The living room is a perfect spot to showcase a vintage rug. Because most people aren't walking around their living room with boots and heels on, you probably don't have to worry about super heavy traffic. This means you're free to go for that distressed slightly worn rug. If your space does get a lot of traffic you can still use a vintage or antique rug, but one with a tighter weave will be able to withstand the traffic better.
For grounding your furniture in a large room, aim for a room-size rug like this 9x12 vintage Chinese Nichols.
There is almost no limit to decorating your living room with vintage rugs. If you would rather a smaller area rug you could use a 5x8 for under the coffee table and under the front legs of your sofa. You could also use an even smaller rug for a simple statement under the coffee table. Layering rugs or using several scatter rugs is another option if you have several rugs you are in love with and can't decide.
If you are starting with the rug, you can decorate based on it's design and color scheme. If your rug has a busy design like the 3' 7 x 4' 9 Blue Hamedan below go for a little less pattern in your furnishings and on your walls.
You can pull certain colors in your rug out by using them throughout your living room. For example, a decorative pillow on a neutral sofa in light blue will bring out the border in this Persian Senneh rug.
If you like the idea of using a smaller sized area rug under small pieces of furniture like a coffee table or if you are interested in layering rugs, this vintage Persian Kurdistan rug has the perfect amount of wear.