Should A Runner And Area Rug Match?

Area rugs and runner rugs are both important, stylish accent pieces that can have a practical function too. So, if you have both in your home, then you’re probably wondering how to coordinate their styles together. After all, runner rugs are typically reserved for hallways or kitchens, while area rugs are used just about anywhere. We have carefully researched if these two crucial rugs have to match or not.

It is possible to match an area rug with a runner rug, but only in the right situations. Keep in mind that it’s rarely a good idea to make any two styles identical, no matter what fixtures or accent pieces you’re working with. You will have to consider these crucial things to successfully match your own area rug with a runner:

  • Proximity
  • Texture and Quality
  • Pattern and Colors

Rugs can completely transform a room. Area rugs can be used to unify furniture that would otherwise disagree. Runner rugs can make a hallway appear longer or make your kitchen seem softer. Keep reading to learn how to balance these accent pieces together and how they both interact with the rest of the home.

Luxurious grand foyer with wooden flooring, patterned area rug, and white painted walls, Should A Runner And Area Rug Match?

What To Consider To Successfully Match Your Area Rug With A Runner

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Stylish room interior with modern furniture and wicker runner rug, Should A Runner And Area Rug Match?


If you don’t feel sure that the area rug and runner should match, then deciding on the distance between them is a great way to start.

The relationship between two rugs can really change if they’re separated by an entire room. This distance provides enough of a visual break to make the rugs identical.

This is an exception to the rule that any identical styles can feel overwhelming. But it’s only possible because rugs are generally used as transition pieces. Yes, rugs can be used to add more personality to a neutral floor. But rugs also tend to create a bridge between the floor style and all of the décor sitting on it.

In other words, if the area rug and the runner aren’t in the same room, they can actually create consistency instead of redundancy. Because runners are intentionally made long and thin, they are typically used in hallways. So, matching an area rug with the runner can unify the hallway and room without becoming a boring pair.

Just keep in mind that matching these rugs will close the distance, which means that your home may feel a little bit smaller. In exchange, you will create a clear path throughout the place. It can feel cozy and add much more consistency. This is especially useful if your rooms in the house tend to be styled differently. Kitchens, nurseries, and offices can each have very different looks.

Do rugs need to match in an open floor plan?

If you have an open floor plan, then your rooms aren’t divided by anything. They can freely flow from one room to the next. This is typically used between kitchens and dining rooms, so the foot traffic isn’t so congested. Kitchens can get pretty busy, especially in smaller homes.

Remember that runner rugs are popularly used in kitchens. This is because the kitchen often has awkward angles. Galley kitchens are also common in apartments, and they are basically just a narrow hallway for cooking. Runners add a nice transition to those hard lines. The right material can also protect the floor from water damage and prevent slipping.

Click here to find this waterproof, non-slip kitchen runner on Amazon.

However, an open floor plan will make it very easy to view all of the rugs in one scene. That means you probably shouldn’t match any two rugs as an identical pair. Instead, you should match them by giving them a similar style.

You can use the rugs’ texture, quality, patterns, and color scheme to achieve this balance. The easiest method is to use neighboring colors for both rugs, no matter what kind of rugs you happen to be working with.

Should area rugs in the same room match?

There is a big difference between matching and identical styles. People often consider matching as making two things exactly the same.

But most of the time, you don’t want to use two identical area rugs in the same room. Only match the rugs with each other by coordinating their broader styles to agree. This is the same approach to matching rugs in an open floor plan.

That’s because the point of an area rug is to cover a fair amount of the floor. If you’re laying identical area rugs, then they will quickly become distractions from the rest of the room. Instead, area rugs should serve as a canvas for décor or help you transition up from the floor.

Rarely can you successfully use identical rugs in the same room if the rest of the scene is more elaborate. The consistency of these rugs can help ground certain styles that can go a little wild. For example, Abstract interior designs or Arts and Crafts scenes will always invite décor that’s a little more unique than usual.

