Something old in every room: Finding forever love in a rug

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People, meet my new true love. Her name is Victoria, and she is a rug. But not any rug: a 9×12 hand-knotted and hand died wool rug from the late nineteenth century. I know, right??? She’s fancy. She’s royal. She’s so out of our league. But more on her in a moment. First I want to tell you about our lives before we met Victoria, since that time has allowed us to gain the kind of respect an old girl like her deserves.

For years Tom and I lived with a mismatch of “for now” things while we pulled ourselves out of student debt and created a nice savings account. Then, when we bought our first house, we decided to sell off all of what we didn’t want and slowly build up a collection of things we loved. That meant living for –what was it? — four years with no dressers, no side tables, no lamps rugs or book shelves.

From what I’ve heard from many of my elders, this is a fairly regular experience. Maybe you’ve lived through it too. And after living through it, I think you can share in my glee to have finally finally have found a rug to fill our very empty room hearts.

What we realized over those years of empty longing was that we don’t necessarily want the brand new, shiny, modern pieces we once envisioned. Those are nice in moderation, but what we have come to respect is the charm of a really old beauty. I can honestly say that my favourite items throughout our house aren’t the ones we purchased new, or the ones that cost the most – they are the “one.of.a.kind.handed.down.through.generations.- kind of pieces. This isn’t a new idea either. It has been espoused by interior designers and bloggers alike for ages. “Something old for every room,” as they say.

Ladies and gentleman, cue our bedroom rug.

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It has taken us YEARS to allow a rug to enter this room. Having a king size bed, we were certain that we wanted, no needed a rug that was at least 9 x 12. However, every rug we saw that was close to that size cost more than our car. So we lived without a rug….until one day the kijiji gods shone down on me and sent a magical unicorn of a rug our way.

The lady who owned it was located almost two hours away, and her post had only shown up in my feed by mistake  fate. Not only that, but I had seen it only seconds after she posted it, as I was stalking the feed while giving baby Eva a nap. So I was the first to respond. The first of what she said was hundreds. BA BOOM! And, god love her, despite receiving offers of almost ten times what she was asking, she stayed true to her promise to gift the rug to us.

Now some of you have asked for tips on how to get gifted hot items when bidding alongside others. Our approach is to always enter the conversation honestly. In this case, I simply said, “Oh my goodness, this is the rug of my dreams!! Is it still available? If so, we are available to pick it up right away!!” In my experience, it helps to state that you love their object and ask if it is available before trying to bargain. If you throw out a lower offer too soon, you can put them off and they can end up moving on to the next buyer. In this case that point wasn’t relative, as her asking price was incredibly fair. If she stated there were other buyers, I would have then upped my offer and then gauged her response. Some people will wait things out and chose the highest bid, while others are more moral and prefer to give their items to the first responder. In this case, that was us.

Now back to the rug: not only was it gorgeous, but it also had a history to boot. It belonged to her great grandfather, who had been the original owner of a department store called SIMONS that was based out of Quebec.
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The rug was purchased in 1910, and had been lovingly cared for ever since. Several years later the sellers grandfather handed it down to her mother, who later went on to hand it down to her. She was now retiring, and moving to a much smaller place that would not fit the rug, and her own daughter was not interested in having it. I honestly felt like I had won the lottery guys.

Being the amazing husband that he is, Tom drove the two hours to get me this rug. When he got home and unrolled it, my eyes filled with tears. It was that beautiful. We both agreed that it was stunningly perfect, and even though we considered selling it when the ad first came up, we just couldn’t do it once it was home and the significance of it sank in. This rug was magic. This rug was history. This rug was ours.

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Finding a 9×12 hand knotted wool rug for under $3000 is unheard of. For a long time we resigned to the fact that we probably would never find an affordable quality rug for this room, and neither of us wanted to settle. This one cost us——wait for —— $75 plus gas. RIGHT?!

But, it gets better. When I opened the door to help Tom in, a pretty little darling sat awaiting me. A hand carved duncan phyfe table, which the seller had thrown in FOR FREE. WOOT WOOT. Again, cyber dance folks.

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While we loved the table, we truly had no space for it, and she was planning on putting it out to the curb otherwise. So she gave us permission to sell it, which ended up paying for the rug, the gas, and then some. Winner winner!!

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This rug is the epitome of how and why every single room should incorporate something old into it. Antiques like this give a room purpose and presence. No store bought machine made rug could have ever given me the same feeling of joy, and — if you saw it in person — you too would feel the same.

Also, nothing feels better than free to a girl like me 😉

 

 

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