Styling with Antique Rugs

Antique rugs can serve many purposes, from being purely aesthetically pleasing, to providing a soft, warm feeling beneath your feet!   When thinking about buying an antique rug, consider what purpose the rug will serve. 

Will you be using the antique rug or carpet to enhance your interiors, either as a wall hanging or a floor rug? If it's being used as a floor rug, consider if it will be used in a high traffic area such as a hallway. Will it need to be darker more vibrant colours instead of light? Could you consider several smaller oriental rugs rather than one large area rug? 

Antique Rugs and Soft Furnishings

Hand Woven Rugs 

Weaving was a skill traditionally passed down through generations and was very important in family life. Oriental rugs  were woven by hand on a loom, which is a frame that allows the weaver to work with the wool under tension. They can be horizontal or vertical. Horizontal looms were mainly used at home and were easily moved, thus easier to live with. Many weavers before the mid 19th century were limited to colour choices that were available to them in nature. Natural dyes were used and made from plant life and vegetation that were in their locality, or that were brought to them from other parts of the country. These natural dyes age wonderfully, and are of the many reasons that antique rugs have such appeal still.  

Layering Rugs 

A gorgeous way to make your antique rug really stand out, is to layer it with a lighter coloured rug. Choose a slightly larger rug to place directly on the floor,  the most effective way of layering is to choose lighter tones, or a plain design. It works well in most rooms, including in the hallway using vintage runners. Don't neglect your kitchen and dining room, these areas can often benefit from warm colours being added in.

We love this look by Anita Yokota. She has chosen a woven rug to place under a vintage rug  - all in earthy tones to pull the look of this bedroom together.

Photography by Anita Yokota for her blog

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Patchwork Rugs

Photography by Ricardo Labougle for the World of Interiors

Why stop at one vintage rugs when you can have several?! Another form of layering, we love the effect that patchworking rugs has. Best attempted when you have a minimum of three rugs, let your creativity run wild and experiment with different textures and designs to come up with a look you fall in love with. 

Try mixing a vintage aztec rug with an antique Oushak rug, Persian Yazd Jahad rug or a Bokhara rug. Perhaps you could also style with modern, contemporary rugs. Try using rugs that are in the same colour family.

The stunning bohemian home pictured on the left belongs to  French Painter Christian de Laubadère. We love the eclectic, beautiful mix of rugs that have been used.

Photography by Ricardo Labougle for the World of Interiors

Using rugs as wall hangings

Rugs don't have to be used just as floor coverings. Pieces of art in their own right, they are just as deserving of hanging on your wall as a beautiful vintage picture! 

There a few ways to hang rugs on the wall. A simple option for a lightweight rug is to use velcro stitched onto the back of the rug, which makes the rug hang flush to the wall. Alternatively, you can use a rod attached to the wall, and use carpet or rug clamps to hang the rug from the rod.

We love this look by Emily Katz. Using a vintage rug in this neutral toned room provides a striking focus right above the bed.

Photo credit to Emily Katz  of magicdreamlife.

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The Popular Kilim Rug / Flat Weave Rug

Kilim and Flat weave rugs are one of the earliest known types of rug. Antique kilims have been made throughout the world for many centuries, and have been made in many different designs, patterns and motifs. Their structure and geometry vary greatly from country to country, and the motifs are filled with tradition and folklore.  Kilims were used as door flaps, food covers, prayer rugs, donkey bags, tent walls, as well as floor rugs.

Some of our Vintage and Antique Rugs for sale - Visit our Soft Furnishings Collection

Kernow Furniture is online store based near Redruth, Cornwall. We hold a large selection of furniture and decorative items. You can find many eras and styles of antique, retro, and vintage furniture, homeware and gifts. We offer fast national delivery on all items. We welcome viewings by appointment on 01209 316220.

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