Inspiring Interiors

Vintage rugs in nice kitchens.

doorsixteen_kitchenrugs_antoniomartins
Interior by Antonio Martins / Via Remodelista

HELLO! It’s 2015. How about some nice kitchens with vintage rugs in them to start off the new year? I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect rug for the kitchen at the house for quite a while now, and I keep coming back to these photos—this is exactly what I want. I love the way that worn-in, vintage rugs take the edge off of black and white.

doorsixteen_kitchenrugs_hitherandthither
From Hither & Thither

Yeah, technically this rug is in a sitting area next to the kitchen, but the effect is the same. So soft and warm. (That row of Tom Dixon-esque pendants the homeowners bought in Bali ain’t too shabby, either. And yeah, I still need a light fixture for the kitchen.)

doorsixteen_kitchenrugs_dustydeco
Home of Edin & Lena from Dusty Deco / Photos by Martin Löf for Elle Decoration.

Mmmmhmmm. The glossy white floor, the Smeg fridge, the whitewashed GROLAND island…pretty perfect. That rug makes the room, though.

doorsixteen_kitchenrugs_husohem
Photos by Karin Foberg for Hus & Hem

I don’t know if it’s because of the black floor, but I feel like this rug right here would be perfect in my kitchen. The problem is that finding a rug like the ones in this post seems like an exercise in futility, unless you have bucks to spend on a kitchen rug…which is not in the budget right now. Doesn’t it seem like you should be able to walk into any junk shop and find an old, beautiful rug that nobody wants just lying around? I keep thinking that’s going to happen, but it’s not happening.

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65 Comments

  • Reply Kevin | Thou Swell January 5, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Rugs are not always so practical in a kitchen but they can really make an impact. Love the warmth in the rugs above – orientals are great because they are so busy and don’t show dirt/stains easily!

  • Reply sulu-design January 5, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    I’ve found some killer rugs at great prices on esalerugs.com – not vintage, but gorgeous and affordable. And the one rug I’ve got that EVERYONE asks about was a score on Overstock.com. Both sites are worth a visit if you haven’t been poking around there yet.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 5, 2015 at 10:34 pm

      Thanks, Susan! I know about Overstock of course, but eSaleRugs is new to me.

    • Reply Yvonne January 22, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      I got mine at esale rugs. Very happy!!

  • Reply Emily January 5, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    A friend has also had some success with rugsusa.com. I only seem to love rugs that are so far out of my budget that I can’t even dream of buying them. I’ve got more important things, like electrical work, to take care of first. Someday!

  • Reply Jensen January 6, 2015 at 8:47 am

    have you tried ecarpetgallery.com on eBay?! I’ve gotten a couple lovely rugs from them and they certainly don’t break the bank! :)

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 6, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      Great prices, thanks! It doesn’t look like any of their rugs are vintage, though…are they?

  • Reply Monique January 6, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Can you find a vintage very large “Plastic Rug” from Sweden? I had one at my sink for years that was my Granny’s until it started to pull apart. I still use one in my breezeway most of the year.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 6, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      I’m looking for something beat up and vintage (and definitely not plastic), but thank you!

  • Reply Kim // Yellow Brick Home January 6, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Ha, your timing! Yesterday morning, I pulled the trigger on a ridiculous vintage runner (eBay) for our kitchen remodel – and for the same reasons you’ve said. A bit of warmth to take the edge off of black and white. Can’t wait for it to get here!

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 6, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      Excellent! Can’t wait to see pics! :)

  • Reply Brent January 6, 2015 at 9:44 am

    The lack of free gorgeous rugs nobody wants is a travesty. I’ve been looking for one for my kitchen for over a year, and I guess I could just cool it on the pickiness, but where’s the fun in that?

    I did find the holy grail of perfectly-worn-in Turkish kilim, but $1200 for a small rug that’ll just get mud and marinara sauce on it is lunacy even I can’t justify, especially considering I can’t just toss it in the washer.

