In terms of decor, is there really anything better than a beautiful vintage rug to bring some serious soul to a room? They have a way of grounding a space instantly with personality and injecting a mysterious sense of “history.” Now, while I and the whole EHD crew are vintage rug fangirls, I realized I actually didn’t know anything about the types of vintage rugs I lust after daily. Even when I went to go buy my kitchen rug, I knew I wanted something vintage but I went in blind and crossed my fingers (knowing I could return for a refund). So when I was assigned this post after some talk in the office about new (vintage) rugs for the mountain house and where others on the team source pieces for projects—including Emily who shares her #1 rug sourcing secret at the end of this post so keep reading—I figured it was time to rectify my (shameful??) lack of knowledge for myself while also paying some research forward to you guys. Two birds, one kilim stone.
First, let’s start with some tips to know before you buy online so you don’t suffer from instant buyer’s remorse:
- A rug is considered vintage if it’s less than 100 years old. If it’s more than 100 years old, then it’s an antique and usually very $$$$.
- Imperfections are good but a rug that is falling apart isn’t (unless that’s your thing). Make sure to ask about any damages previous to clicking that “buy it” button.
- Ask for more pictures if you are unsure about the color (or damage) of your dream rug, ideally in different lighting. Online photos can be deceiving so there is no shame in wanting some more visual confirmation. This is easier to accomplish on Craigslists, OfferUp, Etsy, etc.—basically where the seller can be directly
- Check the return policy. Sometimes no matter how much you know about the piece, it may just be different than you thought when you see it in person. Make sure you are able to get your money back if you change your mind.
- Double check sizing! Vintage rugs come in all kinds of sizes (which is especially awesome if you need an unconventional size) however lots of sites put their measurements in centimeters and will obviously be VERY different if you were planning them to be inches.
- Vintage rugs are rarely inexpensive and if the dealer can prove some sort of authenticity then they really aren’t cheap. Basically, it’s hard to say what is a good price. Set a budget for yourself, look at the quality and uniqueness. Then decide how bad you want it. That’s where the value ultimately lies.
Of course, shopping from e-commerce sites is not the only place to grab a gorgeous vintage or antique rug. Emily’s three in-person go-tos are Craigslist (she scored the blue rug from a previous home here for $75), estate sales (she got the 3 rugs from the Fig House project for $1,000 total at a celebrity’s estate sale) and, of course, flea markets, but read to the end to find out what her most precious tactic of all is for finding affordable rugs.
Before diving into our favorite shops and picks, I wanted to make a little cheat sheet and break down the types of rugs you will most likely encounter on your search (though keep in mind there are SO many other varieties like Heriz, Serapi, Mashad, etc.):
- Oriental Rug: This is just an umbrella term for a knotted-pile rug from North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and northern India.
- Kilim: A flat-woven carpet or rug usually made in Turkey.
- Beni Ourain: Shag Moroccan rugs that are are typically very soft and made from high-grade wool. The colors are neutral and the designs are simple and geometric. These have been king in the neutral boho world for a while now (like in the photo above of Emily’s old living room).
- Boucherouite: Usually color and hand-loomed from “clothing fabric scraps” by the women of the Moroccan Berber tribes.
- Tabriz: A type of Persian Rug from the city of Tabriz. They are very intricate and made from either cotton or silk.
- Overdyed Rug: This is less a “type” a rug and more a treatment of a rug you’ll see throughout vintage and antique dealers. These rugs have been dyed one consistent color and are very saturated where only a hint of the pattern comes through.
- Oushak: Their designs are usually geometric with a central medallion or smaller scattered medallions, typically with a border design of a similar medallion or scroll/vine pattern.
Now that the tips, trick and terminology are sorted, let me present to you our collective EHD online vintage rug resource guide.
Blue Parakeet Rugs
They have a BEAUTIFUL selection of heirloom-quality vintage and antique rugs. Emily actually used one of their rugs in her most recent living room update debate where she borrowed that beauty up there to test out for a bit (for sale here). Sheba, the owner, is such a lovely person and wonderful to work with, and we’ll always encourage the support of a small business like hers. We can absolutely attest to the quality of their rugs that include the perfect amount of patina.
Antique Kazak Rug | Love Worn Kurdish Rug | Kurdish Runner | Tribal Wool Rug
There was a time (not so long ago) when every vintage runner Arlyn stumbled upon while scrolling through Instagram was from Canary Lane. It was like a running joke for her, she said. She’d see a kitchen with the most perfect runner rug, wonder where it was sourced from, and see that it was credited to Canary Lane. When I went to their site myself, I saw why she was petitioning for them to make this roundup. Their rugs are vibrant and chic…but sell fast. Don’t stew too long or you will probably miss out.
