When to Buy a Vintage Rug vs. a Vintage Replica - Yellow Brick Home (2024)

What’s the benefit of buying a vintage rug? When should you invest in a vintage rug vs. a vintage replica? We’re sharing the pros and cons of each, including a round up of our favorites.

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Our New (Old) Rug!

Once a month(ish), a group of vintage sellers open the doors to their showrooms in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. We went for the first time a few weeks ago, and while searching for a pair of chairs for The Red House, I saw a rolled up rug in the corner. We were in the Dial M for Modern showroom, and I asked the owner, Tim, to tell me about it. It turned out it was a 9′ x 12′ Persian from the 1920s, but due to wear and tear and a hole in one corner, he gave us a great deal. Scott agreed it was too pretty to pass up, so we hauled that rug from the warehouse sale and straight to our vintage rug cleaner. One week later, the cleaners delivered it to our home, and I’m still pinching myself as I see our living room in a whole new light!

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Antique is Older Than Semi-Antique is Older Than Vintage

Let’s get technical for a moment. You may be on your rug hunt and noticing labels such as vintage, antique or semi-antique. So what’s the difference? I can sum that up quickly for you: An antique rug is typically 100 years old, semi-antique is 50-100 years old, and vintage is qualified as 20+ years old. That would put our find in the antique category, but I’ll be using the term ‘vintage’ loosely throughout this post to signify any rug that’s 20-years-old or older. I’ll also share photos from around our home that shows how we use both vintage and vintage replicas.

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Is Vintage Better?

I want to address a question I was recently asked: Is vintage better? To which the answer is more complicated, and I’ll break that down below. (But to put it plainly, ‘better’ is truly relative.) There are many things to consider when buying a vintage rug, more so than purchasing something new off-the-shelf, making it more of a challenge.

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What Are the Pros and Cons to Buying a Vintage Rug?

The Pros | The weave and pile of vintage rugs – typically made from wool, cotton and in some cases, silk – are made to withstand the test of time. We love the worn-in look and patina of a faded 100-year-old rug, and often times, they not only retain their value, but they get more valuable with age! The quality and durability of a vintage rug can’t be beat; we consider them heirlooms.

That said, we don’t consider our vintage rugs to be ‘too precious.’ Rather, their durability holds up extremely well to families, pets and foot traffic. Spilled your coffee? Wool is naturally stain resistant, and blotting stains away or using a spritz of Folex will get the job done. Muddy shoe prints? Old food stains? Stubborn mysteries? Roll it up and drop it off at a local rug dealer that also offers cleaning services. Vintage rugs can withstand washings, and they’ll be returned looking and smelling great.

But perhaps my favorite part of buying vintage is the size availability. Do you have an oddly shaped room that a standard 8′ x 10′ won’t quite fill? Vintage rugs range in sizes far outside the norm, from super small (think: bathmat size) to extra large. When shopping vintage, you may be more likely to score the perfect size for your space – whether its a skinny runner, something square, or anything in-between – so dream big!

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The Cons | It’s no secret that I have a deep love for the worn-in look of a vintage rug, but that might not be your cup of tea. You’ll need to consider how much wear-and-tear you’re comfortable with, as well as how that might affect the overall price. Speaking of which, vintage rugs have the potential to be a large investment, which is why I encourage taking your time to shop for your ideal rug.

What Are the Pros and Cons to Buying a Vintage Replica Rug?

The Pros | Vintage replicas have come a long, long way (baby)! The amount of options for a vintage replica is vast, which can be wonderful but daunting. (Luckily, we’ve rounded up some favorites for you at the bottom of this post!) But the biggest pro of a faux vintage rug is the price tag. It’s a great solution if you love the look but can’t justify the cost.

Another upside is that you can get the look of vintage but in an outdoor rug! It’s a wonderful way to share your style outside the walls of your home, which I think is pretty cool. We recently added this washable outdoor rug to our back patio, and I love that it reflects our personal style.

The Cons | It’s important to be mindful of consumption when purchasing a vintage replica, because the truth is, they will not last as long as a true vintage rug. Full stop. Period. Faux rugs are commonly made with polypropylene which breaks down quickly (this is important to note if you choose faux with a pile), and can fade and change colors much faster as well. My suggestion would be to use these in spaces that see less foot traffic, or in an area where you love the look but don’t want anything too precious.

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We’ve Got You Covered. Er, Grounded!

Long story short, we’re no strangers to vintage, antique or replica rugs. Each one has their merits, but finding The One can be the trickiest (and most time consuming) part.

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To make it easier, we’ve rounded up a batch of both vintage and replica rugs for you, but please bear in mind – the vintage rugs are one of a kind. If you see one you love, make your move! And if it’s been purchased already, be sure to bookmark the seller so you can refer back to their page. If you’re actively on the hunt, it’s a good idea to check your favorite sellers’ pages every couple of days to check for new inventory. And most importantly, happy rug hunting, friends!

Vintage + Antique Rugs

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1. 8×12 rug no.226, $8190 | 2. 5×7 turkey rugs art, $630 | 3. 4×7 biev, $385 | 4. 6×9 biev, $260 | 5. 7×11 shruti, $1340 | 6. 5×8 biev, $305 | 7. 9×12 yochanan, $1590 | 8. 6×10 biev, $365 | 9. 6×8 georgie, $9300 | 10. 10×11 chairish, $3800 | 11. 6×10 rug no.210, $3700 | 12. 5×9 biev, $345 | 13. 10×6 rejuvenation, $1350

Vintage Replica Rugs

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1. stellan | 2. charlot | 3. banks brick ivory | 4. kavi | 5. lucca | 6. Becki Owens x Surya Rivi | 7. sinclair | 8. florina | 9. blythe, $900 | 10. wilshire | 11. jules terracotta multi | 12. morgan sunset ink | 13. margot antique sage

Looking for more? Here’s what to look for when buying a vintage rug, how we use outdoor rugs indoors, the pros and cons of different rug materials, and how to choose a rug pad.

When to Buy a Vintage Rug vs. a Vintage Replica - Yellow Brick Home (2024)
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