    2015 resolution: befriend an extremely well-traveled and generous elderly woman with an overabundance of rugs she no longer wants.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 6, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      “2015 resolution: befriend an extremely well-traveled and generous elderly woman with an overabundance of rugs she no longer wants.”

      HAHHAHAHAHA. Yes, this is exactly my plan. Where are you, old lady who wants to give me rugs?!

  • Reply Megan January 6, 2015 at 10:44 am

    you can find them in junk shops, in Portland! Come visit! I’ll keep my eyes peeled for one for you ;)

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 6, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      When I finally come to the Magical Land of Portland, I am going to buy ALL THE THINGS. And eat all the things, too.

  • Reply susan January 6, 2015 at 10:44 am

    It’s so nice to see this post. Vintage rugs add that quality of soul that you just cannot get from something new and perfect. It is rare to see a post like this about rugs in the kitchen and the kitchen deserves nothing less than wonderful accessories in it. I went to Sweden this summer, personally selected 200 vintage and some new handwoven rugs, and they will be available soon. Apologies if this is not allowed, then delete, of course. https://www.facebook.com/ScandinavianMade

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 6, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      Thanks, Susan! Looks like you got some great stuff. :)

  • Reply Alexis January 6, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Hi Anna! Love your blog – I always find good decorating inspiration!

    I don’t know what these look like in real life, but I’ve been thinking about these indoor/outdoor “kilims” for my aspirational screened porch. Seems like they’d be great in the kitchen too since they’d be easy to clean: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/gianna-kilim-outdoor-rug/?pkey=coutdoor-rugs-door-mats&

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 6, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      Thanks, Alexis! I’m definitely looking for something vintage and not plastic, though…and much, much cheaper. ;)

  • Reply Cori Magee January 6, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Love this look. For me, it’s the contrast… I love new paired with old.

    I’m in LA, but I’m assuming you have great flea markets too…. I have my go-to flea where there’s at least 3 rug vendors willing to make a deal and have some great rugs like these.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 6, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      I have yet to find a rug at a reasonable price at a flea market (they know what stuff is worth, even the beat-up kind of things), but I hold out hope!

  • Reply Yael January 6, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Perhaps The Anou can help? http://www.theanou.com/

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 6, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks, Yael! That’s a GREAT resource—definitely bookmarking it, even though those rugs aren’t quite what I want for my kitchen.

  • Reply Laura January 6, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    You and me both, sister. These are all beautiful.

    Awesome resources folks are mentioning! Oops, I’m not one of them.

  • Reply liz January 6, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    hit or miss, obviously, but Housing Works often has great vintage rugs for super reasonable prices. http://shop.housingworks.org/listing.cfm?page=category&categoryID=173&SI=40

  • Reply leslie January 6, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    GAH! I hadn’t thought of this but SUCH A GOOD IDEA. Thanks for the post, Anna.
    I’ve been busy scouting and collecting old rugs for a patchwork/overlap/old rug shop look in my living room (was it that way when you were here?). I’ve found several of them at the local ‘Home Consignment Center’ store (do you have them back East? I think maybe it’s a chain). Obviously with consignment it is hit or miss but I have found some reasonable prices. Good luck and thanks again – old kitchen rug, up next for me! :)

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 8, 2015 at 10:44 am

      Hi Leslie! I don’t think we have that particularly chain here, but I do always look at the Goodwill and junk shops and places like that. I’m always looking! :)

      And yeah, you had lots of great rugs out when I was there—your house is awesome times a million.

    • Reply leslie January 8, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Ahhh, you’re a peach :) and my offer to prove you wrong on that whole photo thing still stands next time we are in the same place xo

  • Reply Joanna January 6, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Check out the Material Culture auctions on liveauctioneers.com – their ‘Antique & Modern Rugs, Kilims, Textiles’ is coming up on Jan. 18 so items will probably be posted in the next few days. You can bid online in real time and I’ve gotten some amazing deals that way. Shipping a rug from them is not too bad (I’ve paid $30-50 via UPS) or go pick up in Philly! Here’s a page with results from their last auction, as an example: http://www.liveauctioneers.com/catalog/63671_antiques-art-carpets-and-ethnographic-arts/page3?rows=120

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 8, 2015 at 10:44 am

      Great resource, Joanna, thank you!