Vintage Mini Rug | ‘Azure’ Vintage Persian Large Area Rug | ‘Aster’ Primitive Vintage Tulu Rug | ‘Carley’ Turkish Vintage Runner
They are an EHD household favorite. Not only is their selection vast and varied but you can counterbid the listed price (as opposed to upbidding like you would on an auction site). My life changed when I started to use that tool. Deals, deals, deals.
Mid Century Modern Turkish Jajim Kilim Flat-Weave Rug | Early 20th Century Antique Blue Chinese Art Deco Rug | Distressed Oushak | 1960s Turkish Striped Kilim Rug
Coco Carpets is like the cool girl of vintage rug retailers. They have an awesome selection of colorful and bold rugs that have that effortless modern boho feel. If you’re on the market for stunning Moroccan rugs that break the mold (i.e. not just your standard neutral Beni Ourain), click through RIGHT NOW because you will not be disappointed.
Apocalypse Never Boucherouite Vintage Moroccan | Your Art is the Best Art Vintage Beni Ourain Moroccan | Poor Unfortunate Soul Vintage Boujaad Berber Moroccan Rug | Basic Instincts Vintage Berber Carpet
The OG bidding site for vintage. Ebay can be an overwhelming place to navigate (and a lot of “vintage” rug sellers are actually just selling vintage-looking rugs that are power-loomed out of nylon and acrylic so read carefully). To give you a little bit of a headstart, be sure to check out the following sellers who have a ton of great options: RugSource, MiamiVintageRugs, BeniourainDirect and eCarpetGallery.
Muted Oushak Turkish Hand-Knotted Wool Rug | Vintage Persian Kilim Area Rug | Beni Ourain Style Vintage Moroccan Boucherouite Rug | Hand-knotted Turkish Melis Vintage Wool Rug
If you want a WIDE selection of high-quality vintage and antique rugs, go to Esmaili. You may remember Brady’s Bedroom Makeover starring one of their neutral Beni Ourain rugs as well as Sara’s living room rug selection with that blush and blue beauty. They aren’t “budget” rugs but boy are they special if you have the funds.
4×6 Vintage Moroccan Rug | 6 x 9 Vintage Moroccan Rug | 5 x 8 Vintage Moroccan Rug | 6 x 11 Vintage Beni Ourain Rug
Etsy has a special place in my heart because it’s where I bought my kitchen rug (RugToGo) and I love it. I feel like Etsy is your best bet for deals without the extra step of bidding (or having to deal with in-person pick up like Craigslist or finding a cool flea market). Again, it’s a real hunt but RugToGo, BerberArtisanatFine and EFESRug are all great vendors for you to start your search with.
Vintage Distressed Beige Oushak Rug | Ben Ourain Rug | Small Vintage Kilim | Small Vintage Kilim
New England Loom
I found this great resource on Jess Ann Kirby’s Instagram and thought their offerings were really punchy and beautiful. The owners behind New England Loom are a super cute couple that is always on the hunt for beautiful rugs. All their sales are final so you are going to want to be sure before you buy.
Antique Hamadan Runner | Antique Persian Mahal Rug | Antique Heriz Serapi Rug | Vintage Turkish Rug
One Kings Lane
Gone are the days when One Kings Lane was a flash sale website. They’ve transitioned into a traditional e-commerce retailer, however, being a go-to for new and vintage goods for designers and decor aficionados, the latter is always prone to flying off the virtual shelves because it’s a GOOD stock, specifically their rugs. They are a great resource with an awesome variety of prices, sizes and styles.
Turkish Kilim | Antique Khotan Rug | Moroccan Zenefe Wool Runner | 1960s Turkish Tulu Rug
You may have forgotten that one of our favorite shops also sells amazing vintage goods… rugs included. Remember Emily’s family room? That rug still makes my heart skip a beat but not to worry because they have plenty more to choose from. Having the “Rejuvenation stamp of approval” makes purchasing a no brainer.
Finely Woven Striped Navajo Blanket | Avanos Turkish Rug | Modern Blue & Yellow Turkish Konya Rug | Kurdish Runner
Rug and Weave
Arlyn found this great shop on Instagram and a find it was! They have a killer selection of traditional yet fresh looking rugs, full of color (you know that girl loves her color). They also have a handful of their rugs photographed in actual spaces which is SO nice and takes a lot of the guessing game out of a purchase.
