How to Choose an Antique Rug

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Antique rugs are becoming increasingly difficult to find–rare treasures that contain within their fibers memories and stories from the past. Because they are tough to come by these days, antique rugs can be quite expensive. With that in mind, there are a few important tips you should be made aware of if you’re in the market for an antique rug–tips that might help you choose the perfect one for you.

Select One That Fits

Before you begin shopping for an antique rug, you need to determine what size you’d like to find. Take accurate measurements of the space in your home where you plan on placing the rug, taking into consideration the furniture in the room and its placement. Also, decide what particular shape you’d like your antique rug to be–rectangular, square, oval or round.

Find Out the History

When you come across an antique rug that captures your interest, inquire about its history. The owner of the rug, whether it’s a private individual or a salesperson in a shop, may be able to tell you where the rug originated from, who made the rug, and what the rug was made out of. They might even be able to share with you a few other details including where the rug was used and an estimate of how much it was last appraised at. If no history is known, you may want ask an antique expert with some knowledge about rugs take a look at it. Antique rugs were handmade–and an expert would be able to recognize hand-knotting versus that which was done by a machine. Someone with a background in antique rugs might also be able to determine where a rug was made and approximately how old it is.

Check the Condition

Due to the age of antique rugs, it’s important that you pay close attention to the condition of a rug before deciding if it’s the right one for you. Even if a rug was properly cared for, you should expect to see a few signs of normal wear and tear. Anything beyond that, you might want to think twice about it. Antique rugs can be cleaned and restored in some cases–ask a restoration expert if you have any questions about the condition of a rug before you commit to buying it.

Pick Out Your Favorite Colors and Designs

Of course if you’re looking for an antique rug you probably have some colors in mind that you’d like it to be so that it will fit in well with your d├ęcor. Antique rugs were dyed with plant and vegetable based dyes back in the days they were made. As a result, deep rich colors and a variety of patterns are what you can expect to find when you’re fortunate enough to comes across rugs that are a century old or more. When it comes to antique rug patterns, you’ll typically find that some rugs will have a repeated pattern throughout, while others may feature a special center design or emblem. Look at your options and when you find one that you really like, check to see if it meets all of your other criteria as well.

French Perfumer Frederic Malle’s New York Apartment Vogue 2008

Consider Your Budget

Antique rugs in good condition are worth quite a bit of money–and in most cases their price-tags will reflect their high value. While your budget should be a major factor in choosing an antique rug, consider the returns you could get if you ever decide to re-sell it. An antique rug can turn out to be a very smart investment, and if it’s well-cared for–its value will only continue to increase.

Get an Appraisal

It’s always wise to have an antique rug appraised before you commit to buying it–so if you find one you’re serious about, ask a professional to appraise it for you first. If the person selling it to you is adamant that you don’t get an appraisal, that should be a good indication to you that the rug isn’t truly an antique. While you can look very closely at a rug and examine some of its details for yourself, a professional can approximate its age and value so that you don’t lose an exorbitant amount of money for what could turn out to be a fake.

While an antique rug will add beauty and character to your home, it is a costly treasure that requires some thought and consideration so that it turns out to be a good investment. Remember these tips while you look for an antique rug so that you may find one that you love at an honest and fair price.

Guest post from Bailey Harris. Bailey writes for Area Rugs.com.

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