How to Style Modern Interiors with Vintage Rugs: 5 Tips from Industry Professionals

We asked a bunch of seasoned and upcoming interior designers and rug specialists for their expert designer tips about styling an epoch rug in a contemporary design environment.

Photo Credit: Ruggable


A vintage rug is a timeless piece of accessory that can add a charismatic aura and bring that vibe to modern interiors, which many straight-lined contemporary places generally lack. Whether it’s a classic coarsely woven Turkish Oushak in pastel colors or a cream and black Moroccan Beni Ourain, a vintage rug can be the reason for pizzazz in any avant-garde room.

Usually, we confuse vintage pieces with antiques. As a general rule of thumb, antique pieces are generally over 100 years old and produced for the royalties of their times, while vintage artifacts age around 20 years or more and are used by ordinary people. Thus here is a point to consider while looking for a vintage rug, and to avoid hefty price tags, do not look for it among antiques!

Now the question is how to style a vintage piece with modern aesthetics so that our favorite period rugs don't appear mismatched to their surroundings and bloom in their full glory.

We asked a bunch of seasoned and upcoming interior designers and rug specialists for their expert designer tips about styling an epoch rug in a contemporary design environment. Here is a mash-up to help you put the spotlight on your vintage rugs. 


#1 By Melissa Pyell

Founder of MELISSA PYELL STUDIO


✔️ Revamp The Shape

Oversized vintage rugs can easily be cut down to your perfect size or shape – even creating a runner or a round shape. You can further customize your rug by adding an eclectic edges detail like embossed leather, velvet, or fringe. When adding these delicate details, be sure to maintain your rug by rotating it occasionally.   

MELISSA PYELL STUDIO is a bespoke interior design & styling studio based in Côte d'Azur and working globally.  

Connect with MELISSA PYELL STUDIO
Website // Instagram



#2 By Mariam Qadeer

Founder of GALLIVANT INTERIORS


✔️ Overdye

Overdyed vintage rugs immediately brighten up any space from drab to fab. Pair overdyed vintage rugs in bright hues of fuschia, turquoise, blues, and emerald greens with muted upholstery to add depth and character to your room. In a living room, these can be placed alongside modern, sleek furniture in wood and brass to create a retro vibe. In a bedroom, use a velvet upholstered bed in neutrals such as grays and beiges, and pair it with a high-impact overdyed rug to liven up your space. Got an old rug passed down from your grandma that you just don’t know what to do with as it clashes with your modern decor? Overdye it! Rugs can be overdyed by your local carpet manufacturers as dying it in a high-impact monochromatic color changes the entire character of the rug.

Gallivant Interiors is an interior design studio and its offshoot, Signature Homes by Gallivant Interiors, is a real estate development company focusing on high-end residential spaces. Both ventures are run by Mariam Qadeer, a marketer, traveler, and design connoisseur.

Connect With Gallivant Interiors on Instagram

Connect With Signature Homes on Instagram



#3 By Ipek Doruk

Founder of RugArtsy


✔️ Mix textures

Vintage rugs often have a unique texture and feel, which can be enhanced by pairing them with other tactile elements like natural wood, woven textiles, and chunky knit throws. A vintage rug can act as a statement piece in an otherwise minimalist space, adding depth and interest.

Another tip is to use a neutral base. If you have a vintage rug with a busy pattern or vibrant colors, consider pairing it with neutral furniture and walls to allow the rug to take center stage. A neutral base will also create a cohesive look in your space.

Or you can always play with colors. If you have a vintage rug with bright or bold colors, use those colors as inspiration for your room's overall color palette. Add accent pillows, curtains, or artwork in coordinating colors to tie the room together. Don't be afraid to experiment; mixing vintage and modern elements can be a bit of trial and error, but don't be afraid to experiment and find the right balance that works for you and your space.

RugArtsy is your go-to destination for unique and sustainable double-sided rugs and kilims, exclusively designed by artists. Our store offers a one-of-a-kind collection of recycled cotton and vegan rugs, carefully crafted to not only be visually stunning but also eco-friendly. We believe that the rugs should not only enhance the look and feel of a room but also support a sustainable lifestyle. At RugArtsy, we're dedicated to providing you with high-quality, sustainable, and visually appealing rugs and kilims. Join us in our mission to create a better world, one rug at a time.

Connect With RugArtsy on their Etsy Store and on Pinterest



#4 By Jason Albuquerque

From Beemco Enterprises


✔️Show It Off Like A Piece Of Art

If I have to pick one product that can transform a space, it would be a good vintage rug. Vintage rugs are so underrated but can be a perfect addition to any home décor and some restaurant designs depending on the concept. They add a touch of elegance and sophistication, brighten a room, and anchor furniture in any given space.

