Buy the smallest - but the best! So this little "rule" can be applied to many things. I was at a frame shop over a year ago, and the lady told me something that's stuck with me. This lady does beautiful framing out of her home. I was in her home admiring her many personal portraits. At the time Virginia was nestled in her little car seat carrier next to me and I started dreaming about having a portrait of Virginia. I shyly asked her what an average portrait may cost. She said, when it comes to portraits, you set your budget, and then you find the best artist you can find and buy the size that is in your budget. She said you'll love a stunning 8" x 10" perfect portrait more any day over a larger just so-so portrait. So true! Smaller can be better. I think the same can be said for rugs and art in general. Buy the best looking vintage rug you can, even if it's small. You can layer it over another sisal rug, you can use them in more places when they're small, plus the color of most vintage rugs goes along way. Many that are the best quality have the most wear because of how old they are.
Buy truly vintage - if at all possible! "Vintage"/"Antique" rugs are very popular right now, they're very "in" and I get that. I love them too so I can see why! But, I think often if you buy a brand new rug that is meant to look old (especially on the internet) the quality can be iffy in person. Luckily more and more online boutiques are carrying good options, and also estate sales and thrift stores are other good sources.
My favorites online sources are Furbish Studio, Amber Interiors (she has so many right now!), Sara Kate Studios & One Kings Lane. If you do land on a new rug, Lulu and Georgia has beautiful options. Rugs are a big $$ purchase, so I go with an inexpensive sisal just about everywhere until I can save for the real thing! Any other sources that we should add to the list?
images via Furbish Studio, Amber Interiors, Sara Kate Studios, & One Kings Lane