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What Size Rug Do I Need?

Choosing a rug for your home conjures up many decorating questions. You want to be sure it fits your motif and covers the floors adequately. A lot of the options are subjective and based on your preferences. Consider these decorating tips to help determine the size of rug you need.

Expose the Flooring

Expose the flooring underneath, especially if it’s a high-quality specialty flooring like a designer tile, trendy bamboo or hardwood floor. You want to show off the floor as much as the rug. How much you expose depends on the purpose. Create a conversation area with a rug that frames a sofa and chair area with plenty of foot space. Dining room or kitchen tables need 24-36 inches beyond the table and chairs to ensure the chairs don’t wobble when they’re pushed back. By allowing some of the floor to be visible, the rug serves as a complement in the room’s layout.

Measure the space you need to cover. Unless you want to pay for custom rugs, find a rug in a standard size that comes closest to those measurements. Standard rug sizes of 9X12, 8X10 and 6X9 will provide you lots of choices in patterns, textures and colors. Big rooms need big rugs. Small spaces need small rugs.

Small Spaces

What about small and narrow spaces? Sometimes there isn’t enough room to allow floor space to be exposed or for the rug to extend beyond furniture. In this case, find the closest size that fits your area and look for a flat-weave design. This allows the furniture to rest securely on the rug. If you get a thick shag or a plush rug, chairs or tables could wobble. Without extra space to set them outside of the rug, you’ll want to make sure the furniture is stable.

Budget Ideas

Big spaces require big rugs that typically cost more than smaller rugs. Consider using long and narrow rug runners in your bedrooms. This gives you comfort when you step out of bed and all the decorative benefits of a rug without the expense of large area rug. No one sees under the bed, so if the rug doesn’t reach underneath, it doesn’t hurt the room aesthetically.

Regardless of the size of rug you choose for the rooms in your home, think about putting a smaller rug pad underneath. These are inexpensive and keep the rugs from slipping. This is key for rugs covering slick areas like tile, wood and vinyl flooring. It’s also a safety factor in high traffic areas like foyers, hallways and family rooms. You can buy rolls of runners and cut it to fit the rug leaving about an inch clearance so it isn’t visible.


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Free Carpet Essays and Papers

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vacume cleaner

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Factors Determining the Stopping Distance of Rollers Down a Ramp

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Popular Topics

Encyclopedia Britannica

Field and border designs

rug and carpet

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Detail of an Indo-Esfahan carpet, 17th century; in the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Read a brief summary of this topic

rug and carpet , any decorative textile normally made of a thick material and now usually intended as a floor covering . Until the 19th century the word carpet was used for any cover, such as a table cover or wall hanging; since the introduction of machine-made products, however, it has been used almost exclusively for a floor covering. Both in Great Britain and in the United States the word rug is often used for a partial floor covering as distinguished from carpet, which frequently is tacked down to the floor and usually covers it wall-to-wall. In reference to handmade carpets, however, the names rug and carpet are used interchangeably.

Handmade carpets are works of art as well as functional objects. Indeed, many Oriental carpets have reached such heights of artistic expression that they have been held in the same regard in the East as objects of exceptional beauty and luxury that masterpieces of painting have been in the West.

Elements of design

Designs usually consist of an inner field—the pattern in the centre of the carpet—and a border. The latter serves, like the cornice on a building or the frame on a picture, to emphasize the limits, isolate the field, and sometimes control the implied movements of the interior pattern. The design of inner field and border must harmonize pleasingly, yet remain distinct.

Detail of a Chinese carpet with an allover floral design framed by several contrasting borders, c. 1900.

The border consists of a minimum of three elements: a main band, which varies greatly in width according to the size of the rug and the elaborateness of the field design, and inner and outer guard stripes, subordinate bands on either side of the main band. The guard stripes may be the same on both sides of the main band or be different. The most common decoration for the field is an allover pattern, a panel composition , or a medallion system. The allover pattern may be of identical repeats ( see photograph ), either juxtaposed or evenly spaced, though the latter, while common on textiles, is rare on carpets; or it may be of varied motifs in a unified system (e.g., different plant forms of about the same size), but even this freest type of design almost invariably includes bilaterally balanced repetitions. The varied motif type of design is found most typically in garden carpets , formalized representations of the parks or woods that were a feature of Persian palace grounds.

Another type of allover design appears to be entirely free but is actually organized on systems of scrolling stems, notably on the east Persian carpets of the 16th and 17th centuries.

The value of panel subdivisions for controlling patterns had been discovered in a simple rectangular version by the Upper Paleolithic Period ( c. 40,000 bc ), and panel systems have been a basic form of design since 4000 bc , when pottery painters were already devising varied systems. On carpets, the lattice provides the simplest division of the field, often a diagonal lattice as appears on an embroidered carpet found in an excavated tomb (1st century bc –1st century ad ) at Noin Ula in northern Mongolia; the diagonal scheme also appears on Sāsānian capitals and in Coptic tapestries. But a characteristic field design of the Persian court carpets of the Shāh ʿAbbās period, the so-called vase pattern , is constructed from the ogee, a motif that became prominent in Middle Eastern textile design in the 14th century. Simple rectangular paneling—really a large-scale check—is typical of one style of Spanish rugs of the 15th and 16th centuries.

Persian silk carpet from Kāshān, Iran, late 16th century. The field is decorated with a central medallion, surrounded by a wreath of small cartouches, and framed by corresponding cornerpieces. In the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 2.41 × 1.65 metres.

The most frequent medallion composition consists of a more or less elaborate motif superimposed on the centre of a patterned field and often complemented with cornerpieces, which are typically quadrants of the central medallion ( see photograph ). But multiple-medallion systems also are used: either a succession or a chain of medallions on the vertical axis; two or more forms of medallions alternating in bands, a scheme typical of the Turkish (Ushak) carpets of the 16th and 17th centuries; or systematically spotted medallions that may or may not be interconnected or that may interlock so that the scheme becomes an elaborate lattice.

Persian carpets of the 15th–17th century commonly have multiple-design schemes; that is, composition systems with elements that relate on two or more levels. The simplest is the medallion superimposed on an allover design, but more typical are subtler inventions such as two- or three-spiral stem systems, sometimes overlain with large-scale cloud bands, all intertwining but each carried independently to completion. The finer vase carpets have double or triple ogival lattices set at different intervals (staggered), each with its own centre, and tangent motifs that also serve other functions in the other systems. What at first sight appears to be a great multiplicity of independent motifs thus proves on careful examination to be ingeniously contrived and firmly controlled.

Occasionally, stripe systems are used, either vertical or diagonal, but this conception is more natural to shuttlewoven fabrics, and, when employed in the freer techniques of rug weaving, it is probably an imitation of textiles.


Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG) • Media studies

Latest uploads for Media studies at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG). Looking for Media studies notes at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG)? We have lots of notes, study guides and study notes available for Media studies at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG).

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Lyn Gorman, David Mclean • ISBN 9781405149358

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Summary of the relevant chapters from 'Social Research Methods' (4th edition) by Alan Bryman for the course 'Analysing Media Production and Use'. They are in the document in the order in which they should be taught for the profession.

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PhD Guide Graduate School of Science

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