5 Things to Look for in a Vintage Rug

5 Things to Look for in a Vintage Rug

While there are a variety of rug patterns that you can choose from to complement your decor, there is one motif in particular that will never go out of style; vintage. While vintage can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, in general, it simply means the opposite of contemporary. Vintage patterns feature colors and design elements that are classic, accessible and will stand the test of time. If you’ve been wanting to experiment with vintage designs in your home, a vintage-style area rug is a great place to start! Check out these five things to look for, and soon you’ll be rolling out a little piece of classic decor, perfect for any spot in your home.


Vintage-style area rugs are distinctive from modern, coastal or minimalist styles, simply by the patterns that they display. Vintage-style rugs with a traditional feel often include scrollwork, floral motifs, borders, and even medallions. Consider the tapestry-style elements of rugs from the far east; they look classic and stylish on the floor or a medieval castle or in the master bedroom of a contemporary condo. These elements feel familiar to us all, and work well with almost every kind of furnishing from traditional to modern pieces. Stay away from sharp, geometric lines or abstract patterns to stay true to a vintage vibe.


The color scheme for a vintage-style rug is also important, and will almost always lean toward earthy, neutral tones. Gold, russet, green, indigo, and deep browns make up the basis of traditional vintage-style color schemes. Bright, bold hues like lime green or neon yellow aren’t going to be found in a vintage rug color palette. However, depending on the vintage period or style you are going for, there are exceptions to the rule. Heavily floral-themed vintage-style rugs may lean towards more pink and purple motifs, with greenery and gray accents. This type of vintage-style rug would be an excellent addition to a powder room, closet or even a sitting room.


Round rugs are one of the most classic shapes when it comes to vintage-style floor coverings. While large rectangular area rugs are always in demand, round rugs are gaining popularity once again amongst interior designers and DIY home decorators alike. Round rugs offer a unique way to highlight traditional style architecture, like bay windows, or vintage furniture, like round pedestal tables. The borders on vintage-style rugs, particularly on rectangular 8 x 10 rugs, also help to create visual interest in a room, framing off and defining spaces.


When it comes to vintage-style area rugs, bigger isn’t always necessarily better. These timeless, patterned beauties are an excellent addition to any area, whether as a runner accent or as a large statement piece. Look for vintage-style area rugs in medium-sized circular shapes, large rectangular shapes and even smaller-scale runners for the perfect way to work a classic rug into any space.


True vintage rugs are often found in antique shops or estate sales in hand-loomed woven or knotted wool. While this traditional material is beautiful, it also comes with its own host of difficulties. Wool is notoriously difficult to clean, susceptible to carpet mites, and degrades over time. Opting instead for a polypropylene rug in vintage-style patterns will give you the aesthetic you crave while enjoying easier cleaning and care. Polypropylene rugs also wear beautifully over time, keeping your vintage-style area rug vibrant and beautiful year after year.

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