Tips for Decorating With Vintage Finds

With bright blue skies and crisp air, fall weekends are perfect for antiques hunting trips. Even if you don’t find anything to buy, browsing vintage shops, flea markets, and antique fairs makes for a fun and satisfying day trip — and of course, if you do find a treasure, so much the better! Read on for a few favorite pieces to keep on your radar, how to decorate with them, and what to look for when inspecting vintage furniture and decor. Happy antiquing!

Design Sponge
Design Sponge

Consider your needs: When you need something specific for your home, it’s easy to overlook vintage and antiques. After all, shopping for brand-new items in your local big box store is usually quicker (and more of a sure bet). But taking the extra time to shop for something that has stood the test of time is worth the effort — vintage goods are usually well made, long-lasting, and elegant. A few practical finds to look for in vintage shops and flea markets include cast iron cookware, wooden spoons, drafting tables, desk chairs, wall hooks, and all sorts of cabinets.

Domino Magazine

Where to shop: Local vintage and antique shops are fun to pop into, but if you’re looking for a full-immersion experience, it’s worth seeking out a big antique fair in your region. Antique fairs bring together many individual sellers into one (often outdoor) space. Vendors go all-out with beautifully styled vignettes that can help you imagine how you might use some of the pieces in your own home. Plus there are usually stands selling food and drinks for when you need a break! A few of the best fairs across the country include:

Holly Marder
Holly Marder for Avenue Lifestyle

Master the mix: A mix of old and new makes a house feel more like a well-loved and lived-in home, so don’t stress about whether your vintage and antique pieces will “go” with the newer items in your space. Pair vintage bentwood chairs with a modern tulip-shaped table; use an antique glass cabinet to hold your bath towels; or put a vintage credenza to work in the living room as a media console for your flat screen TV.

A Beautiful Mess
A Beautiful Mess

Start a collection: If you love browsing flea markets and fairs, starting a collection can be a great way to focus your shopping efforts. And of course, displaying a cherished collection in one spot can make a beautiful focal point in your home. Just remember that when it comes to collecting, small and curated is often more impactful than large and unruly. Here are a few ideas for fun vintage items that look great in collections:

  • Rainbow-colored glassware

  • Vintage globes

  • Midcentury pottery

  • Vintage oil portraits

  • Typewriters

Rip & Tan
Rip & Tan

Look for quality: Before you make a purchase, be sure to take your time inspecting the vintage piece from all angles. Look for wood that’s smooth and blemish-free; drawers that slide open easily; and sturdy, comfortable chairs. If a dealer claims the piece was made by a known designer (and has raised the price accordingly), check the underside or back of furniture for a maker’s mark. But the most important question to ask yourself is, “do I love it?” As with people, a few imperfections just add character.

Rug pairings: What could go better with your antique and vintage finds than a gorgeous one-of-a-kind rug? Each of the rugs shown featured here is either handwoven or hand-knotted, and the rich hues would go perfectly with all sorts of vintage treasures.

One of a kind rugs

Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Bokara Rug Company Semi-Antique Turkish Kazak in blue; Solo Rugs Tribal in orange; Solo Rugs Suzani in purple; Solo Rugs Tribal in red.

For more one-of-a-kind options, shop all of our one-of-a-kind rugs.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®


Get The One-Of-A-Kind Rug Look Without The Price Tag

I don’t know about you, but when I troll Pinterest and spy beautiful vintage Persian and Oriental rugs, I swoon and gasp for joy. Rug after rug, room after room, I yell at my phone, “Give me all the stuff!”. They’re classic pieces that go with pretty much every home decor style but are near impossible to find. And if by chance you happen upon one, it usually comes with a hefty price tag. Traditional, boho, farmhouse, mid-century modern, it really doesn’t matter. These bad boys go with anything.

Via Country Living

I mean seriously, how inviting and cozy does that room look? That vintage beauty is worn in just the right places with its ornate floral medallions. So what’s a vintage lovin’ rug gal have to do? How dare these rugs be so beautiful when I can’t find them anywhere? Or can I?

Via Apartment Therapy

Challenge accepted. I went on a mission to find new, look-a-like rugs (without the hefty price tag). No more fruitless Googling and emailing strangers, “Where did you get that rug?” only to be told, “Sorry, it’s vintage.” What I soon found out, was there really are some fantastic vintage inspired rugs that aren’t one-of-a-kind. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a looksy at the pretties I found!


Not too shabby huh? I’d say they have that perfectly worn vintage look! Wouldn’t you? They have all the old world charm you need to redefine your space. So what are you waiting for? Go make a style statement and add some luxury to your room.

