Options for Room-Sized Rugs

Large area rugs have remained popular since about the 1830s. To find the reason for that, we need to look at a bit of history. Rugs and carpets have been around for a very long time. There’s good reason to believe we’ve had rugs as long as we’ve had domestic sheep: about seven thousand years.

The oldest known rug is the Pzyryk Carpet. Made in about 500 BC, this richly coloured oriental style rug was found in a burial mound in the Altai Mountains in Siberia. Its sophisticated manufacture, however, suggests whoever made it had been making carpets for quite some time. Its origin is probably Persian or Armenian.

Rug For Dining Room
Rug For Dining Room

Rugs came back with the crusaders

The middle east has long been famous for carpet manufacture, with Oriental rugs appearing in Europe just after the Crusades of the eleventh Century. These rugs were deemed far to valuable to throw on the floor, so they were used as wall hangings or placed on tables.

Rugs and carpets were expensive because they were very labour intensive to make, not just weaving the carpets, but also dying the fibres before they were woven. This all changed in the late 1830s with the perfecting of the power loom. Now, loop carpeting resembling a hand-hooked rug could be made in bulk, and sales took off. A common feature of Victorian-era homes was room-sized rugs.

Reasons to choose room-sized rugs

Room-sized rugs have many advantages. First, they protect floors, particularly wood floors. In addition, they can be removed for cleaning. To increase the life of the carpet, you should actually turn it over and vacuum the underside once or twice a year. When it’s time to replace a room-size rug, you won’t have to worry about tack holes or removing adhesives.

45 centimetre rule

There are a few rules of thumb you should consider when sizing a large rug, including the 45 centimetre rule. This states that you should have 45 centimetres of bare floor between the carpet and the wall. This works well in a closed room, as the Victorians would have had. In open concept room designs, the 45 centimetre rule isn’t as clear-cut.

Some designers size based on the furniture layout of the room. Often, they will place furniture so the front legs are on the carpet, while the back legs are off. To make a room look smaller and cosier, all four legs should be placed on the carpet. For a large bed, carpet should extend 45 centimetres on either side. If it’s a smaller bed, you can get away with 15 centimetres. Around tables, it is practical to have the rug extend 60 centimetres beyond the table, so all four chair legs are on the rug.

The best approach is to use masking tape on the floor to determine the shape and size of rug you want, and download our carpet catalogue to choose the colour and style that will fit your room.