I recently went on an online hunt for a new runner for my kitchen. I was considering all the options, but I kept coming back to a vintage one. Of all the rug types I’ve owned, I’ve found vintage rugs to be the most durable and cleanable. My dog recently had a very unfortunate and disgusting accident right on my tiny vintage rug at my back door, and I took it outside and hosed it off. I let it dry in the sun and it was literally as good as new! I think because they are so densely woven and are usually made of high-quality wool, they are very cleanable. I fully expect to have these vintage rugs for the rest of my life if I want to, whereas some of the synthetic rugs I’ve had are looking a lot worse for wear a few years in. I also love antiques, and unique, one-of-a-kind items so much, it’s such a great addition to add character to a space like a new kitchen – where everything is shiny and new.
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So once I decided on vintage, I went to my favourite vintage rug source to start looking – Etsy! There are a boatload of sellers on Etsy, most located in Turkey. I have bought rugs from 4 or 5 different sellers on Etsy and all of my transactions have been fabulous – quick and (usually) free shipping (often I receive the rug in only a few days!), good communication and very reasonable rates. The sellers will say if the rugs have been cleaned or not before selling in the description (most have). Also good to note; I’ve had to pay an additional duty to Canada on some of the rugs but it’s never exceeded $20 (knock on wood!). There are usually a lot of photos and sometimes video of the rugs, so study those in detail! Make sure you like it from afar and close up! If you aren’t sure, ask for more photos!
Searching for a rug on Etsy is a bit of a process. I usually start with some broad search terms like “vintage runner” and also add a filter to the price to rule out anything too expensive. In this case, I set my budget to under $400 but I was hoping to find something for under $300 (which I easily did!). Once I find one I like, I check the dimensions and if it’s not quite right but I like the look of the rug and the price, I will click on that shop and see what else they have. I save all my favourites to a folder on Etsy and that helps me narrow things down. I spend hours doing this sometimes…. because rugs are my favourite thing to buy? Because I’m indecisive? Because I’m crazy? All three? Sometimes the hardest part is just choosing!! (Also – some sellers will negotiate a little – I asked the seller if that was his best price and he took an additional $40 off the list price for me!)
Things I personally avoid with vintage rugs: rugs that have been obviously cut smaller or sewn together (sometimes larger rugs are cut (probably to remove a damaged spot or a hole) and I personally do not like that look. I also try to avoid anything with a big hole or very obvious damage, one that doesn’t seem like it will lay flat or be excessively crooked, or really really worn-looking rugs. (I don’t mind a little dinge but I do want a rug that isn’t already on its last legs!) I also love the colours to be a little more muted, depending on the room. I also find I am drawn more to rugs with borders… you might notice a pattern among my favourites below! There is no right or wrong answer though regarding rug choices, when you find the right rug for you, you will know, I promise you!
I found some fantastic rugs this go around so I’ve rounded up some of my favourites below! If you like what you see but the size isn’t quite right… Click on the link to see what else they might have to fit your space! (Click directly on the photo to be redirected)
Happy rug shopping!!