Vintage rugs are 25- to 50-years-old (any deeper into the past, it’s an antique), and if you find one made exceptionally well-made, it could last for centuries. The drawbacks of true vintage rugs include (sometimes) funky smells and (almost always) huge price tags.
When it comes to something you’ll be walking on barefoot, it’s probably best to go with vintage-inspired. They look similar, and are often handmade with the same materials as a genuine oldie, but are fresh and cost less.
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Things to Consider Before Buying a Neutral Vintage Area Rug
When it comes to decorating with vintage-inspired rugs, there are lots of things to think about. What size room will the rug be going into? What is your color scheme? What kind of flooring do you have?
Let’s look at that last question first. If your floor is hardwood or vinyl that looks like wood, then just about any style rug will look great. Marble and tile are not very barefoot friendly, so strategically dotting them with rustic rugs could be the perfect hack. However, if your home is fully carpeted, very few rugs will look right; small accent rugs will be best.
If your color scheme is mainly white or ivory, then you can get away with faded blues, reds, greens, and even black area rugs. If your color scheme is in shades of azure, then white or blue rugs will work great, and so will natural beige fibers like sisal or jute. If your color scheme is earthy, try washed-out reds, greens, yellows, and (maybe) blues. Even though we’re talking neutrals, brown-on-brown tones are not recommended.
Shopping Tips for Vintage Inspired Area Rugs
When looking at area rugs, think big. Not only do they muffle sound (ideal for apartment living), but they can become a focal point depending on where you place your furniture in relation to the rug. Putting your sofa and coffee table on a big, square rug makes for a homey, well-thought-out look. A large statement rug is always the best choice for anchoring room decor within an open-concept space.
Think about the pile in terms of where the rug will go. If it is a high-traffic area, a low-pile or flatweave rug that’s easy to clean will be best. Plush or shag rugs are best for comfort in your living areas like the den or the bedroom.
Choose busier designs for busy areas. Patterned rugs are less likely to reveal stains, so those are ideal for the kitchen and dining room.
A sturdy pad is a must, as it keeps a rug from shifting when it’s walked on and provides extra cushioning.
15 Vintage Inspired Rugs You’ll Love
This nylon rug is distressed and strategically faded, adding to the intrigue of its ancient oriental design. The 0.44-inch low pile height prevents tripping and can be safely placed in a doorway or entryways.
This kid and pet-friendly polypropylene rug is power-loomed, making it extra durable. Its very faded shades of gray make it a safe bet with almost any color scheme.
The makers of this rug were inspired by centuries-old motifs and modern elements, giving it the look of an heirloom piece. Though some purchasers felt the fading was too extreme, others appreciated the stain resistance. “I spilled black coffee on the floor a few months ago and basically watched my life flash before my eyes as it soaked into my ivory and white rug! Luckily, I got the stain up with dish soap, hot water, and vinegar, and you cannot even tell what happened.”
Here’s the classic! You cannot think of a vintage-inspired rug without thinking of the Persian design motif. This one is a true neutral, blending nicely with just about any style and color palette.
This oriental medallion patterned rug works well with contemporary, transitional, informal, modern, rustic, farmhouse, and shabby chic styles. There’s a huge selection of colors on this rug, which bring out the pattern in decidedly different ways.
This beige/cream rug is neutral, but not boring. It’s got a luxe quality, according to one reviewer, who wrote, “I love this rug! It is soft to walk on and I love the color and design… very rich-looking.”
This rug has subtle shades of blue. An online purchaser says: “Colors are muted aqua, grey [on a] whitish-gray background. Perfect for my living room decor. The corners were curled up a little at first but I put heavy books on them and they lie flat now. I recommend it to anyone looking for a rug that doesn’t take over the room.”
It’s easy to see the vintage inspiration in this truly neutral rug. “The colors are subdued where the need to be and nicely saturated where should be,” says one review. “There is a small shimmery thread that runs through the darker beige. It gives the rug look of an old, slightly worn silk rug.” This rug is actually made of polypropylene.
Here is one of the few shag rugs on the list. Shag isn’t common these days but if you’re going for vintage-inspired, then here’s your ticket. Its geometric design and braided fringe finishes are attention-getters, but the off-white and soft gray colors are bona fide neutrals.
While this is a very thin rug that some purchasers fought to keep lying flat, most liked its beautiful pattern. Inspired by vintage tile and available in an array of neutral colors, this area rug is certainly pretty.
This ombre rug will blend in nicely with just about any color palette, and is a good choice in a larger size for going under your furniture. You can get this rug in a variety of sizes and shapes.
Here’s a warm and inviting rug, bringing to mind old-world designs. It is 100% polypropylene pile with jute backing. This rug will resist stains, fading, soil, and bacteria making it a good bet for homes with kids or pets.
If you’re looking for a versatile vintage-inspired rug that is also neutral, here’s one to consider. You can use it indoors and outdoors since it’s water-resistant and easy to clean. Reviews are mixed on this one, but most say it’s a good rug for the price.
Floral neutrals and vintage inspiration are obvious in this elegant, understated area rug. It is made of 85% heat-set polypropylene and 15% chenille yarn with a cotton backing.
This blue-ombre rug is distressed and looks old but not worn, because the colored fibers are woven, not printed. “This rug has just the right pile height and is extremely plush/soft. Like other reviewers I will agree that the color is more of a green,” says one consumer.
What do you think of vintage-inspired rugs? Do you have any, or do you plan on buying? Let us know in the comments below.