by Ashley Trudeau
Unless you’ve been on a Pinterest cleanse and abstaining from design magazines lately, you’ve no doubt seen a plethora of kitchens outfitted with gorgeous Turkish and Persian rugs. Gone are the days when you had to settle for a mediocre microfiber kitchen mat with an underwhelming color palette and uninspiring pattern. These days, it’s all about making the kitchen as thoughtful and beautiful as all of the other rooms in the house, down to the very last detail, and that includes gorgeous accents like rugs.
We are fully on-board with this trend. And how could we not be? No longer must we sacrifice style for the sake of utility. These pattern-happy, vibrant rugs are the icing on the cake that is the most-used (and often most-loved) room in the house.
Scroll below to be wooed by this burgeoning trend, plus find out everything you need to know about buying a boho-inspired Persian rug for your space.
First thing’s first: How do you choose the right one? What makes for the ideal Persian or Turkish rug? In a word: vintage. The best of the best look like they were inherited. After all, the point is to get that sophisticated aged bohemian vibe—slightly worn-in, and tiptoeing towards threadbare. Think uneven fringe and an off-kilter, not-quite-perfectly-rectangular shape.
The other thing to look for is pattern, specifically an asymmetrical one. An authentic Turkish or Persian rug is woven or knotted by hand, and handmade goods have inherent irregularities. This is where the true beauty in these rugs resides. At first glance, the rug will look like it has the same pattern around the entire border, or on both halves of the piece. But upon closer inspection you’ll see that the triangle patterns don’t quite match, or there are more flourishes on one side than the other, or that the lines aren’t quite straight. That’s okay. In fact, it’s exactly what you’re looking for.
The pattern should also be bold and ornate. There’s a reason you aren’t going for subtle stripes here. The more unusual and elaborate the pattern, the better. This is especially true if you’re choosing a color palette that is more restrained—the uneven pattern is what will add interest to the rug.
The final consideration is color. The most interesting Turkish and Persian rugs are bit of a riot: pops of pink, hits of orange, deep, stunning reds, all offset by a white or black background. That’s what these gorgeous rugs are all about. Embrace it.
PHOTO: Cantley and Company
Avoid a brand new rug, and get something one of a kind. It’ll add so much more character than a rug fresh out of the box.
Avoid rugs with a high-pile. The kitchen is far too high-traffic for a shaggy rug; it will attract dirt, making it harder to clean. Do yourself a favor and stick with a rug that has a flat weave. The bonus is that these rugs have the most distinct patterns because they don’t get lost in the shag.
You also want to steer clear of synthetic fibers. Persian and Turkish rugs have been made of wool for centuries, and you want to remain true to that tradition. Wool also has the benefit of being long-lasting and non-toxic.
PHOTO: Scandinavian Deko.
A good Turkish or Persian runner will set you back $400 to $2,000—and up. It’s an investment for sure, but you’ll have this piece for years and a good rug is critical to a sophisticated space.
PHOTO: Apartment Therapy
PHOTO: Ann Edgerton
Vintage Turkish and Persian rugs look best in simple spaces, adding just the right pop of color and pattern. Think crisp white walls, white marble countertops, unfussy cabinetry, and simple backsplashes. This enhances the contrast, and ensures the rug will be a focal point for the otherwise subdued room. And while the beauty of these rugs is that they look good on almost any floor, we particularly like seeing them lying atop rich, warm, worn-in floors. As far as the best furniture choices to complete the look, anything from Bertoia chairs to industrial stools to velvet wingbacks goes.
PHOTO: Apartment Therapy
When it comes to Persian and Turkish rugs, it’s best to buy vintage. That way you’ll get that beautiful, worn look. Of course, if you’re in Turkey and there is a gorgeous new one made by an artisan in a quaint hillside town, by all means, buy that rug. But if you’re not jet-setting to obscure villages, don’t fret.
The best places to shop for the perfect Turkish or Persian rug are eBay (huge selection, great prices, often straight from the Middle East), Shoppe by Amber Interiors (a curated, muted, gorgeous selection), Furbish Studio (bold, bright, and brash in the best way), Kilim.com (a wide selection—everything from over-dyed Anatolian to classic Kilim), and Chairish (the epitome of high-style vintage). If you’d rather shop in-person, scour your local flea market, or hit up the antique shops. You’re likely to find great options, and the ability to haggle often means you can snap up a gorgeous rug for less.
PHOTO: El Mueble
PHOTO: A Perfect Gray