Keywords to Use When Searching for Large Vintage Rugs

I’d consider myself an expert when it comes to vintage rug shopping… after all, it has become a big part of my job over the years- especially with the shop. We offer curated rugs at Tuesday Made and I’ll let you in on a secret… we’ve got a big haul of 20+ rugs coming later this month (hop on our email list for first dibs & 15% off). However, if you’re someone who enjoys the thrill of the hunt, or is searching for a great deal on larger area rugs, I wanted to share some of my go-to keywords or search terms for scoring the BIG ones with deep discounts from places like Ebay and Etsy. Click through for my best tips for snagging those antique and vintage area rugs with a really great price tags.

Keywords to Use When Searching for Large Vintage Rugs -

Emmett had two requests for our basement renovation design plan: a reclining sofa and lots of rugs. One I wasn’t initially stoked about, the other I immediately approved. Since that conversation, I’ve been on the hunt for large area rugs for our basement. Our Stuga hardwood floors are in (more on that process soon), we’re about to uncover our new reclining Homebody sectional, and I’m nearly ready to start styling. My vintage ski prints are dusted and ready for reinstall! Before I can pull everything back together, I would like to lay the literal foundation for the room… area rugs. Per usual, a vintage rug made the most sense for this space from both a design and durability standpoint. At this point, I’ve devoted entirely too much time to the search and just need to choose my favorites, which is why I wanted to share my tips and top picks with you today! First, here’s how I search…

Keywords to Use When Searching for Large Vintage Rugs -

Keywords To Use

Whether you know a lot about rugs or not, it’s a good idea to use keywords to your advantage. Eventually you’ll catch on to what each keyword means and looks like. They’re typically associated with a specific rug style or origin. You can quickly see the aesthetic of each, by clicking through my list below. Depending on the look you’re going for, give some of these a try.

I’d also recommend pairing the stylistic keyword with the age or color you’re looking for, which will resulted in a narrowed search. Some good examples… “vintage Tabriz carpet” or “red Kurdish rug” will yield specific results. Hot tip though- if you’ve got time to spend mindlessly scrolling, searching with wider search terms can result in uncovered gems, as many are mislabeled. If that’s the case, just search “shiraz rug” and keep it basic.

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Vintage vs Antique Rugs

Age is another determining factor that can be included in your keyword search. Words like “old”, “vintage”, and “antique” usually render good results. What’s the difference between those? Antique refers to 100 years or more, vintage is older (20+ years old), and you never know what you’ll get using “old” as your age defining keyword. There are also plenty of new handwoven options within the stylistic categories, if secondhand carpets aren’t your thing.

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Carpet vs Rug Search Term

Don’t box yourself in by solely using the term “rug”, as many are labeled “carpet”… just another keyword tidbit to keep in mind, if you’re really digging! You can also leave off carpet and / or rug entirely for an even wider search result… just be prepared to sort or filter.

Places to Shop for Inexpensive Vintage Rugs

Now that you’ve got all these search terms to try, where should you use them? I’ll link my top resources for large and budget rugs for you below…

  • Ebay
  • Etsy
  • Facebook Marketplace (though specific rug search terms can be a miss there)
  • Online Auctions
Keywords to Use When Searching for Large Vintage Rugs -


Would you recommend using a rug pad with vintage rugs?

Always! Here’s why you shouldn’t skip the rug pad.

Why don’t you offer large rugs in your shop?

They’re difficult for us to ship, and truthfully- out of budget for most. We do carry a few larger options (10′-11′), but since they’re more expensive… our inventory doesn’t move very quickly and they take up quite a bit of space in our small Tuesday Made office. Small & medium rugs and runners are really our speciality! They all come professionally cleaned, ready to style, and of course- they’re all picked out and vetted by me (classic design & high quality).

Are vintage rugs durable, and can they be used in a bathroom?

Super durable! Most vintage rugs are handwoven from wool or cotton, meaning they’re antimicrobial, great for wet-rated and high traffic areas, as well as in the bathroom. Check out this specific design discussion on using wool rugs in the bathroom!

Do you use those links to source rugs for your shop?

No- I work with rug dealers who have small family businesses for wholesalers like myself. They’re scattered across the world, from Turkey & Iran to New York and the Carolinas, I choose rugs based on aesthetic, quality, and price point specifically for the shop. For myself and our home, if I’m searching for a larger or budget friendly oversized area rug… it’s easier to use my keywords and links I shared in this post, then I ship it directly to our house. Logistics!

How do I choose the right rug for my room?

That’s a loaded question, but this blog post should give you some good insight, or at least a starting point: designer trick- selecting the right rug.

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I hope this post was helpful! I grabbed that cute image above from Jordan, if you recognized cute Margo (vintage rugs are pet friendly, too!). I’m still searching for the right rugs for our basement, so if you see any navy, blue, or dark red options- send them my way, please. I’m also happy to answer any of your rug questions in the comment section below. I’ll drop some I’ve been pondering in a slider, too. In unrelated news, who else is struggling with routine re-entry post holidays? Oof, it’s always rough getting back to work! I’ve yet to adjust and have been taking things slow. Anyone else?

