How to Decorate With an Custom Area Rug Over Carpet

Placing a rug over carpet will give you a mixed response. For some, the idea seems very taboo whilst others find it to be another way of adding some flair and spruce to their interior space. However, like all decor-related ideas, whatever works best for you, do it.

The age old question: Why?

When you are buying a rug, it is typically for hardwood or laminate floors. But placing area rugs on top of wall to wall carpets, also known as ‘layering’, is a fairly old concept and there are multiple reasons why it's done.

Unorthodox normality

The standard design of a carpeted room is to have one color for the floor covering. With area rugs, you get to break free and experiment with different colors, shapes and materials. Mixing different designs together brings a different level of aesthetics to the space.

Aesthetical aesthetics

Wall to wall carpets tend to be very neutral colors, with most not wanting to try for very vivid and abstract colors. Placing an area rug in the mix tends to accentuate the room and brings a sense of color to the surrounding area.

Visual Order

One of the benefits of adding an area rug to your interior is creating some order to the chaos. A rug can become a focal point for all the furniture and decor, or even adding a larger rug can create a bordered effect to the space. Adding rugs on carpets can also be used as a way to section a room into different areas.

Size Matters

The journey to selecting the perfect area begins with choosing the right size. A rug too big just looks wrong when you walk into the house, one too small creates a cramped feel and looks awkward when it is not touching any surrounding furniture.

The idea of choosing the right size for your rug is to match the size of your room, placing it centrally, and defining the space around it.


Varying texture when it comes to area rugs over carpet is vital. Carpets are more often than not low pile heights, which work best if you are placing a rug over it as it adds a sense of elegance visually and a wonderful softness underfoot. Having a high-pile rug over a high-pile carpet will not only look like too much is going on visually, but it can also be a slipping hazard as the textures are clashing too much.


With area rugs on carpet, it is really important to properly anchor the rug down, as the rug can bunch up due to the resistance with the carpet and create a bump which can become a tripping hazard.

Here are some steps to ensure your rug will remain secure in place:

1) Use double sided tape around the border to stick it down. Take extra care on the corners as they tend to bunch up further
2) Place a rug pad or gripper underneath the rug to increase resistance and stop the area rug from moving about
3) Anchor the rug down by placing heavy furniture on top

Personal Vision

All in all, these are some rough guidelines that have been set out. But if they sit well with you then you can disregard them and stick with what you think is best. After all, each person has their own design definition and color scheme, and if you are happy with the rug then that's what matters.