18 Ideas for Styling Outdoor Rugs

Options for every backyard retreat, beach house, and urban courtyard

Lauren Dunec Hoang
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Viewing deck

A rug and a couple of folding chairs are all that’s needed to take in the skyline outside of this house in Venice, CA. For a small space, cover the flooring with wall-to-wall outdoor carpeting to get the most out of every inch.

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Veranda with a view

With a view to the Pacific Ocean, a West-facing stone terrace is the best place to catch the sunset in this Santa Barbara home. An outdoor rug woven with a traditional Moroccan tile takes the chill off the flagstone after the sun goes down.

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Pattern play

Nothing says backyard bohemian style like bold colors, a mix of textures, and a tangle of potted plants. Don’t be afraid to layer outdoor rugs to create an outdoor lounge large enough to host a party—but we’ll warn you that your friends may not ever want to leave.

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Farmhouse chic

A charcoal-colored outdoor rug gives a little edge to this airy covered porch. Pair with laid-back retro furniture for a rustic chic look.

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Go graphic

A pair of black and white chevron-striped rugs add a touch of softness to this urban patio amidst potted tree aloes, barrel cacti, and sansevieria. For narrow spaces, use multiple rugs to help break up the space and define areas such as a seating spot and place to grill.

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Rooftop oasis

This urban deck nestled in San Francisco’s Mission District feels worlds away from the busy streets below. A large outdoor rug takes the chill off the poured concrete floor and makes the outdoor table and seating area feel like an extension of the apartment.

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Surf break

  • Garden design: Orlando Soria for Homepolish. Outdoor rug from One Kings Lane

Keep it nautical with a fresh white and cobalt outdoor rug and beachy accessories. A plush outdoor fabric offers an excuse to be barefoot—whether you’re back from the beach or not.

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Keep it cool

Laying down a plush outdoor rug turns a plain concrete patio into an inviting backyard destination. Keep garden accessory colors in the same family—all blues, greens, and cobalt—to give multiple spaces a feeling of continuity.

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Set the tone

  • Garden design: Di Zock Gardens. Rug available through Viva Terra

Keeping to a tight color palette makes an outdoor room feel just as intentional and inviting as any space indoors. In this backyard in Venice, CA, a brown and turquoise rug ties in perfectly with the paint colors of the house and ceramic fountain.

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Mad about color

Playful colors light up this covered porch in Los Angeles, CA. There’s nothing shy about a mustard colored rug but this particular model made of recycled polypropylene reverses to a more subdued grey.

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Tile style

Laying down an outdoor rug in a bold, Moroccan pattern can give a weathered outdoor deck the feeling of tiled courtyard. For rugs placed on wood, look for ones made from recycled plastics treated. They’ll be less apt to trap water and cause the wood to rot than natural fibers.

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Clean and simple

Get preppy with a key-patterned blue and white outdoor rug on an elegant marble terrace. Keeping a clean color palette of white, blue, and black gives a sophisticated feel.

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Sea breeze

Keeping tones neutral in this second story deck keep the focus on the view of ocean. An tightly-woven outdoor rug defines the seating nook and doesn’t trap sand from bare feet.

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Private retreat

  • Design: Lisa Borgnes Giramonti. Outdoor rug available from Pottery Barn

A tiny balcony becomes a retreat space for reading or enjoying a cup of morning coffee with the addition of an inviting chair and soft outdoor carpeting. Choosing an outdoor rug with bold stripes makes the narrow space appear longer than it is.

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Party style

Laying down a sunny-colored outdoor rug instantly brightens this garden and creates an inviting place to sit down for an al fresco dinner party. Bright colored rugs work well for evening gatherings as they seem to glow at twilight—even more so surrounded by candle-lit lanterns.

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Simple palette

A mahogany colored rug with rustic end stitching brings weight to a white-washed deck and anchors a pair of deep-seated chairs. Add interest to the seating area with potted citrus and lemon-colored throw cushions.

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Light and bright

Classic blue and white stripes in a contemporary chevron pattern compliments simple garden furniture and playful watercolor cushions. Made from tightly woven recycled plastic straws, this durable rug is both soft under foot and water-resistant.

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Cocktail lounge

A simple blue and green striped outdoor rug provides just enough cushion to tempt guests to relax on an ottoman and enjoy a cool drink. Coordinate colors of pillows, a cozy throw, and a lantern to compliment the rug for a complete look.