  • Reply Lucy January 6, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    loom rugs dot com …. australian…..but the best

  • Reply Kara January 6, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    I’m sure you’re aware, but am so thankful that you cued me in to The Bridge that I thought I’d return the favor and let you know season 2 is available for streaming on HULU now. Be forewarned, it is just as addictive as the first season!

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 8, 2015 at 10:52 am

      Thanks, Kara! I watched season 2 a long time ago. Ready for season 3! :)

  • Reply Monika January 6, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    I like Frances Loom:

    http://www.francesloom.com/shop/?category=Rugs

    The best deals are probably estate sales.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 8, 2015 at 10:52 am

      Thank you, Monica. Not in my budget, but that site looks great.

  • Reply cate January 6, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    Ha! Love rugs, have been obsessing over them for decades. Recently, finally, finally, bought some, including actual vintage Persian rugs, for not very much money. Here are some resources:
    My Pinterest floors board
    http://www.pinterest.com/catec/floors/
    I bought a couple striped Afghan kilims from Nomad Carpets, when they were on Etsy, for $100-$200, including shipping. Probably not really handwoven like they claim, but they are wool and the quality is nice, and the fringe is handknotted. Would probably hide stains well but still, I’d be afraid to have in a kitchen. They got kicked off Etsy for reasons unknown to me and now sell on eBay. Here is their Facebook page
    https://www.facebook.com/Nomadrugs
    For the kitchen, in front of the sink, I use some stripe-on-cream cotton rugs from Ikea, which I love. I think they are actually supposed to be bath mats! They get filthy after only about two weeks, so I can only imagine what is going on with our other rugs. They are machine washable.
    Also bought an ultra cheap Afghan “tribal” rug from ecarpetgallery on eBay. Supposedly hand made and all that, obviously not, obviously machine made, obviously not 100 percent wool, although it does have some wool, and smelling suspiciously and rather ominously of machine oil, yet for $120 including shipping and approx 4×6 feet, I am totally happy with it. Oh also it’s even a factory second, i think, because it’s not evenly straight — and no, not because it’s hand woven! Ha! I think this could make a good rug for an entrance hall.
    http://stores.ebay.com/The-ecarpetgallery-store
    Also was thrilled to recently find actual vintage Persian rugs for reasonable prices at the Brooklyn Flea of all places (disclosure: I happen to work for the same company that owns the Flea, although I don’t work for the Flea). Got a 2 x 8 (approx) runner for $220 and a very small (2 x 3??) rug for $90. They’re not the most high end antique rugs in the world or anything (fairly coarsely woven, not 19th century, low pile) but AFAIAC they are beautiful. (To me, one looks teens and the other one 1930s but I am just guessing.) They are def vegetable dyed and hand woven, the real thing. The same dealer also had some Turkish kilims like the one in your photo above. His name is Anthony Franck and he is at 1000 Dean Street in the winter every weekend apparently. He told me he has a by-appointment warehouse/antique store at Broadway Junction.
    There are so many more resources now that everything is online, but I would be scared to pay much more than $100 or so for a rug I could not see in person (unless from a reputable source).
    Good luck!

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 8, 2015 at 10:54 am

      Good stuff, Cate, thank you!!

  • Reply Judi January 7, 2015 at 9:50 am

    The universe is listening! The very day you posted this, a lovely woman posted on our local town news site, Front Porch Forum, that she had a 4′ x 15′ kilim, purchased at “a reputable New York City rug dealer,” free for the asking. (I did ask, but the rug was picked up by someone yesterday.)

    But keep wishing. Obviously, it could happen.

