So what do you do with a really worn carpet? Yesterday’s post left me wanting to say more about my love of faded and threadbare carpets and ways to use them. One of the best is to pull them into bathrooms and kitchens  – a little color and texture to liven up the space, soften it up, or just plain old add some pizzaz.  The truth is that most have withstood years of use and possibly neglect.  A little water won’t hurt them and frankly, it doesn’t matter anyway.

I’ll start with one of my favorites. Domino billed this bathroom as “English bohemian” and I wish my master bath could look like this.  I love the pale painted armoire and the faded but still dark Persian. I believe it is a Lavar Kerman.

Carolina Bunce creates a soothing and elegant master bath in her California home.

Betsy Burnham uses a small red Chinese stool to pick up on the red color notes in the rug in this otherwise very neutral bathroom.

Antique rugs even look good over traditional bathroom tiles, as seen in the two views of this Los Angeles bathroom.

The rug and the chair add a bit of color to pop the bathroom. This one looks to be a Khotan.

Philip Gorrivan lays one over dark wooden floorboards in a powder room…

…while Sandra Lucas adds some warmth to a rustic Texas bathroom.

Kristen Buckingham uses another style of Khotan rug, a bold pictorial one with a real Chinese feel as a contrast in the most elegant of bathrooms.

Another view of the same room. Amazing how different it looks in this lighting.

Chinese and Tibetan rugs make some of the best bathmats as they have simple geometric forms, come in small sizes and can be quite plush. Mary Watkins Wood creates a beautiful tableau here.

They even work well in contemporary bathrooms. Here the rug is the only bit of color in this smooth monochrome bath by Tom Scheerer.

Flatweaves are a bit harder to use in a bath, but Penny Morrison layers a Bessarabian kilim over what looks to be another carpet. This bathroom has all the charm of an English drawing room – just change the tub out for a sofa.

Mona Hajj uses a geometric kilim for contrast in the most elegant of bathrooms.

Even vintage American hooked rugs get in on the action making a nice casual country-style alternative.

A recent issue of one of the new online shelter magazines High Gloss featured not one but two charming kitchens with great rugs, so clearly this is a trend in the making. In the first, Tia Zoldan uses an unusal pink and purple rug and a glossy dark grey door to highlight her simple kitchen. She has a great quote in the article, “I love using antique rugs in the kitchen, it just makes any kitchen look lived in.” I am in complete agreement.

Elsewhere in the same issue, Jaime Meares uses an antique rug in warm colors to set off the cool stainless steel in her kitchen.

Worn Persians are just the thing to soften a white country kitchen. Joan at for the love of a house bought hers for $5 over twenty years ago. Her house renovation in New Hampshire is just beautiful! If you have a moment, stop by her blog and take a look.

A kitchen with a similar feel from Mark Maresca.

A really worn rug and a great collection of yelloware in Carolina Bunce’s California kitchen.  I can remember her Hudson Valley house from the early 1990s like it was yesterday. It was one of those spaces that just stayed with you. Funny to see so many of the things from that house redeployed in such a different way.

The rug in this kitchen by Peter Dunham is the perfect bridge to tie in the red chairs.

Mona Hajj uses a very neutral and geometric rug in this clean-cut kitchen.

So keep your eyes open. I have picked up small vintage Tibetans in the backstreets of Beijing as well as antique Persians in New Jersey and Florida antique centers for a song. I love giving them a new lease on life.

Image credits: 1. Domino June-July 2007, 2 & 19. Martha Stewart Living September 2004, 3. Burnham Design, 4-5 Country Home September 2005, photo credit: Eric Exene, 6. Philip Gorrivan Design, 7. Traditional Home December 2010, photo credit: Werner Straube, 8-9. Kristen Buckingham Interior Design, 10. House Beautiful May 2010, photo credit: Thomas Loof, 11. Tom Scheerer, 12. Penny Morrison, 13 & 21. Mona Hajj Interiors, 14. credit unknown, 15-16. High Gloss February-March 2011, photo credit: Grey Crawford (15) and Dustin Peck (16), 17. via for the love of a house, 18. Southern Accents, photo credit: William Waldron, 20. House Beautiful November 2010, photo credit: Victoria Pearson,