Design Goals: Our Feature with Julia Miller Interiors

This week, District Rug Shoppe was featured in Julia Miller Interiors' "Meet the Maker" series, a collection of interviews with Julia's preferred design partners and vendors.

For those of you who are not yet familiar with Julia Miller, she is the owner and founder of the Minneapolis-based design studio, Julia Miller Interiors. She specializes in residential design with a warm, modern aesthetic. 

 Julia Miller Interiors River Road Project

We have worked with Julia to source rugs for nearly a dozen projects since she launched her studio in late 2019, and were honored to hop on her blog to talk all things vintage rugs!

Source: District Rug Shoppe, photo credit: Urban Chic Media

Here's an excerpt from our discussion, answering a question I am asked a lot.

"Question: How do I know if I am investing in a real vintage rug?

Answer: A “Vintage” rug is any rug 30+ years old. If it is 100+ years, it is an antique. Most of the rugs District Rug Shoppe carries are Persian rugs, made between 1900 and 1930. But learning how to recognize a rug’s real age is really difficult unless you are an expert merchant who has been doing it for decades. I still double-check many of my purchases with a trusted rug appraiser to make sure I’m training my eye correctly. Identifying a rug’s age involves a lot of factors: color, motifs used, vegetable vs. synthetic dyes, and more.

To make it harder, many of the rugs claiming to be vintage on Etsy or eBay are not. Pakistani or Turkish rugs may be labeled as “vintage Persian” rugs when in fact they are new, but processed to look old. Rug pile may be shaved down unevenly to appear worn, or apply bleaching agent to fade the whole rug.

I’m not here to say that treating a rug with these kinds of washes is good or bad -- there is an art to applying some of these gentler antique washes and many of the rugs I carry have been antique washed. But, it should be transparent what you are buying, and the price should reflect the rug’s age, origin, and condition accordingly. An acid-washed tabriz that was made 35 years ago should be much less expensive than a 1920’s teal-fielded mahal. An acid-washed brand new Pakistani rug should be the cheapest--but it shouldn’t be labeled as “vintage.”

 Bottom line: the best way to know a rug is genuinely vintage is to buy it from a store owner that you trust. If you think you are paying “more”, you likely are – you are paying for the real thing."

Julia Miller Interiors

To read the full interview, click here

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