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  1. Good morning! Vintage rugs. How do I love thee? Let me count the hours upon hours I have spent searching online. Ha. Because my house is currently at its rug capacity, I haven’t been looking lately, but I definitely used all of your tricks when I was hunting. I have purchased from a variety of sellers on Etsy and Ebay with gorgeous results. Sometimes finding a suitable size was tricky; not only are handmade rug sizes variable, but many (most) vendors list dimensions in centimeters. Picture me with a separate tab open to a conversion table.😂 Although I see their site name has changed to, I snagged two fabulous specimens from them when it was eSalerugs. (I found them when you revealed your guest bath!) The site is *massive* but has incredible search features and extremely detailed images. I’ve done a little Facebook Marketplace snooping over the years. The selection is quite limited, but I have occasionally found deals on larger rugs (10×12 or 10×14). These are definitely the sizes where prices rise dramatically. Of course, I’m loving all of the options for your basement. I’m kind of excited to see a stunning red…but that won’t surprise you. As previously mentioned, I’m just generally giddy about all your basement plans. Ha. Honestly, that’s about the extent of my giddy up this week though. I’m with you on the post-holiday struggle bus. I’m hoping a little garden planning will revive me. Or maybe a wee bit of rug peeping. Here’s wishing us some mid-week focus! Have a super Wednesday, my friend!💜
    PS Itty bitty Crosby?! 😍😭

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Hi Peggi! Vintage rugs are my love language- I’m with you on spending hours online searching and combing through gorgeous options. I’ve found some good ones for the basement, but not the right size. I’m considering buying a larger one and having it cut down (if the price is right). We’ll see! I’ve also got a couple in my cart at eSale! They have so many awesome and affordable options. I’m always impressed with their selections. I’m still on the post-holiday struggle bus, but I’m glad we left things up because we’re in the middle of a big snowstorm and it feels super cozy. Meant to be! Hope you had an amazing weekend! xo

  2. Good Morning Sarah!
    I only discovered the notion of vintage rugs here on your blog. The only one I have is the one I purchased from your shop and honestly it’s so beautiful I don’t feel it belongs on the floor. Lol.
    They feel like a heavy tapestry and should be preserved and showcased as art. I recently took a Quick Look on eBay the other day as Jordan mentioned that’s where she acquired her rug but no luck. I need a new rug for our front entrance but unsure if vintage is the way to go. Professional rug cleaning is a small fortune here ( more than the rug itself) so I’m usually purchasing synthetic or washable as a result. Ugh! I’m torn on this as you can’t deny the beauty of a vintage rug, no comparison but I’m afraid of ruining a gorgeous rug. The one I purchased from the shop is safe in Florida house with less traffic and no snow. I haven’t cleaned it yet. Great tips on how to search though, I will give your method a go. Can’t wait to see all the progress on your basement renovation. Exciting!
    Have a super Wednesday!

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Hi Colleen! I still remember and LOVE the rug you picked from the shop (thanks again for shopping small and for thinking of me). It’s such a beauty, and I love hearing that it’s holding up and well and being enjoyed. I think a vintage rug is perfect for the entrance because of durability and moisture. A washable rug is also a great option though. In my experience, I’ve found vintage rugs difficult to ruin. Hope your week is off to an amazing start, and you had a lovely weekend! Speaking of Florida, will you get to enjoy some sunny days there this winter? I sure hope so!

  3. No. 6 on the slider for the basement!!! LOL! Good morning Sarah! We are fully in the swing of things after the lazy rest period between Christmas and New Year. It took a bit, but we’re all feeling ready to tackle the year ahead and have spent some time prioritizing what we need most this year, and planning accordingly. I’m looking forward to the year ahead. Now about rugs- this is actually the most helpful post on rugs you’ve shared yet! Genius of you to link examples to the descriptions; I was quickly able to find the styles that are more me- and even saved a few! Your rug selections are always superb and timeless examples that can easily be incorporated. I’m definitely craving that texture and warmth underfoot. Thank you for sharing this! You know I have a difficult time rug shopping, but this just made it so much easier. I’m off to run the cat to the vet- send low vet bill vibes! This kitty has something going on with his eye, but I’m hoping it’s something that can be fixed with drops. Fingers crossed! Have a fantastic day.

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      I’m still playing catch up and our Christmas decor is still up, lol! It’s been a weird start to the new year over here. I’m so glad you’re feeling prepared, inspired, and ready to tackle 2024! I need some of your motivation (and organization), Lauren! I’m really glad to hear this post was helpful with the keywords. I’ve yet to order some for the basement, but I’ve got about 18 browsers open, haha! This will be the week I commit. Hope you and the fam had a fabulous weekend!