Antique Persian Karaja Rug | Antique Caucasian Kazak Rug | Vintage Persian Heriz Rug | Vintage Persian Heriz Rug
Vintage Rug Shop
Brittany from Vintage Rug Shop has SUCH an eye for vintage rugs. Finding nicely muted and not over saturated vintage and antique rugs can be tough, but that’s just what this store stocks. If you follow them on Instagram, you’ll constantly be tempted to blow your savings on a new floorcovering…they’re that good consistently. Oh, and they are constantly adding to their curated collection so be sure to check often if you have something specific in mind.
Now that you have all of our online vintage rug secrets, Emily wanted to share a secret she keeps close to the chest…until now. I’ll let her take it from here before I wrap it up:
Hey guys. Em here. I couldn’t let this blog post go up without sharing my most precious strategy that has helped me find my favorite (and most affordable) rugs. Here goes: Instead of going to actual rug dealers at flea markets, head to regular flea market dealers. Look on the ground of normal dealers (people selling furniture, etc.), because sometimes they’ve brought in their grandma’s old rug and just laid it over a chair or underneath all their other goods. Some of them have REALLY good vintage rugs and you get a great deal (steals even) instead of going to specific rug dealers. Just because it doesn’t have a “for sale” tag on it doesn’t mean they won’t be willing to sell it. Shoot them an offer…you might be surprised what you take home.
If you have anything to add to our research, please feel free to let us know in the comments. Also are there any other online resource guides you have been jonesing for? Let us know about that too. Knowledge is power. Sharing is caring. Happy Wednesday. Love you, mean it.
EHD ONLINE RESOURCE GUIDES:
I have a slight obsession with vintage rugs, and have had amazing luck on ebay too! My go-to ebay seller with fantastic rugs and TONS of them is rugemporium240, they generally start bidding crazy low (you’ll just have to make sure you’re accounting for shipping, on smaller rugs its generally free, and large rugs are $85 to ship), so I’ve gotten some fantastic deals on beautiful giant rugs! I also love swoonrugs on instagram, and I’ve seen her rugs popping up on every single decor insta out there lately. I’m curious about additional places to source vintage art, I know it’s been discussed on the blog as well, but any search tips and tricks would be so welcome!
I’ve bought from rugemporium240 twice. It’s a bit of a gamble, since their pics aren’t great in terms of color accuracy, but once you learn that specific villages they use in the title have specific color-ways then it’s a bit easier. Both times I’ve ended up with GORGEOUS all wool handmade runners that took my breath away. I got a dark pink and limey yellow beauty 12×3 approximately for $95 with free shipping. I know I sound like an ad… I just I could post a pic here because it’s so much better than their lousy eBay pics.
I’ve also had great success with rugemporium240. I have purchased three small rugs over the last several months from this site and have been very pleased with the entire experience (and you can return the rug if you’re not happy). Especially when I compare what I’ve paid for my runners with prices for the sites linked here, I feel like I’ve gotten incredible steals. I also agree with the comment above: Since I search the ebay site daily, I’ve been able to really zero in on the style and colors that will work in my spaces.
Thanks for the seller tip! We can definitely look into doing a vintage art roundup xx
YAY on the vintage art roundup!
I’ve bought 8 rugs from that ebay seller, ha! The best prices + best selection. And the inventory is CONSTANTLY updated!! I’ve yet to be disappointed!
I bought a 3×5 from them last fall for about $40. I wanted a rug for my entryway that was already a little worn so that I wouldn’t be crazy about keeping it perfect. I track in snow, salt, dirt, and more on that thing and it still looks as good as the day I got it. I definitely think vintage rugs can be a very practical choice, in addition to beautiful. You definitely couldn’t get a brand new wool, hand-knotted rug at that price point!
I want to barter my magical vintage rug resource for a budget bathroom reno post. Deal? 😉
HA! What kind of information would you want for a budget bathroom reno post? Shoping sources? A “budget room” angle where we put together a handful of design ideas for a low budget? Let us know!
Something akin to the budget powder room or kitchen posts of the past, but for a full bathroom (so vanity, toilet, floor AND shower/tub tile, wall colors, shower curtain, etc.). The whole shebang!! So “budget room” angle, I guess? You guys really haven’t done one since the Floor and Decor post in summer of 2016!
