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5 Exquisite Antique Rugs That Will Transform Your Living Room

Almost nothing radiates personal style as much as home décor. And like a symphony conductor, rugs unite spaces while creating harmony. Here are some of the best.

These days, Coco Chanel is recalled as often for her insights into style as for her chic suits and ropes of pearls. When the towering French designer declared that “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only,” she might well have been referring to interior design, for what else — next to our clothing and accessories —helps us express ourselves and our sense of style quite like our homes?

Of course, the epicenter of our personal style is the living room, where rugs — notably high-quality antique rugs of exquisite design, craftsmanship, and exceptional materials — are the centerpiece linking the furniture, artwork, mirrors, and other objets d’art that, taken together, capture the essence of us as singularly as our thumbprint.

Gleaming coffee tables, designer lamps, wingback chairs, and plush sofas are lovely, but they don’t offer quite the same show-stopping impact as the finest Persian, European and Oriental carpets and tapestries of the world which, courtesy of Mansour and its vast collection, represent an interior design game-changer.

Put another way, splendid antique rugs act like the conductor at the head of the symphony: creating unity, melody, cohesion, and beauty within a room by seamlessly tying all the elements together.

But what rug to choose? While not an easy question to answer — and obviously subject to personal taste, preference, and overall design aesthetic — here are five exquisite antique rug types guaranteed to transform any room into something breathtaking that might conjure yet another classic Coco Chanel quote: “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”

Truly, with these rugs, the differences are thrilling, with each representing impeccable quality and must-have desirability for even the most discerning clients. And given the current world we live in, where working from home and temporarily separating as much as possible from the outside world is recommended, there has never been a better time to shift all focus towards interior spaces.



Highly coveted among both style aficionados and interior designers, antique, traditional hand-woven Sultanabad carpets from the 19th century offer a regal look with floral motifs and muted colors figuring prominently. Enormously decorative and surprisingly contemporary, these magnificent rugs are works of art in themselves, handily gracing any space with style, charm, and elegance. Delightful fun fact to drop over cocktails: The ancient city of Sultanabad, now known as Arak, was founded in 1808 and later became the major center of rug production in Iran. Additionally, the rugs’ signature reds rendered by red dye were created by bathing the wool for several days in madder and whey, then scouring them with water.



Historically known as Anatolian Rugs — with Anatolian translating to “land of the rising sun…” sigh — these gorgeous traditional Turkish wool rugs, with their Persian influence and subtle palettes, imbue any room with a palpable sense of serenity as well as history, their loping vines and terra cotta colors frequently emerging as earmarks. Interior design–wise, Oushak rugs are stunning in living spaces with an emphasis on wood or more traditional furnishings, although almost anything is likely to look beguiling alongside these rug types.



Frequently woven from wool and silk, these rugs from the city of Khotan in East Turkistan (now part of China) invoke their famed origins along the Silk Road with sometimes sparse, auspicious symbols with borders containing Chinese wave and fret patterns or flowering vines. As might be expected given their provenance, Khotan rugs frequently contain the color red, making them excellent, high-impact attractions in any traffic-heavy area. They can also be used as an eye-popping offset to a more singular color scheme. Khotan rugs present exceptional compatibility with a wide range of décor choices.  



Traditional hand-woven Romanian Bessarabian rugs, such as Mansour’s item #10526, feature a refined ivory overall field counterposed by delicate stylized floral bouquet issuing fancy reciprocal rosettes which are distinctly feminine looking and thus ideal for a bedroom, dressing room or library. While Bessarabian rugs often summon adjectives like “playful” and “delicate,” they are steadfastly commanding. A prevailing interior design trend for 2021 is “rustic vogue,” whereby unique and inherent architectural features such as exposed beams or panelled walls are accented with strikingly modern furniture or accent pieces. Bessarabian rugs are particularly glorious within this scheme.



If many of our early young-adult forays into home decoration included low-cost, factory-made living room rugs purchased from that globally known Swedish retailer rhyming with “Korea,” the acquisition of a delicate, traditional hand-woven Swedish Deco rug is the surest sign of final arrival into sophistication. Tell-tale geometric patterns are at once mesmerizing and whimsical — and are especially well-suited to more minimalist living room designs — but the rugs themselves are of outstanding quality. Indeed, some early 20th century Swedish rugs, such as Mansour models #20536 and #25644, are signed by their master weavers. Soothing, delicate shades of blue and grey abound.

With any of the above-mentioned antique rugs — and many more besides including (but not limited to) Malayer, Tabriz, Agra, Kerman, and Donegal designs — a perhaps less obvious though no less interesting conceptual thread is the idea of history being passed down through the generations. The notion that these rugs and tapestries have transcended not just time but vast distances testifies to the talents of their creators.