Rug Shopping Guide:

1 Surya Zahra ZHA-4003 

2 Nourison Karma KRM-01

3 Surya Antolya ANT-9712

4 Loloi Rugs Anastasia AF-09

5 Surya Caesar CAE-1145

6 Karastan Spice Market 80153

For more inspiration from Kyla, follow along with her at House Of Hipsters!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®


One-of-a-Kind Rugs Define Unique


Samples of the hundreds one-of-a-kind area rugs now available at Rugs Direct

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

One of the reasons area rugs are so popular today is the tremendous variety of styles, colors, sizes, shapes and materials available. In addition, redecorating a room with a new area rug is far easier and more economical than painting, re-wallpapering, buying new furniture or even replacing the window treatments.

But some people want to go even further in their quest to put their own personal stamp on their homes. It is for these people that the world of “one-of-a-kind” area rugs exists!

For economic reasons – and a few practical ones as well – most large retailers can’t offer their customers a product of which only one exists in the entire world. A big-box retailer or chain functions in the realm of mass merchandising. They buy vast quantities of items, which are then mass produced, and sell them at the lowest margin possible. Profits are only possible when selling in volume. This is as true for area rugs at these stores as it is for toothpaste, nails, canned corn and kitty litter. But shouldn’t an item like an area rug that is used to personalize a living space and coordinate home-design elements exist in a slightly different, more “artistic” retail world?

Randy Kremer, the president of online retailer, Rugs Direct, thinks so. “Rugs ARE art,” he says. “Everyone wants to place the best-quality, most beautiful rug she can find on her living room floor. It’s only natural, just as it’s natural to want to be unique. Because of the wide variety in personal tastes, and the huge number of rug collections available, it’s highly unlikely you are going to see the rug you purchase on someone else’s floor. But it DOES happen,” he cautions.

The solution, of course, is to buy a “one-of-a-kind” rug. This means exactly what it says – a hand-made rug, designed and woven by an artist who is applying a particular design and color scheme to this one rug – and ONLY this rug! The true definition of unique!

But super expensive, right? Like millions and millions – OK, like tens of thousands of dollars?

“Sure, you can spend a lot of money on a top-quality, one-of-a-kind rug,” says David Craig, CEO of Rugs Direct. “Some of these rugs take years to make and will last several lifetimes. In many ways they represent more of an investment than a practical design solution – especially if you have kids or pets! But a one-of-a-kind rug isn’t automatically priced beyond most people’s budgets. In fact, if you visit our online store, you’ll see there are many, many machine-made rugs that cost more than some of our new one-of-a-kinds. There are many factors that influence the cost of a beautiful rug. Exclusivity doesn’t always translate to expensive,” says Craig.

one-of-a-kind-rug1  One-of-a-kind rugs are almost all made of 100% wool. This is the traditional material that has been used for thousands of years to create the best-quality, most durable rugs, and it remains the fiber greatly preferred by modern craftsmen. Once in a while you’ll see a little silk woven in for contrast or to add a sheen, but this usually represents no more than about 3-5% of the rug’s fiber content.

A wide variety of knots and techniques for tying them are used, often based upon the country in which the rug is being woven. These highly perfected skills have been handed down generation after generation, along with much of the equipment that is still in use today.

Iran, Pakistan, China, India and Afghanistan are where most of the modern rug-makers work, often employing a great many family members and neighbors when producing a large rug or long runner. As would be expected, the majority of the rugs they create would be classified as “traditional” or perhaps “Oriental,” although to some true rug aficionados the latter term has a somewhat different meaning. Colors tend to be in the red-burgundy-beige families, with brighter colors used for emphasis rather than as an overall motif.

However, when it comes to medallions, patterns and borders, the sky’s the limit. Some have fringe, some do not. And in some cases, even symmetry is optional. Remember, this is the work of a skilled artist who is attempting to express himself using a very specialized type of canvas and medium. What he sees in his mind is what translates to the loom, and often it is only the weaver himself who has a vision of the finished project.

On a bit of a technical note, one of the difficulties that online retailers have in selling any sort of one-of-a-kind product, is that once the item is sold, it has to quickly be taken offline so later customers won’t be disappointed. In a traditional store, this is relatively easy. Either the product physically leaves the premises, or you can put a big “SOLD” sign on it. You will see some websites that do a version of this by putting text over the sold item, but this is generally not considered to be a good merchandising practice. Why show people what they CAN’T buy? The good news is, Rugs Direct has come up with a way to accomplish this through some rather sophisticated computer programming. Once one of the company’s one-of-a-kind rugs is sold, it is immediately removed from the online display and the gap is filled with other product that remains available for sale.

“The last thing we ever want to do is disappoint a customer,” says Kremer. “Especially when he or she is taking the time and effort to carefully select a one-of-a-kind rug from us,” he concludes.

To explore the new one-of-a-kind rugs now available at Rugs Direct, click here.