Are you familiar with Frances Loom? When I was shopping for rugs for my old house I waited for her new rug drop every week. (Haven’t followed her in a while, though, but at least a couple years ago it was great!)
I have it on my calendar to check Frances Loom every Wednesday for new rugs. Ditto Kennedy Rose Interiors. Both have beauties, but they aren’t cheap. I also feel really nervous about buying rugs without seeing them in person, especially as most of the sites I look at don’t allow returns. This list is amazing and I expect to spend many hours checking out all the sources listed here but what I would kill for is a list of physical places across teh U.S. (aside from flea markets) to find vintage (and somewhat affordable) rugs.
I’m a huge fan of Eastern Boho (they are super fun on Instagram as well): https://easternboho.com/ I have been put on a rug moratorium by my husband. Sad, but understandable. I loved this post. I could read about rugs all day long!
What a great resource! Thanks for sharing xx
Emma here from Eastern Boho 🙂 Thanks so much Julie! We’re so glad you love our rugs, means a lot! Xx
also Everything but the House — less quantity but good deals if you are local to the sale and can pick up!
As someone who’s lived overseas in Morocco and Turkey, I also highly suggest a vacation overseas and buying yourself a rug. There’s just no comparison when it comes to price. I see massive handmade Beni Ourain rugs going for $1000+ online for the same size/design that I have and paid $300 for. Plus you get to experience the culture, the people, and all the wonderful things that come with being in another part of the world. There are collectives too, sometimes started by Peace Corps volunteers, so you can make sure that more of your money goes to the artisans making these beautiful pieces (they get almost nothing when you buy from online sites who tend to buy from wholesalers in these countries who buy from middle men from these regions who buy from the village and so on)
Do you then check it on the airplane? Ship it?
I am planning a trip and seriously cannot wait:)
I would love to jump on that trip with you and hang out 🙂
Is that weird? LOL… put together a shopping expedition trip for EHD fans?
How to transport the rugs/other decor item you bought during vacationing? Would the rug fits in the luggage? We bought smaller decor items that easily packed, but always deterred from buying bigger items due to transportation problem.
The rugs sellers are amazing at rolling these up and sewing up giant tarp bags with handles so you can take your rug back. I took a massive one back once as a piece of checked luggage! Smaller ones can work as carry on. I also had tons of visitors in both places when I lived there and no one left without buying a piece…or five. Most will also ship!
I love vintage rugs. Your right they do change the dynamic of the room. You shld also try the
I believe the Owners name is Laura
I have no ability to not buy rugs, even though my pets tend to wreck them one way or another.
What a great round up! Wish Old New House – http://www.oldnewhouse.com – was on this list though, they are awesome to work with and have an amazing selection.
Thanks for recommending them!
Auctions are the way to go for antique and vintage Persian rugs. Especially large sizes.
This blog is a gold mine!! Thanks!!
Thank YOU xx
ECarpetGallery on eBay is the BEST!!!! Some are new, some vintage, but all gorgeous and fast shipping!!!
One of my friends told me about them years ago and they really are SUCH a great resource.
I love http://www.juneandblue.com as well!
My favorite go-to place for vintage rugs is Amethyst Home! They have a great selection and revolving inventory, plus I think they are EXTREMELY affordable for the quality.
ohhh Just checked them out and now I desparetely want this peach runner (NO ONE BUY IT BEFORE I DO).
Thanks so much for sharing these finds!
@woveninvintage is an awesome source too! He has an Etsy account as well.
Oooh we will check them out. Thanks for sharing xx
I have been looking for something like this post for months! I have recently become obsessed with all things antique and vintage rug, particularly persian and caucasian. I bidded unsuccessfully for several rugs from rugemporium240 on ebay and agree they are a steal! It’s good to know they are good quality because it was kinda hard to tell. I finally bought a 1920s kazak rug on Etsy from Pakistan — 4 x 5 on sale for $240 in beautiful faded red/ pinks and blues. Not quite a steal but great value nonetheless. I continue to look at and love them (sometimes I go to ABC carpet and just walk around the rug floor like its a museum!).
I also recently discovered this site, and it’s such a joy to read. Thank you!
Welcome Tania! So glad you’ve found us ::waving emoji::
Would love a roundup/guide of outdoor lighting. You know, the pretty stuff, but also options for “hidden” lighting (for steps, trees, etc.). There is very little guidance I can find.
