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These 11 rooms from the AD archives prove that when it comes to rugs, the more the merrier

How to Decorate with Layered Rugs and Carpets

When it comes to floor coverings, sometimes more is more. Layering rugs offers an easy way to add color and pattern to a room or to experiment with trends without investing in a large carpet. Durable sisals topped with vibrant rugs work well in family-friendly spaces, high-traffic areas, or large rooms, while an arrangement of antique carpets puts a modern spin on traditional pieces. From Ralph Lauren’s elegant living room at his country estate to designer Michael S. Smith’s contemporary California family room, these inspiring spaces from the AD archives show how a mix of floor coverings can add style and versatility to rooms both indoors and out.

The master bedroom of fashion designer Derek Lam and businessman Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann’s New York City apartment uses a jute rug by Stark as a base for a kilim. The room features a Madeleine Castaing–fabric wall covering, a bespoke burnt-oak four-poster by the home’s designer, Neal Beckstedt, and vintage Jean-Michel Frank lamps.

Photo: William Waldron

layered rugs 02

In the family room of designer Michael S. Smith and diplomat James Costos’s Southern California home, a striped rug by Vaughn is layered atop a natural fiber rug. A Philippe Anthonioz light fixture is suspended above a Dransfield & Ross screen, a Jasper sofa, a pair of armchairs with cushions upholstered in a Lee Jofa fabric, and an ottoman by Ralph Lauren Home.

Photo: Roger Davies

layered rugs 03

A hooked zebra rug once owned by decorator Albert Hadley takes pride of place in the living room of lighting designer Christopher Spitzmiller’s upstate New York country home. The desk lamp is by Spitzmiller, as is the garden stool, which stands beside a Todd Alexander Romano floor lamp.

Photo: William Waldron

layered rugs 04

In the master suite of a Hamptons home by architect Peter Pennoyer and designer Matthew Patrick Smyth, both the striped area rug and the carpet are by Patterson Flynn Martin. A bed upholstered in a Loro Piana cotton is paired with a valance and curtains of a Schumacher print; the floor lamp is by Mecox, and the vintage Jansen desk is from Florian Papp.

Photo: Pieter Estersohn

layered rugs 05

A terrace of a family retreat by architecture firm Shope Reno Wharton and designer Thom Filicia on the shores of New York’s Upper Saranac Lake offers wide-open views of the water and the Adirondacks. The seating is by Summit Furniture, the petrified-wood stools are by Andrianna Shamaris, and the vintage rugs are from Sacco Carpet; the blanket is by Pendleton Woolen Mills.

Photo: Pieter Estersohn

layered rugs 06

Turkish-style wool carpets by Robert Kime are layered atop a natural fiber rug in the drawing room of British gallerist Adrian Sassoon and real-estate broker Edmund Burke’s southwest England country home. Antique English and Continental portraits and landscapes line the 60-foot-long space, which is painted a Farrow & Ball white. In the foreground, a table showcases a spiky steel artwork by Junko Mori.

Photo: Simon Upton

layered rugs 07

A ceiling light designed by Kemble Interiors oversees the children’s playroom in decorator Celerie Kemble’s Dominican Republic retreat; the furniture is upholstered in Dutch-wax prints from AKN Fabrics, and the orange rug is from Nomadic Trading Co.

Photo: Douglas Friedman

layered rugs 08

The living room of fashion designer Ralph Lauren’s Bedford, New York, estate, features an arrangement of 17th- and 18th-century Persian carpets. A Victorian cut-glass chandelier, a pair of George II gilt-wood mirrors, and a 16th-century Flemish tapestry also embellish the space.

Photo: Björn Wallander

layered rugs 09

In the bedroom of his Manhattan apartment, designer David Kleinberg topped carpeting from Patterson, Flynn & Martin with a Moroccan-style rug by Doris Leslie Blau.

Photo: Eric Piasecki

layered rugs 10

A Swedish rug provides a touch of pattern atop Tai Ping carpeting in the master bedroom of fashion editor Nina Garcia’s Manhattan home, which was renovated and decorated by Carlos Aparicio. Cindi Johnson prints flank the custom-made bed; the side tables are by Jean-Michel Frank for Comte, and the bench is an Emilio Terry design.

Photo: Björn Wallander

layered rugs 11

The rug and sisal floor covering in the library of designer J. Randall Powers’s Houston home are from Stark. A Paul Ferrante ceiling fixture is suspended above a Cubist painting by Michel Patrix and a Biedermeier settee from Karl Kemp Antiques; the obelisks are from John Rosselli Antiques, the plaster table is by John Dickinson, and the armchairs are upholstered in a Threads by Lee Jofa fabric.

Photo: Eric Piasecki

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