Also, refer back to proximity. If your foyer leads right into a hallway, then you might have an area rug and a runner that are right next to each other. Making them too unique from each other might create unwanted conflict right at the front door.

Luxuiorus marble stairs with a light orange carpet runner

Texture and Quality

This is where properly matching your rugs can become a little clearer. You can get two rugs to agree by matching their textures.

Even if the colors of your rugs are quite different, they can still appear friendly if they have the same material and pile. The pile of a rug simply refers to the kind of fibers it has. For example, high pile and low pile just mean the rug fibers are taller or shorter. You can read this post to learn what is considered a high pile carpet, including examples.

You can give a thick, high pile to both the area rug and the runner. That will make these accent pieces appear very similar, without having to give them the same colors or patterns.

Remember that the quality of your rugs can make a big difference, too. Placing an inexpensive runner next to a high-end area rug will look odd. Valuable rugs tend to be more decorative, possibly handmade or wool.

Interior room living area rug texture design

Pattern and Colors

Finally, you can begin to consider the pattern and colors of your rugs. To begin with, both the area rug and the runner should agree with the overall style of the room. That’s because all of the rooms in the house need to be friendly neighbors, too.

So, if you have a sleek and modern kitchen, then your runner should look modern too. But kitchens tend to have brighter floors, compared to the rest of the house. This makes the kitchen feel more spacious. So, it could be better to coordinate your runner with that airy feeling instead of matching colors with an area rug nearby.

Bear in mind that solid colors tend to be easier to pair together. But if you want more personality in your area and runner rugs, you can just match their dominant color. This way, you can have various patterns from one rug to the next without losing a sense of balance.

Artistic geo deep tie dye chevron, waves pastel coloured boho seamless Dyed Print pattern design

Can you mix rug styles?

It is often ideal or necessary to mix rug styles. The style should refer to the rugs’ texture and color scheme. You can use similar textures with different colors or similar patterns with various piles. All that matters is avoiding too much of a good thing and making sure your rugs serve the overall style of the room and home.

How to coordinate oriental rugs

Modern outdoor area rug carpet

Specialists like Estate Sales define Oriental rugs as pieces with handmade qualities, made in the Middle East or Asia.

So, many of these Oriental rugs already share a similar style. This means that they will coordinate more easily together, even when they have different patterns. The most common personality of an Oriental rug is a highly detailed pattern.

Click here to find this Oriental rug on Amazon.

You can successfully sit two Oriental rugs right next to each other without overwhelming the room. That’s because the elaborate patterns offer up so many different colors. This makes it unusually easy to match one of the colors on each rug. It’s best to combine Oriental rugs by their dominant color, which covers the majority of the pattern.

If you don’t want your room to feel too busy, you should avoid Oriental rugs. They have bold personalities that might be too distracting in some rooms. But you can also pair Oriental rugs with partners that have neutral colors or neighboring solid colors. This will balance out the complex designs on most Oriental rugs.

Is it OK to put a runner over carpet?

modern outdoor area runner rug

Generally, it isn’t a good idea to put a runner on top of your carpet. Runners often see a lot of traffic because they are mainly used in thin areas. If you put a runner rug on top of carpeting, then you’re going to wear out both of them a lot faster.

Filth may also build up between the two. For example, consider that rising moisture can get trapped between the carpet and the runner. This can easily cause mold or mildew fungi over time.

You can purchase a rug pad, which can cushion the runner and keep it from sliding too much. But these underlay products sometimes apply a troublesome adhesive to the carpet. Rubber rug pads only really work on hardwood floors. You can read this post to learn how to install carpet padding under an area rug.


Luxurious grand foyer with wooden flooring, patterned area rug, and white painted walls

Area rugs and runners are both unique accent pieces, but they are frequently used together. It can be tough to decide how to match them with each other. Now that you know the best ways to let these rugs agree while serving the overall home, all you have to worry about is adding your own personality.

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One comment

  1. All the questions I had were answered. I really doubted that I would google this and find an answer I was looking for. Thank you!

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