We all heard that we should treat outdoor spaces as rooms (the rugs! the side tables!), but lighting seems to be neglected in that space.
Thank so much!
Adding this to our list xx
Hi Jess, Emily, Brady, the entire EHD crew and ahhh-mazing followers! Thank you so much for mentioning Esmaili Rugs. If you’re interested in a rug’s history, we study the motifs and incorporate the rug’s symbolism into our descriptions (some of the descriptions will make you blush). Every rug has a story to tell and they’re steeped in ancient symbolism. PS. If pricing prevents us from gaining your business, please send us an email with your budget and I will personally see if Mr. Esmaili can work with it. We also have affordable shipping. Thank you again! -Jennifer @esmailirugs
You forgot “Everything But the House”!
As gently as humanly possible, I’d love it if you could work on your copy editing. I know you’re a small business with a small staff, but I get really frustrated when I’m happily reading a post and I see a typo or grammatical error, sometimes multiple errors.
I know you can’t staff a full time copy editor, but some closer proof-reading would be great. Maybe someone on your existing staff is more of a grammar nerd and can help proofread?
Maybe it’s just me but these types of writing errors drive me completely crazy.
If you ever do want a copyeditor, I’m very experienced and I love you, so I’ll be cheap 🙂
THANK YOU team for putting this together! I wa some of the regular readers to ask for this and I’m very impressed with the round up of online sources.
I love henslin and home, and they were lovely to work with!
Not rug related – but FYI, the quality of the videos on the right side of the screen is extremely low, which makes it impossible to watch and see all the details and titles.
Could you do a hallway lighting (sconce) round up? I see so many Instagram homes with hanging lights in hallways (beautiful) but I’m stuck with sconces.
Hi! My name is Sherry Ireland and i have a large selection of vintage and antique Persian rugs. If you’re interested please go to dragonflyrugs.com or check out my two FB pages : Dragonfly yoga and Persian rugs or Dragonfly Vintage Persian Rugs
esalerugs.com! I know, I know, The name of the website sounds questionable but it’s totally legit. I’m a designer and have purchased rugs through the site for myself, we’ve had clients purchase rugs here too. It takes a lot of sorting through but if you use the refining filters you can find incredible deals. Seriously, we’ve had a client score vintage 9 x 12’s for under $1000 when the site is having a good sale!
This blog is full of goodies!! Awesome post!! Thank you for sharing and teaching 🙂
Another vote for EBTH (everything but the house). I got an incredible 10×14 handwoven vintage rug for my oddly shaped living room for a STEAL. Like the kind of deal that you can’t help spitting out when a guest comes in and compliments it. I still can’t believe It. It adds so much warmth to my home, and was such a pleasure to buy. Thank you, EBTH.
I splurged on a vintage Turkish rug from New England Loom about a year ago and it’s seriously one of my top five favorite things I own. There’s an alarm set on my phone for their weekly rug drop.
Just a random tip: after hemming and hawing over a large vintage $3K Oriental in one of my local consignment places (beautiful, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger), I scored my dream rug, a 9×12 vintage Karastan (in coral and teal and navy and lime) on Craigslist. The source is nothing new, but I got in the habit of searching for large pieces with the term “moving”. Oftentimes (at least here in Chicago, anyway) people who are relocating opt not to take room-sizes rugs/casegoods/etc with them, or they just plain won’t fit, and there are usually deadlines involved. If you can act quickly you can score a great deal. In my case, the seller was asking $1200 but needed it gone that weekend – I reached out with an offer but made sure to say that I could pick it up right away, and got it for $500 and the cost of a Dolly.
Tabriz rugs are usually made of wool on a cotton foundation. Buying in person from an ethical and professional rug dealer will ultimately save you from making a mistake and money in the long term.
Browsing vintage rugs on ebay is one of my favorite pastimes. One of my biggest scores was a wool room-sized hand-knotted rug for less than $500- you can occasionally score on rugs if no one else is bidding.
I would suggest the sellers:
And I also love rugemporium240 which has been mentioned already.
I am fortunate to live near a premier rug cleaner, Blatchford’s San Diego Rug Cleaning Co., that specializes in cleaning and repairing handmade textiles from antique oriental rugs to contemporary rugs. They have cleaned and expertly repaired my rugs for years and it’s always something I look forward to because they do such an amazing job. Their website has a lot of tips for buying and caring for rugs, and in fact they just mailed “Rug Buying Tips: New Rugs and Resale Rugs, that is chock-full of great info. blatchfords.com