There’s no doubt that spring has arrived — the trees are in bloom here on the east coast. Daffodils are on their way out, while their statuesque cousins, tulips, enjoy their moment in the sun. This time of year, most of us get an itch to switch it up and refresh. Whether it involves a massive spring cleaning or simple refresh, rugs can add major impact to any space. The rugs and carpets that lay gracefully on floors of all types (yes, even wall-to-wall carpeting) are an investment that lasts for year to come.
Today our friends over at Rug and Weave are joining us today to offer up their expertise to help make vintage rug buying a simple process. You might remember Sarah McBean and Svein Piene from their shop tour a while back and we recently got in touch and asked them to share their tips for vintage rug buying. These tips can help take the fear out of choosing a rug that will adorn your floors and add color, texture and depth to your home just in time for this magical season where we fling open the doors and windows and invite the world inside.
THE BUYING TIPS
1. YOUR SPACE
When you’re ready to invest in a vintage rug, it’s best to accurately measure the space where your rug will live. Consider all of the furniture that will be in that room. You want to ground your furniture on the rug so that, for example, the front legs of a sofa are on the rug. Choosing a rug that is too small will look out of place in a room so it’s best to generally go bigger! Layering rugs also works if you are absolutely in love with a particular rug and it’s just a tad small. Place the rug on top of a larger jute or neutral woven rug to fill in the space.
2. HANDMADE vs. MACHINE MADE
This is a major consideration to make and will dictate price and quality. Handmade rugs will be of higher price and value and will last generations. You can tell a rug is handmade by looking at the underside of the rug. The fringe will be a continuation of the rug’s structure and the knots will have variation in spacing and size. Machine made rugs are just that — made by machine. The fringe is added after the rug is built, the rug won’t last as long as a handmade alternative and the value of the rug is not maintained after purchase.
Image above: A few different vintage rugs infuse this large room with distinct zones for entertaining, relaxing, and a quiet reading area to call one’s own. Photo by Sol Creative in the home of @kassandradekoning
3. PILE TYPE
Think about where this rug will live and the general traffic across the rug each day. Lower pile rugs are better suited for areas of high traffic which will make them easier to clean and catch less debris. Higher, softer pile rugs work great in bedrooms or areas of lower traffic.
Image above: A minimal, pristine hallway becomes the perfect backdrop for a low-pile vintage carpet with shades of pink, peach and blue. This vintage rug adds not only color to the white space, but also some texture in contrast to the smooth sea of white. Photo by Sol Creative in the home of @lemontree_interiors
4. STYLE & DESIGN
The options and color combinations are endless when it comes to vintage rugs and no two are alike! Think about the colors you currently have in your room and try to find a rug that has one or two of those colors in it. Scale of pattern is also another thing to look at and is totally a personal preference. A vintage or antique rug is a piece of art for your home and just like art, everyone is drawn to something different for their own reasons. Go with what you connect with and fall in love with.
Image above: A rich, ornate rug presents a stately foundation for the decidedly modern vanity in this bathroom space. The rug size allows the oversized tile to have its place in a purely practical way. Photo by Sol Creative in the home of @kassandradekoning