Tips for Using Table Runners

Runners for tables come in a wide range of sizes, materials, and colors, and are an easy and inexpensive way to dress up a plain table. Table runners can be used in a conventional fashion, but you're free to get creative with them if you so choose. The ends of a table runner should

romantic table runner

Runners for tables come in a wide range of sizes, materials, and colors, and are an easy and inexpensive way to dress up a plain table. Table runners can be used in a conventional fashion, but you're free to get creative with them if you so choose.

The ends of a table runner should drape over the sides of the table. This is aesthetically preferable to a runner that ends at the edge of the table or that is just a hair shorter. Like the drop length of a tablecloth, the amount of hang should be balanced and customizable on both sides. It's common for tablecloths to range in length from 6 to 12 inches. Using a runner with a tablecloth requires that the two have the same drop length.

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A table runner's width, when laid lengthwise, should be about a third that of the table it's covering. Dining tables benefit from narrower table runners—roughly a quarter as wide as the table.

Long table runner

Underneath a centerpiece is the perfect place for a runner that's significantly shorter than the table's length.

Short, centerpiece only table runner

Firstly, you'll want to determine the dimensions of your table. Then, to figure out what length table runners you need, add at least 12 inches and no more than 24 inches to the length you just measured. Make sure to measure your table's width and select a runner whose width is about a third of that number.

Standard sizes for table runners include lengths of 54, 72, 90, and 108 inches and widths of 10, 12, 14, or 15 inches. If your table is 7 feet long and 3 feet wide (84 inches by 42 inches), you would need a tablecloth that is 84 inches wide. For a table that's 5 ft. in length, a runner should be 14" wide and 108" long.

Never forget that there are no hard and fast regulations regarding the placement of table runners. If you find a table runner you like, but it is wider than a third of your table, that's okay. If you don't mind the way it looks, you can also go for a length that is slightly shorter or longer than what is traditionally considered appropriate. When decorating for more formal events, like weddings, try to stick to the size guidelines.

If your table is not one of the standard sizes, you may need to have one made or order one online.

There is no one right way to use a table runner or the types of tables they can be used on. You can also put them on coffee tables, side tables, and end tables.

  • Outdoor dining sets
  • Espresso tables
  • End tables
  • To have nightstands
  • Couch side tables
  • Banquet hall tables

They're adaptable to a variety of desk styles, including but not limited to:

  • Circular desks
  • Circular or oval tables
  • Square chairs at rectangular tables
  • Rectangular tables

Common table runner placement involves a long piece of fabric down the center of the table. With this, you can easily keep multiple decorative items or dishes on a buffet table in order. In addition to serving as a decorative accent, a table runner can be used to shield the tabletop from spills, stains, and splatters caused by food, drinks, and candles.

The narrower and shorter table runners can be used in front of each chair. Placemats can be made from these runners, which can be used with or without a lengthwise runner. Place settings can be distinguished from one another by using runners draped across extremely long tables.

Table runner placed across table

It is not necessary to use placemats and table runners made from the same material; instead, they can be made from different fabrics with complementary colors, patterns, and textures. Indicating the level of formality, a tablecloth is optional. Whether or not the tabletop itself features decorative elements like inlaid tile may also play a role. The runner shouldn't blend into the tablecloth's pattern or color scheme; rather, it should serve as a bold accent.

Smaller table runners can be used to add a pop of color and texture to a nightstand or an end table. Buffets, hutches, credenzas, dressers, and vanity mirrors are just some of the other pieces of furniture that can benefit from a table runner.

When you have glass table tops, it's important to use a table runner to prevent scratches. When displaying fragile items on a glass bookcase, console, or coffee table, use a glass protector.

Table runner placed across sideboard

Fabrics for table runners are plentiful. A tablecloth's fabric should complement the room's design and the tabletop it will be placed on. When comparing various table runners, keep the following in mind:

A table runner's color, pattern, and texture should work well with the table's top, the items on the table, and the overall decor of the room. Putting a silk table runner with a Chinese calligraphy pattern on a rustic cedar dining table in a lodge-style, log home would be a bit mismatched. Contrarily, a lacquered rosewood table in an Asian style would look beautiful with this runner.

Natural theme table runner

Tables with similar textures to silk, satin, organza, and polyester, such as glass and highly lacquered wood, or with formal linen tablecloths look best. Fabrics like these are perfect for use in a wedding, an award ceremony, a special event, etc.

Bamboo, grass cloth, twill, cotton, and cotton blends are ideal for use on wood, metal, stone, and ceramic tiled tables because of their natural, coarse, or dense textures. More suitable for relaxed settings, these fabrics are perfect for lounging around.

Runners for tables can be purchased wherever regular tablecloths are sold. Some helpful websites are listed below.

  • To decorate your dining room or banquet hall in style, check out Tablecloth Factory's selection of elegant table runners, available in a wide range of fabrics like satin, embroidered designs, sequins, organza, taffeta, and lace.
  • Crate and Barrel - Crate and Barrel has a small selection of rustic table runners made from fabrics with a lot of texture, like linen, wool, and hemp.
  • The American flag, a seascape, natural fruit prints, earth tones, and subtle stripes can all be found on the runners at Pottery Barn.
  • Etsy has a beautiful selection of handmade quilted table runners, floral designs, colorful Mexican stripes, seasonal themes, and other prints suitable for everyday use if you do a quick search for table runners.

Runners for tables and other pieces of furniture are a great way to inject some extra style and personality into your decor. They look best when used as a base layer beneath additional decorative accents to draw the eye to the arrangement.

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