How to Coordinate Rugs

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Get the designer secrets to picking coordinating rugs. Whether you have an open concept floor plan or adjacent rooms, this guide will help you pick the perfect rugs for your space.

The perfect coordinating rugs will transform you space and act as an anchor for furniture. Rugs also have the power to make a space feel bigger and create a cohesive flow throughout the space.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Living room with sage rug. Photo focus on mantel with Lilac flowers in a vase. Coffee table with books. Panel moulding on the walls.

Why are rugs important to have in a space?

Rugs define a space, especially in an open plan. They help identify where a particular space such as a living room, starts and stops. When working with an open concept floor plan, it is important to define these spaces to ensure the space doesn’t feel lost or confusing to a space user.

What are coordinating rugs?

Coordinating area rugs are two (or more) rugs that pair well together. They aren’t identical, but create the look as if they were meant to be paired together. They often use a similar colour palette or dominant colour that creates a seamless transition between two spaces when mixing rugs.

kitchen rug. cream coloured cabinets, kitchen counters in quartz.

Why is it important to coordinate rugs?

When you are designing two defined spaces that are side by side in an open floor plan or in adjacent rooms, it is important to consider coordinating area rugs. We have talked about why it is important to have rugs to define a space, but why is it important to coordinate rugs? While we want to define these individual spaces in an open plan, its important that these defined spaces still fit together and have a relationship between them.

Coordinating rugs in an open floor plan

When mixing rugs in an open floor plan it is important to ensure that the colours in the two rugs complement each other. The best way to do this is by ensuring the rugs have similar colours in common. You might pick a rug that is a moss & red colour, so the pairing rug you would want to ensure has some similar colours in it, whether it has red or moss with some other neutral colours in it.

PRO TIP: Create a mood board or use Google Slides, PowerPoint, or Canva to import images of the rugs to view them side by side. This will help you see how the rugs look together, but will also help you with planning the rest of the space.

Bedroom with built in wardrobe, fireplace and rug under bed in tobacco and rust colour.

Tips for coordinating area rugs

  • Warm tones with Warm tones, Cool tones with Cool tones. Warm tones think brown, orange, red, red, cream, green. Cool tones think blue, pure white, pink, grey.
  • Make sure the colours coordinate in some way. If the main colours of one rug is blue, ensure the coordinating rug has some blue in it
  • Keep the lightness/darkness of the coordinating rugs close. Try not to mix a dark rug with a light rug. They look best when they are more similar. It’s not impossible to match them, but it’s easier!
  • Try to keep the rig pile/thickness similar

PRO TIP: Jute rugs match easily with other rugs!

Winning Colour Combinations

coordinating rugs in colours tobacco and rust, as well as ink and salmon

Mixing Rugs with Throw Pillows

Another important coordination in a living room to consider is mixing rugs with throw pillows. Similar to coordinating rugs, you want to pick colours out of the rug and focus on pillows with similar colours. It’s okay and even encouraged to mix patterns, textures and colours with pillows. Many companies even sell packages of coordinating pillow covers.

If you are mixing patterns, it’s important to vary the size of the pattern and the style of pattern. For instance if you chose a pillow with a big block print pattern, don’t pick another pillow with a different big pattern – pick a smaller pattern. If one pillow has big stripes going vertically, pick a second that has smaller pinstripes going horizonal. If you’re unsure how to tell if your throw pillows match with your rug, the best tip is to use a mood board.

Favourite Rug and Pillow Combinations

rug and pillow combination. Sage rug with pillows in block print, windowpane, gingham pattern.
Living room with sage rug, coordinates with dining room rug. Photo focus on mantel with Lilac flowers in a vase. Coffee table with books. Panel moulding on the walls. Cat on the back of windowpane modern wingback chairs in linen.


How do you coordinate two rugs?

Try to pick rugs that have similar colours, include similar warms/coolness, and thickness.

How do you combine rugs in an open floor plan?

Ensure the rugs relate to one another by picking rugs that have similar colours but are unique. Don’t pick two identical rugs, but focus on finding rugs that include a similar colour. For Example, if you pick a rug with red, the second rug doesn’t have to have equal parts red, but should include a bit of red.

Do all rugs have to match?

Rugs shouldn’t be identical to one another but they should have a common element to them.

Can you have two different rugs in one room?

YES! I wouldn’t advise to buy to identical rugs, mismatch is best BUT ensure that they look good together and have similar colouring.

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  1. Having rugs in a room grounds the look and furnitures, but for cleaning and maintenance is another consideration when I’m decide whether it’s worth it to have a rug. I have a rug in the living room , but not in the bedrooms yet. I’ve shopped around for them but still undecided for several reasons. I want to get your opinion on this. I have a newly installed white oak hardwood floor through the house. I love the clean and bright look of it. When the sun shines through the windows, it gives it a warm look to the room as well. I can easily sweep of the dust under the bed. I’m wondering if NOT having the rugs in the bedrooms, how would that take away if I want a stylish home? Being the practical person that I am, considering the cost, accessibility to cleaning the floors, energy and cost of maintenance of the rugs, what would be an alternative to making the rooms feel cosy and not bare. Also, having the rug there, overtime, the sun light will make the hardwood floor lighten unevenly. What do you think?

  2. Hi Lynda, I can understand where you are coming from with the maintenance. I personally wouldn’t design a space without rugs in a bedroom because I feel it really gives a lot of style and personality to the space. If this was something I was concerned about I would get a robot vacuum that could easily clean under the bed and ensure dust wasn’t collecting under there. If the room is small you could maybe get away without a rug, but in a bigger room I really think the space would feel bare without it. Hope that helps a bit!