Five Tips for Finding Vintage Rugs

IMG_5020If I had to guess one design decision that people struggle with the most, I would guess “selecting a rug.” The rug is the “tray” that the whole room is built on, and if you don’t like that tray, it can throw off the balance of everything else in the room. Ideally, you would pick the rug first because of its importance as the base, but that rarely happens. Usually, by the time the rug selection gets the attention it deserves, the room is halfway put together and then you have to go through the arduous process of searching for something. And everything is too small. Or too colorful. Or will look too weird with the active marble in your coffee table (that’s probably just me). Or the worst… too expensive (hopefully not just me).

After some trial and error, I finally love the rug I currently have in our living room. It’s vintage and helps make our living room feel warm and lived in. Now that I am working on our bedroom, I’m about to start the search again. Knowing that picking out a rug can be a real challenge because of function, style, and budget, I thought it would be nice to share the sources I use when hunting for that perfect vintage rug!

1. Use the right terminology when searching. Some of my favorite key words are: vintage, antique, Kazak, Anadol, Persian, Turkish, Heriz, Sarouk, Tabriz, Oushak.

2. Use hashtags to your advantage. Most of the really good shops I’ve featured here have been found through Instagram. I check the sources and hashtags in the posts which has led me to some beautiful finds (and of course I want to buy everything but have no space and no extra cash flow to facilitate such a habit).

3. Don’t discount flea markets, antique stores, or thrift stores. I have spotted some really great rugs tucked underfoot at antique stores. Usually, places like that are willing to sell them even though they are a part of the display.

4. Know the shop’s schedule. These rugs sell like hotcakes. You have to be ready when they post new inventory, because when it’s good, it’s gone.

5. Can’t afford vintage? Can’t find the right size? Can’t seem to get the exact colors you want? Fake it. Buy new that is made to look vintage. Favorites include this rug from Rugs USA, this collection from Loloi, and these rugs from West Elm.

Happy hunting!


1 Vintage Rug Shop | 2 The Shoppe / Amber Interiors | 3 Kaya Kilims | 4 Loom and Kiln | 5 Frances Loom | 6 Woven Home | 7 Woven Abode | 8 Ebay

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