What to Look for When Buying a Vintage Rug

A view of our playroom with plant wall and new rug! | What to Look for When Buying a Vintage Rug, via Yellow Brick Home
craft table | mirror | toy basket

Most of the items in Lucy’s playroom have been repurposed from other areas – the credenza used to hold office supplies (it’s now chock full of building blocks), the rocker was once in the nursery, and the craft table was brought back upstairs (for dining on hot tea and hummus dip, made with love in Lucy’s kitchen). So unrolling the new-to-us rug was a real treat, and we instantly agreed: Yes, this was the missing puzzle piece!

This post is in partnership with Revival, a brand that believes rugs have the power to transform a space, in turn creating a room that reflects who you are, where you’ve been and what makes you happy. They’re able to offer vintage rugs at an affordable price point, as well as their own designs made responsibly in small batches.

We chose the Ronny, a one-of-a-kind hand-knotted Turkish rug from Revival! We were especially drawn to the floral pattern, subtle pink hue and overall distressed look. For a moment, we considered laying it upside-down, which would have given it a heavily muted look. (In case you need to hear this: Yes, you can lay your vintage rugs upside-down!) We ultimately opted to lay it with the more saturated facing up, as you can see, because this is a playroom, after all!

A view of our playroom with close up of rocking chair, plant wall and end table | What to Look for When Buying a Vintage Rug, via Yellow Brick Home
rocker | basket | table (similar)

What to Look for When Buying a Vintage Rug

If you love the look of vintage rugs but aren’t sure where to look, Revival is an awesome place to start. Not only can you find restored rugs from several origins in a wide range of sizes, materials and colors, but you’ll also find rugs fresh off the loom, made to withstand the test of time. But the best part, I think, is knowing that when you shop from Revival, you can trust that you’re getting a rug that has been restored, cleaned and ready to go! Below, I’m sharing what to look for when buying a vintage rug.

A detail of our Revival Rugs purchase | What to Look for When Buying a Vintage Rug, via Yellow Brick Home

1| What Is Your Ideal Size?

One of my favorite things about a vintage rug is that they come in nearly every shape and size – and not just standard sizes! I like to start by measuring my space and making a mental note of my ideal size. This is where I dream big; maybe it’s 6′ x 12′, maybe it’s closer to standard at 6′ x 10′. I’ll use this as my starting point in a search, and when it comes to vintage, I’ve often times come within inches of my goal size.

Fun fact: Vintage rugs are typically more narrow than modern rugs, due to the size of the loom! Use smaller rugs as an opportunity to layer with a natural rug – such as this jute rug – underneath.

2| Has It Been Cleaned?

This seems obvious, but I always check to make sure any vintage rug I’m purchasing has been thoroughly cleaned. Once you bring a rug into your home, it’s also nice to get familiar with your local rug cleaning options. Every year or two, we bring our kitchen rug to a specialty cleaner, which charges by the square foot.

A detail of our Revival Rugs purchase | What to Look for When Buying a Vintage Rug, via Yellow Brick Home

3| Narrow Down Your Design Style

I can break this down one step further by asking myself these questions:

  • Do I want a high or low pile?
  • Do I want bright or muted colors?
  • Which origin country am I drawn to?

This is another area where Revival shines! You can search for exactly what your heart desires, by using any single answer from a question above. Not only that, you can search by room, size, old or new. For the playroom, I started by size, and further narrowed our search by color to find The One!

4| Embrace the Imperfect

I hesitate to use the word ‘imperfect,’ because I purposely seek out fading, thin spots and distressing – to a certain degree. If a rug is threadbare to the point that you can see the floor, it defeats the purpose of buying a rug, right? But if you dive into the world of vintage rugs looking for perfection, you may leave empty handed. Instead, embrace the imperfect, and relish in the fact that your rug has withstood the test of time and has been loved by many over the decades (or centuries!).

5| Protect Your Investment

Once you’ve found your dream rug, you’ll want to protect your investment. Always, always use a rug pad. Say it with me: Always, always use a rug pad! Rug pads provide cushion, protect your floors and prolong the life of the rug! This is the one we use throughout our home.

A straight on view of the playroom, with Lucy's craft table, long curtains with black trim and vintage rug | What to Look for When Buying a Vintage Rug, via Yellow Brick Home
craft table | rocker | toy basket

Jumpstart Your Vintage Rug Search

I’ve rounded up a handful of my favorites from Revival to give you a jumpstart if you’re on the hunt! This is only the smallest slice of what they have to offer, so be sure to check out their entire curated selection. Just remember: If you love it with your whole heart, don’t sleep on it, as most of these are one-of-a-kind. Once you checkout, you can rest assured that you’ve just invested in an heirloom piece of your very own.

Round-up of our favorite rugs from Revival Rugs! | What to Look for When Buying a Vintage Rug, via Yellow Brick Home

1. Baline | 2. Arduino | 3. Agilmar | 4. Agustin | 5. Gulfer | 6. Brannan | 7. Ayca | 8. Sigurds | 9. Wilton | 10. Atmane | 11. Anasztazia |12. Karstin | 13. Emanoela | 14. Liesbeth | 15. Sibo

If your favorite rug above has since sold out, you can browse all of Revival’s vintage rugs right here!

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  • Kelsey2.19.21 - 9:36 AM

    Thank you for being such a great well rounded resource. I really appreciate the helpful content you put together. 
    I have been wondering about multiple rugs in adjoining spaces. Do you stay with the same “theme” or colour scheme or do you pick rugs completely different from each other? I’m not sure how to make the spaces cohesive with two or more different rugs. What is your opinion?
    Thank you. Stay safe and warm :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.19.21 - 9:42 AM

      Thank you, Kelsey!

      If I can see multiple rugs from one viewpoint, then yes, I’m being mindful of how they pair together. If I want two vintage rugs, I’ll choose one that’s more bold and one that’s more muted, so one doesn’t overpower the other. Or I’ll choose two patterned rugs with one or two similar colors that ‘go’ together (as opposed to ‘matching,’ which can feel more sterile and less layered/casual). Another idea is to invest in the beautiful vintage rug of your dreams – think of it as an heirloom piece – and then use natural fiber rugs (such as jute/faux jute or sisal/faux sisal) in adjoining spaces!ReplyCancel

      • Kelsey2.19.21 - 9:53 AM

        Thank you so much for responding, that is super helpful!ReplyCancel

  • […] you crushing on all the vintage rugs too? Here’s what to look for when you’re shopping for […]ReplyCancel


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