Taylor Lautner's Living Room Rug Puts a Modern Twist on a Controversial 70s Classic

The Twilight actor loves neutral palettes and layered textures, and his living room rug offers both

A split image with a headshot of Taylor Lautner smiling at the camera on the right, and a photo of a neutral living room with a circular white shag rug
(Image credit: Getty / Tala Fustok Studio, Michael Sinclair photography)

As unexpected as it may be, Taylor Lautner is an important figure on our design radar. The Twilight actor shares his sun-soaked California home (and name...) with his wife Tay, and the couple have styled the space with a warm minimalist interior that's seriously inviting. Unsurprisingly, it's a home that's captured our hearts at Livingetc.

Fans of a neutral palette and layered textures, the Lautners certainly know how to make a home feel cozy, and their living room rug is where all the above qualities converge. A modern take on the classic shag rug of the 70s, their long-piled floor covering offers beautiful visual texture and ultimate comfort underfoot without looking dated. And, dare we say it, designers are convinced this controversial rug trend is set to return once more.

bedroom with lots of natural light, two brown leather armchairs, curtains over sheers and a shag rug

(Image credit: Josh Grubbs. Design: Heather Peterson Design)

Taking to Instagram to share a 4th of July snap, Taylor posted a shot of his two dogs, Remi and Lily, dressed in befitting holiday garb. 'Happy 4th from our dog who loves holidays and our other not so much,' he captioned the celebratory post. But, beyond the indisputable cuteness, our eyes were drawn to the exaggerated living room rug idea on their wooden floor where the textured fibers make for seriously soft cushioning. A more elevated version of the 70s shag rug, it's a style you can expect to see a lot more of in the year ahead.

'Shag rugs are characterized by their deep, thick pile, giving them a plush, "shaggy" appearance,' says Elissa Hall, founder and lead designer of EDH Interiors. 'These rugs first gained popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, becoming a staple of mid-century modern design. Their texture and comfort made them a favorite in living rooms and bedrooms, often used to add a touch of warmth and luxury.'

In their heyday, shag rugs were used alongside other overly-exaggerated textures, patterns, and textiles. Think soft leathers, raw rattan, macrame hangings, and shiny chrome finishes. 'Shag rugs fit perfectly in with that aesthetic, bringing a dash of wacky texture and brilliant color to homes around the country,' explains Anh Nguyen, interior designer and founder of Print My Rugs. Now though, they've been toned down to suit a more modern-day interior, usually with neutral colorways and a lower pile.

A glimpse at the rest of Taylor's space and you'll notice he certainly isn't leaning into a 1970s-inspired interior elsewhere. Instead, his home feels fresh and clean yet soft and cozy, something he owes to a beautiful blend of textures. In the background of his pictures, for example, you'll notice a boucle chair and a white linen sofa, evidence of the varied textural interest that goes into his interior design plans.

'Taylor Lautner's rug is an excellent example of how a shag rug can be used to anchor a room's design,' explains Elissa. 'The neutral color complements the surrounding decor, adding a layer of coziness and inviting texture without drawing too much attention away from other elements. One thing I particularly like is how the rug contrasts with the clean lines and sleek furniture, creating a balance between modern and cozy.'

Neutral living room with textured plaster walls, stone fireplace, shapely rug, shag armchair and wooden furniture

(Image credit: Arsight)

When choosing the best rugs for your space, texture should often take precedence over color or pattern, especially if your room lacks softer textiles elsewhere. A cool-toned shag rug, for example, offers far more warmth and softness than a warm-colored flat-woven rug. This is especially true for minimalist spaces like Taylor's that can often feel 'cool' or 'flat' without enough textural variety.

Had the Lautners opted for jute or sissal instead, it wouldn't have the same 'softening' effect. Nor would it offer as much visual variety as the shag style does. As Ahn notes, 'Taylor's rug has a lovely depth and lush texture quality that prevent it from feeling flat or monotonous. I can completely understand why he opted to mix it with that cushy armchair in a complimentary color—the two just work so well together to create an inviting, homey atmosphere.'

Besides the aesthetic benefits, however, practicality comes into play with fluffy textured rugs. With his two canines free to roam on the rug, Taylor's choice of floor covering has to score on durability - and yet, Anh proposes this is where his rug falls short for obvious reasons. 'Shag rugs can pose some challenges for pet owners,' she says. 'The long fibers can be tempting for pets to scratch and snag with their claws over time. Additionally, the deep pile acts as a magnet for dirt, pet hair, and dander, requiring frequent vacuuming.' If you do have pets - or messy young kids, even - a high-pile rug like this one might not be the best option for high-traffic living room flooring.

How do you make shag rugs feel modern?


(Image credit: LAYERED Rugs)

Shags were long associated with boho-style rugs, but modern iterations feel far more 'livable' style-wise, and they're often more long-wearing too, due to innovations in the fibers they're made with.

'The contemporary version of the shag rug maintains the lush texture but often incorporates more sophisticated color palettes and varied materials,' Elissa says. 'Today's designs tend to favor subtler, muted tones over the vibrant, psychedelic colors of the past, fitting seamlessly into a range of interior styles from minimalist to bohemian.'

For instance, Elissa recommends a cream or charcoal shag rug to add depth and comfort to a sleek, modern living space without overwhelming the decor. 'A notable example is the resurgence of Moroccan-inspired shag rugs, which combine traditional craftsmanship with contemporary aesthetics, adding both texture and cultural depth to a room,' she notes.

'We can now experience that same delightful plushness and sink-your-toes-in luxury, but with materials that are an absolute dream for everyday living,' adds Anh. 'Innovative fibers like nylon and polyester have allowed us to capture that sumptuous softness traditionally found in wool shags while also being extremely durable and easy to keep fresh—a must for high-traffic spaces or homes with little ones and furry friends running around.'

No matter your interior design style, the resurgence of this once-dated rug is easy to embrace. Beyond their ability to bring visual warmth and softness to our increasingly hard flooring options, their physical plushness is also a real win. 'Whether evoking vintage style or crisp modern aesthetics,' Anh summarizes, 'these cushy carpets offer a joyous means to instill coziness underfoot'.

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.