New Rug? Here Are Some Tips for How to Style It

Amy Pawlukiewicz
Written by Amy Pawlukiewicz
Updated August 4, 2015
Study space with scandinavian furniture
Photo: photographee.eu / Adobe Stock

Styling your rug doesn’t have to be boring

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Maybe you got a new beautiful oriental rug, or maybe you’re just bored with your current layout. Whatever the case may be, there are lots of things you can do to jazz up your rugs and give your space new life. Here are a few tips.

1. Layer Several Rugs

Putting one rug down is a good way to soften up a room and give your feet some padding. But two rugs can add visual interest, creating a more unique look. You can layer smaller rugs on top of larger ones, or even layer them diagonally if you have the space. The eclectic look adds personality and pizazz.

2. Use It as a Bedspread

A flat-woven rug can be a cool, funky way to display your rug as well as pep up your bedroom. A rug with an interesting pattern works well in this case, and when you’re ready for bed, you can simply fold it up and put it on the floor or on another piece of furniture like you would throw pillows.

3. Drape It Over Your Headboard

If putting a rug on the bed seems a little too crazy for you, why not try it on your headboard? Sling a lightweight rug with an interesting pattern across your headboard and you’ll change the whole look of your room, making an outdated or plain headboard look more modern. 

4. Use It as Art

It’s a common practice for college kids to hang tapestries in their rooms to cover the boring cinder block walls. But tapestries aren’t the only textile you can hang on your wall; in fact, many rugs are designed to be either used on the floor or displayed elsewhere. 

Since rugs take up a lot of wall real estate, this look is good for rooms with high ceilings or in an alcove to set the area apart from the rest of the room.

5. Drape the Rug on Furniture

If you’re looking to change up the furniture in a room but don’t want to part with your sofa or loveseat just yet, draping a rug over it can bring some life into the room. Hang a flat woven rug over the back of the furniture, tuck it underneath the cushions, and let it drape down the back for a different look. You’ll feel like you have a whole new room.

6. Put It on the Dining Room Table

Maybe this one seems a bit wild, but throwing a rug over your dining table is a funky and unexpected choice. Choose an oriental or Persian rug for a little more drama, just be sure to remove it before you use the table!

7. Angle Your Rug

Sometimes, the way you use a rug is all about the angle. A flat rectangular rug can look totally different when tipped at an angle, giving the room a different feel. Experiment with all the angles that you have space for and choose which you like best—there’s no wrong answer.

8. Make It the Focus

A kid sitting on the rug in the white bedroom
Photo: photographee.eu / Adobe Stock

If your rug is your favorite part of a room, make it the focal point. Some rugs look more like artwork than floor coverings, so give yours some attention and build the room around it.

9. Use the Rug Outdoors

An older rug that you’re not quite ready to part with can sometimes make the transition to the outdoors. This works best with natural fiber rugs made from materials like cotton or seagrass

Just keep in mind that sun, rain, and dirt can fade the colors. There are also rugs that are specifically designed to be indoor/outdoor or exclusively outdoor, so if you’re not keen on bringing yours outside, check out one that’s designed for the outdoors.

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