Vintage rugs add a sense of history and charm to a room that is otherwise modern or contemporary. A soulful vintage rug can serve as a work of art, next to its utilitarian function. I like to take this to another level by hanging it on the wall as it could be shown as an art piece while also creating acoustics. A rug is also a perfect space definer, by placing rugs in different sizes in one ample room you can easily divide it into separate zones. Another tip is to layer a vintage rug on top of a modern solid one to add more textures to your room.

Beemco Enterprises is an Interior design and fit-out firm in Oman for over 40 years. We specialize in Commercial, Retail, and Restaurant spaces and occasionally residential projects. Jason Albuquerque is the design consultant at Beemco Enterprises, who has worked in design and as an interior fit-out contractor in the Middle East for over 7 years.

Connect With Beemco Enterprises on Instagram


#5 By Rutuja Chunekar

Founder of Design Treasure Studio

✔️Look for a Wow Effect

If you’re planning to decorate a space and looking for a ‘wow effect’ I think starting by choosing a vintage rug as a centerpiece and then picking out the rest of the furniture items to go with it is one of many ways. For example, If you choose a hand-knotted ethnic rug that is distressed partially, it can match a tan leather couch and a gray armchair.

In short, a vintage rug can compliment the furniture pieces and upholstery. Another creative way to highlight a vintage rug is by hanging it on the wall as a tapestry when there's a high ceiling.

Design Treasure Studio is an interior design studio driven by a passion for interior design, art and aesthetic. We help our clients to design their dream spaces aesthetically pleasing and functional.

Connect With Design Treasure Studio on Instagram


As stated by the design gurus, a unique vintage rug can react wonders in any given modern space and can be used in varied styles to make a personalized statement. Get inspired by these handy tips and flaunt that heirloom piece you have been drooling over forever.


Don't guess, find the best rug for you with our "Is It Good For Me" test based on your personality and style!

About Maham Iftikhar

Maham is a skilled writer/art instructor and a passionate interior designer with more than ten years of experience in the practical field. Maham’s art and design practice spans space planning and designing, creative art/design workshops, interior content writing, and everything about art and design. Maham is a travel lover and a coffee enthusiast who even paints with coffee.

Contact Maham Iftikhar at hello+maham@rugmatcher.com

Latest matches

  • Someone whose home decoration style is Glam, favorite home mood is Creative, type of house is House (Single-use residential building), favorite music genre is Jazz and favorite cuisine is Lebanese took the Matcherate test for Diva Shaggy Rugs in Yellow and scored 5% 29 seconds ago
  • Someone whose home decoration style is Organic modern, favorite home mood is Excited, type of house is House (Single-use residential building), favorite music genre is Reggae and favorite cuisine is Indian took the Matcherate test for Taj Indian Agra Rugs - Hand Knotted Pure Wool in Beige Camel and scored 36% 30 minutes 29 seconds ago
  • Someone whose home decoration style is Boho/Bohemian, favorite home mood is Upbeat, type of house is Mobile house, favorite music genre is Pop and favorite cuisine is Singapore took the Matcherate test for Mehari Rugs 23067 2959 in Rust and scored 0% 1 hour ago
  • Someone whose home decoration style is Eclectic, favorite home mood is Dramatic, type of house is House (Single-use residential building), favorite music genre is R&B and favorite cuisine is Chinese took the Matcherate test for Kelim Rugs in Teal and scored 63% 1 hour 30 minutes ago
  • Someone whose home decoration style is Glam, favorite home mood is Anxious, type of house is Castle, favorite music genre is Dance and favorite cuisine is Chinese took the Matcherate test for Mehari Rugs 23067 5949 in Blue and scored 58% 2 hours ago
  • Someone whose home decoration style is Boho/Bohemian, favorite home mood is Confident, type of house is Flat / Apartment, favorite music genre is Blues and favorite cuisine is Japanese took the Matcherate test for Mehari Rugs 23067 2959 in Rust and scored 61% 2 hours 30 minutes ago
  • Someone whose home decoration style is Modern Farmhouse, favorite home mood is Content, type of house is Farm, favorite music genre is Pop and favorite cuisine is Russian took the Matcherate test for Mehari Rugs 23067 5949 in Blue and scored 4% 3 hours ago
About RugMatcher

Rugmatcher finds the best rug for you based on what other people who match your personality like.

Contact