A vintage rug can highlight your room’s decor by fitting into your overarching color palette, conveying your style, and helping to establish the tone. A rug shouldn’t be an afterthought or a formality; instead, view it as an opportunity to tie the room together through those three areas and create a cohesive, beautifully designed space.
Decorating With a Vintage Rug
The term “vintage” is interpreted in many different ways. Oftentimes, vintage area rugs will feature faded or distressed patterns to show the passage of time. However, there are other rugs that use other techniques, like printing old textiles, oriental medallions, and other timeless designs. When it comes to vintage rugs, you have your pick of how you interpret the term and how you add a vintage rug to your space.
Choosing Which Vintage Rug is Right for You
Since there are so many options out there for vintage area rugs, you may be wondering how to find the one that’s right for you. If you start your search by considering these key topics, you’ll be well on your way to finding that rug.
Position: One of the first steps is to finalize your room’s layout and decide where you want to place your rug.
Living Room: Large vintage area rugs can be used to define your main seating area as the place to be. Within that, you have the choice to place the rug in front of the seats, under their front legs, or further beneath them.
Dining Room: When you add a rug to your dining room, center it beneath your table and measure so there’s an extra two feet of rug on each side/end. That will give you the room you need to move your chairs around.
Bedroom: If your bed is a central focal point of the room, then you can further that look by centering your rug beneath the bed. However, if your bed is off to the side, center the rug in the middle of the room itself to create visual interest there and tie multiple parts of the room together.
Kitchen: 2x3 and 3x5 vintage rugs are commonly used in front of a sink or stove to provide comfort and style. However, you can also make those spots comfortable by using a vintage runner rug in that space, especially if you have a narrow kitchen or a kitchen with an island.
Bathroom: Runners can be used to establish a path in the bathroom, but they can also accent a double vanity. If you want to make a smaller statement, use a small vintage rug in front of a tub, shower, or sink.
Outdoors: Outdoor vintage rugs look right at home on a deck, patio, or porch. For layout ideas, look at similar indoor spaces.
Shape/Size: Once the layout is set, you can finalize the size and shape of your rug. Vintage rugs are available in the standard shapes of round, rectangular, and runner, but you can also find other shapes like square or oval. After you decide what shape fits best in your layout, you can measure what size rug you want. Some smaller sizes were recommended above, but other popular sizes include 5x7, 8x10, and 9x12.
Pattern: Vintage rugs tend to fall into many different styles and designs. For example, you can find rugs that are persian, moroccan, turkish, boho, traditional, and other styles. There are some brands like Karastan that specialize in vintage rugs or different collections that focus on that trait. When you’re deciding on your rug’s pattern, look at your existing decor for shapes, imagery, and theming that can carry over into the rug’s design. That will make your room feel cohesive and masterfully designed.
Color: Vintage rugs are often distressed and more muted in color, but there are others that use both bright colors and fading. Choices like green, black, red, pink, white, yellow, blue, and others are available in numerous combinations and vibrancies, so you can choose a color palette that reinforces the room’s style and tone. The material you choose will also impact the colors’ appearance and the rug’s overall durability, so look at options like wool, sisal, and cotton to see what look you like best and how it practically meets your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions about Vintage Rugs
How old are vintage rugs?
While antique rugs are considered 100 years or more old, vintage is usually 20-50 years old.
Are vintage rugs durable?
Vintage rugs are durable, considering they're already several decades old.
Where should you place a vintage rug?
Vintage rugs are typically durable and have lasted decades. These rugs are well worn in high traffic areas such as dining rooms, living rooms and bedrooms.
Ideas and Advice
Check out our latest how to's + design tips to find the perfect rug for your space.