    If you do have to resort to (gasp) purchasing a rug, I recommend this eBay seller highly. We have bought two rugs from him so far – both around $100 each (small rugs, obviously) – and they’re fantastic.

    http://stores.ebay.com/turkishkilimstore?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

    • Reply Judi January 7, 2015 at 9:56 am

      Oops. Meant to post this in Brent’s comment thread. Sorry…I’ve got a cold and it’s made me stupid.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 8, 2015 at 10:55 am

      Thanks, Judi! I think I may have bought a rug from that seller a while back, actually.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 8, 2015 at 10:55 am

      p.s. Feel better!! :)

  • Reply Jane Flanagan January 7, 2015 at 11:19 am

    I got my (huge!) rug from eCarpet http://www.ecarpetgallery.com/
    you can see a pic here http://instagram.com/p/xKJdBbLLfY/

    Was really happy with their service and amazing price for the size and accurate colour / size depiction online.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 8, 2015 at 10:58 am

      Great rug, Jane! Sounds like a lot of people have had good luck with that site.

  • Reply Nancy January 7, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    My husband picked up some old kilims at a tag sale in Westchester two years ago. He went there to buy some other stuff she was selling, and she gave him the rugs for free! They’ve been rolled up for two years because we had no place to put them down in our tiny place but we just moved to a bigger place, with wood floors, so I finally unrolled them and put them down. Man, I’m so glad my husband took them! They are awesome! One is smaller, and kind of beat up, with fraying on the edges but the other is a nice size, and in good shape. Definitely didn’t put them in my kitchen, though, because I don’t really get the concept… they look nice in front of my fireplace!
    Anyway, I guess my point is: try tag sales and estate sales, especially being held by a rich empty nester divorcee (or maybe she was a widower, I can’t remember now…) in a wealthy neighborhood.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 8, 2015 at 10:04 am

      Free! That’s great. I wish I had time to do stuff like go to estate sales—I’m sure there are all kinds of treasures to be found. :)

  • Reply priscilla January 7, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    not cheap but looks beautiful
    https://hudsonvalley.craigslist.org/atq/4827799295.html

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 8, 2015 at 10:03 am

      Yes, very nice! But about $650 above my budget. ;)

  • Reply Tracy Rahal January 8, 2015 at 11:14 am

    I’ve often thought that if I was educated in matters rug I could make a killing buying and selling the gorgeous oriental rugs that are constantly popping up on Craigslist here in the Boston area for rock-bottom prices. Searched your area and it’s way more limited in choice – especially larger sizes. Very odd – and probably the first CL advantage I’ve seen Boston have compared to other cities I virtually stalk …

    We have an oriental runner acquired on the CL in our kitchen and it is fantastic. It looks incredible (we have the gloss white Ikea kitchen cabinets that we put walnut ‘casing’ around the perimeters of). White, wood and a classic rug are great, plus it cushions underfoot by our counter and sink which is so key. We’ve had no problem with staining (patterns are super good at hiding stains – sometimes you drop something and can’t even see if it’s stained or not, bc – pattern) as others seem concerned about – we don’t wear shoes in the house so perhaps that makes a difference. But, we only paid $200, so we’re not so worried about it … price is so key with these things. This is a very long-winded way of saying – troll Craigslist, kitchen rugs = awesome, ignore the naysayers.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 8, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      Rugs are a big deal in this area, and I think it’s probably because of all the wood floors—it’s very rare to see carpet in the NYC area. People know what rugs are worth, and like I said in another comment, even the beat-up ones have their value.

      I’m not concerned at all about the rug getting dirty or stained, personally. I’m not a particularly sloppy cook, I don’t wear shoes in the house, and nothing is precious. ;)

  • Reply tess January 8, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    I don’t know if you’ve thought of looking at IKEA since it doesn’t match the ‘vintage’ factor but they have vintage looking rugs oriental rugs in the kind of “a little more pricey” rug area. I couldn’t find those online though.

