When it comes to designing rooms, rugs are a crowd favorite. 

One is often enough, but others like to spruce up their rooms with two or more. While it’s really up to your style and preference, the hard part about designing with a rug is choosing between an antique rug or a modern rug. 

Each style has its own set of characteristics to display and it could be a challenge for homeowners to choose one over the other.

If you’re one of these people who are struggling to choose a rug, read on to finally make a decision.

Differences Between Antique & Modern Rugs

To help you make a decision, you have to first understand the differences between the two styles of rugs. It’s essential to understand what makes one different from the other because this will eventually help you decide on which is better for your room. 

Going forward, it will be pretty easy to identify just what kind of rug is in front of you. 

First of all, different rug styles follow different patterns—or no patterns at all! For antique rugs, such as Persian rugs, these often have intricate, geometric patterns that were painstakingly woven into the rug. 

In contrast, the patterns and designs of modern rugs vary widely. From shapes to abstract patterns, the design on these rugs are a result of a designer’s creativity. 

Another stark difference is the color on the rugs. 

Antique rugs are often in the shades of red, orange, brown, green, cream, and, sometimes, blue; while modern rugs can sport any color—bright, pastel, neutral, etc. 

Lastly, these styles vary depending on how they were made. Oftentimes, antique rugs were hand-woven by artists that have learned and mastered the technique handed down for centuries. Each piece is carefully woven making them much more durable and less likely to succumb to wear and tear.

Modern rugs, on the contrary, are mass produced by computer-controlled machines. These machines can produce up to hundreds of rugs a day, making them more available, and usually more affordable, for people to buy. The downside is they’re not as durable and well-made compared to antique rugs. 

Which One Is Better for Your Room? 

The perfect rug should depend on the patterns, colors, and durability that suits your room’s needs. There are obvious options to the questions, however, since it’s your home, you get to decide what kind of answer you will provide. Many people also choose to consult with long-time industry pros like Lawrence of La Brea, our personal favorite rug curators.

No matter if you choose to go at it alone or with a designer, let’s run down each of these characteristics to help you decide which style is the better option. 


Take a good look at the current design of your room. 

If the current room’s style reminds you of a timeless look, an antique rug would suit it better. Another consideration is to ensure the current patterns in the room look similar to the patterns of your chosen antique rug.

If the room already has several patterns that work well together, a modern, muted area rug might seal the deal. Lines, geometric shapes, and other bold patterns also agree better with modern area rugs of the same theme.

When it comes to patterns, all fixtures within the room must have patterns that complement and work well together; not clash with each other. Unless of course, you want to go for a bohemian look, with several patterns in one area. 


Colors are a bit tricky but offer more flexibility than patterns.

Bright-colored rooms like yellow, green, or blue work better with modern rugs simply because these rugs are not restricted to warm colors like antique rugs. You can mix and match colors and simply follow the color wheel as your guide. 

However, if you want a classic, luxurious touch to a white or cream room, an antique rug should be enough to capture anybody’s attention. The rug will serve as a centerpiece that your guests can admire. 

When you have a muted or monotone color scheme in the room, this gives you a little more flexibility due to the fact that you can be unlimited with the colors you combine within the room. 


Question:  How many shoes? And how often will these shoes step on the rug?

The amount of foot traffic is a question you must answer because it will determine what kind of rug would suit the room better. 

Considering their age and value, antique rugs are often placed in areas with less foot traffic. These rugs are oftentimes expensive to maintain and should be treated as fragile, even though they are woven to be durable. 

Modern area rugs, on the other hand, are much more affordable and easy to replace which is why they’re placed in more high-traffic areas such as the living room and bedroom. A few of them can be expensive, but more often than not, they are considerably less expensive than antique rugs.