This Clever Design Hack Creates an Expensive Rug Look for Way Less Money

Antique rugs are so trendy but so expensive. Here's how to get the look in your home without breaking the bank.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
September 28, 2018

Vintage, Persian rugs have been popping up everywhere in design. And, as gorgeous as they are, getting the same look in your home isn’t cheap. While budget-friendly, vintage-inspired rugs are an option, it’s just not the real thing.

Bohemian Style Contemporary Living Room With White Ship Lap Wall, Brown Leather Sectional and Macrame Wall Hang

Bohemian Style Contemporary Living Room With White Ship Lap Wall, Brown Leather Sectional and Macrame Wall Hang

The DIY coffee table is made from a broken clock face transformed into a live edge table with hair pin legs. A white ship lap accent wall creates a white on white texture display with the unbleached macrame fiber art. A large leather sectional is decorated with a mix of patterned pillows and throw blankets. Wicker baskets provide decorative storage.

Photo by: Amy Bartlam

Amy Bartlam

But designers are using a trick to get the real look for less. A lot less. Instead of shelling out big bucks for a giant area rug, you can layer an antique runner on top of a neutral area rug. You get the floor coverage you need and the design you want for a fraction of the cost.

This design technique is also a more versatile choice than purchasing one large vintage area rug. If you ever want to change up the look in your living room, you can leave the neutral base and easily find a new home for the runner like in a hallway, a bathroom or kitchen.

Transitional Living Room Features Unique Fireplace Surround

Transitional Living Room Features Unique Fireplace Surround

An eye-catching fireplace surround gives this transitional living room a great focal point. Light wood furniture and a white palette make the room feel more spacious than it is.

Photo by: Chad Mellon Photography

Chad Mellon Photography

Tour This Coastal Modern Home With Boho Flair

See All Photos

Shop This Look

If you’ve had your eye on antique rugs but are on a budget, shop some of our favorite rugs to get the look in your home.

The Base

Jute and sisal are great materials for an area rug, and they’ve got a great texture because neutral doesn’t mean boring.

This warm, almond hue is the perfect base for an antique rug with a loud color palette. And the sisal fiber is perfect for high-traffic areas.

BUY IT: Crate & Barrel, $299 (6'x9') or $399 (8'x10')

We love the modern look and texture of the rows of braided jute in this CB2 exclusive.

BUY IT: CB2, $299 (6'x9') or $399 (8'x10')

If you’re working with a runner with cool colors, use a light grey rug as your neutral base. We love this hand-woven, jute rug with tons of texture.

BUY IT: Pier 1, $399.95 (8'x10')

The Runner

For your vintage topper, try searching Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for runner listings. Estate sales are also a great place to score vintage rugs at a decent price. And online shops have some deals, too. We’ve seen several gems pop up on Etsy like this beauty. And Valerie Jacobs’ online boutique Rebecca & Genevieve posts a new rug collection every Thursday night. You can even find some gorgeous Turkish designs on sale.

Need a rug ASAP? Check out these stunning designs that only look super expensive.

10 Area Rugs Under $300

See All Photos

Shop This Look

Next Up

Area Rugs 101

Does your room need a pick-me-up? Start with the floor. Follow these tips on buying and decorating with area rugs.

7 Accessories You Need if You're Obsessed With Persian-Style Rugs

Go rug crazy with these must-have items, from coasters to beach towels.

How to Make One Large Custom Area Rug from Several Small Ones

You can make a custom, large-scale graphic area rug for your small space. Just follow these easy step-by-step instructions.

Recycled Painted Floor Cloth

Use these step-by-step instructions to paint a floor cloth and add color to any room in the house.

How to Make a Modern Rope Rug

Turn rope and hot glue into a super cool throw rug or welcome mat.

Painted Canvas Area Rug

Transform a basic drop cloth into a one-of-a-kind outdoor area rug with these simple steps.

Here's What We Thought After Testing Ruggable's Washable Rugs IRL

How well do Ruggable washable rugs stand up to stains, dirt and pet accidents? Our editors tell all.

Rug Hacks That Will Rock Your World

Bet you’ve never thought of these simple rug solutions before.

For All the '90s Kids: Snag These Nostalgic Finds

Channel your inner Cher Horowitz with these gifts and accessories.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Watch Live TV

Don't miss your favorite shows. Live stream HGTV now.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.