    I’ve found that it broke in really well and looked older than it was pretty quickly, in a good way. It’s probably not quite what you have in mind but does fit the cost. :-)

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 8, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      Hi Tess, yeah, they definitely have some good ones! I don’t think they put the ones you’re talking about on their website because the stock varies from store to store. Way out of my budget, though. I’m aiming for $0, but would go up to $50. :)

  • Reply Celia January 9, 2015 at 6:31 am

    I was having the w o r s t day, and I thought: “How can I cheer myself up?” So I went to my arsenal of interior design blogs, and the first one to pop up was yours. The effect was instant! Your blog always always always cheers me up! Thank you :)

    • Reply Anna @ D16 January 9, 2015 at 9:54 am

      That’s really nice to hear, Celia, thank you! I hope you’re feeling much better soon. :)

  • Reply mizuna January 13, 2015 at 4:18 am

    I’ve been watching this seller for a little while, and have been outbid in the last ten seconds on some pretty cool rugs. They have all kinds of persian/oriental patterns, vintage and not, and offer free shipping on some of them. Good hunting!

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/rugemporium240/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from=

  • Reply Sandra January 14, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    I am never ahead (or even on) trend, however 10 years ago, the little local antique shop in my Toronto neighbourhood had the perfect antique persian rugs they used as runners in the winter. I kept trying to buy them from the owner, but she obviously knew a good thing and refused to part with them. They definitely stood up to the slush/salt/snow and only got better looking with time (sigh…another unrealized wish of mine…). I’ve been on and off the hunt for inexpensive, vintage rugs ever since. I do like the overdyed look that’s become popular recently, but I can’t justify the price for the size I’d like. The previous posters have identified some great resources, so perhaps there is hope!

  • Reply Judi January 20, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    I have no idea why I forgot to mention this before (and apologies if someone else did, and anyway I don’t even know if you’re still reading these, BUT…): We use FLOR files in our kitchen. At one point we were using a pattern called “Good Vibrations” in “Flame,” which looks like a New England hooked rug on steroids and is thus in the vernacular of where we live now (yes, I really did just say that). Not sure if they are discontinued–they are perennially on sale at this point–but the Atlantic Avenue store might be able to help? They hide a ton of dirt and live in my office now…the FLOR in the kitchen at this point is “Mild Mannered” in “Charcoal.” Hope this helps.

  • Reply Katie February 20, 2015 at 8:21 am

    this Kilim rug store has the most variety kilims !! I have purchased from him before, he has great customer service and did gave me a little of a discount :)
    http://Www.kilimrugstore.com

  • Reply Lynn March 13, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Hi. Check carpetu2.com. They have a ton of beautiful Persian rugs that won’t break the bank.

  • Reply Erin Eisinger March 16, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    I have to say, I’m thrilled at all the rug enthusiasm on this thread! Full disclosure: I co-founded Floorplan Rugs in Los Angeles just last year, so obviously I want people to buy Floorplan rugs. :) BUT, mostly I want to help people navigate the rug world more easily, so I thought I’d share a couple of points that could be helpful when choosing a rug for a kitchen.

    Almost all hand-made rugs, whether vintage or new production, are built to withstand minor bumps and bruises in the home, and can actually be repaired and cleaned more easily than petroleum-based materials you find in a lot of hand-tufted or machine-made rugs. (Even if a rug has a hole in it, chances are it can be rewoven)

    If you’re going to put a rug into your kitchen (which i do myself!), I’d make sure you pick something that is hand-knotted or hand-woven in natural fibers like wool, cotton, jute or sisal. Color choice can also be helpful to hide stains (mine is red, orange, pink, brown, etc.), as well as add a lot of character to a space. And you will definitely want to put down a rug pad to help keep it in place as you move around the kitchen.

    If you want to know more, we have created a dedicated pinboard to share insights into buying hand-made rugs! https://www.pinterest.com/floorplanrugs/tips-for-buying-handmade-rugs/

    Of course, you can also check out our current collections at floorplanrugs.com.

    Hope this helps!

  • Reply Aly B. April 22, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Might I suggest Kilum_King on eBay…I just bought a beautiful vintage Persian rug, and very reasonably priced. Good luck on your search.

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