of Etsy as a rug source before? I just hope the wet muddy Idaho fall and winters don’t make me regret the purchase. Do you travel as far as Idaho to do projects by the way?

    • Jenny

      Hi Coleen,

      I’m so glad we could help you find a great rug! Etsy is our favorite source for buying vintage rugs. There are so many beautiful options out there! Unfortunately we aren’t taking on any non-local projects at this time, but thank you for thinking of us!


  3. Margaret

    Just curious. Are rug pads needed between and below or just below or none at all? Does the jute or sisal scratch the hardwood?

    • Jenny

      Hi Margaret,

      Great question! When layering rugs it isn’s necessary to use a pad for comfort purposes, but can help with slipping. Jute shouldn’t scratch your hardwoods, but if it’s something you are concerned about a rug pad is the cheap and easy solution that will give you peace of mind!

  4. Kyle

    I’m wondering if you have a recommendation for a base layer that isn’t jute/nautical? I have all velvet furniture, lots of rich jewel colors, and the jute seems to not jive with the look. I have an antique rug that looks great, but need a base layer in the 9×12 size that isn’t jute-style. I’m stumped.

    • Sarah

      Why not a beautiful loop pile wool rug in a neutral color?

  5. Alex

    I love this look. I always worry, though, that the jute/sisal will be too hard on bare feet! For that reason I too have wondered if one could pull off something similar with a bottom layer rug that is NOT jute or sisal. Hmmmm…

  6. Tracy

    Thanks for all these beautiful ideas! I have been eyeing the world market rug forever, but a couple of commenters say that it yellowed over time. Do you any experience with that?

  7. Kelly

    Our jute rug is always bunching up/ moving around. Does anyone know if this is common or if this depends on the quality of jute rug one purchases? For instance maybe if the rug was thicker, this wouldn’t be a problem. Anyone?

    • Jenny

      Jute rugs, especially the lighter weight versions, can slip around. Try using anti-curl rug corners like the ones I linked below! We use them all the time!

      • Kelly

        Thank you!

  8. Kristin

    The rugs are great, but I would really love the source for the wall sconce in the second picture. It’s beautiful!

  9. Sarah

    I want to do this for a client, do you think if I layer 5 x 7 on 8 x10 rug that’s too small? Would you do 6 x9 instead? Thx for input!!

  10. Good quality post and comments, thanks everyone. I read good idea. I like it. thank you for sharing blog post with us.

  11. Emma Fisher

    Thanks for the post.

  12. Lexi

    Which natural material is the softest/comfiest? My boyfriend is very concerned about the comfort of doing this, but I’m set on it so trying my best to sway him.

    • Jenny

      Jute is going to be your softest natural fiber! You can find jute blends at West Elm that are super soft!

  13. hellen

    i like the rug. its so cute

  14. AlanMitchell

    very good! I have all velvet furniture, lots of rich jewel colors, and the jute seems to not jive with the look.

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