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How To Decorate Using Table Runners How To Decorate Using Table Runners

Table Decor

How To Decorate Using Table Runners

Written by: Olivia Parker

Enhance your table decor with these creative table runners. Learn how to decorate using table runners for a stunning and personalized touch to any event.

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When it comes to decorating your dining table or any other surface in your home, table runners can be a game-changer. These versatile pieces not only add an extra layer of style and sophistication but also protect your furniture from scratches and spills. With a wide range of designs, materials, and sizes available, choosing the right table runner can completely transform the look and feel of your space.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of choosing the perfect table runner, as well as provide tips on proper placement, matching with your overall theme, incorporating them with centerpieces, alternative uses, and how to clean and maintain them. So, let’s dive in and discover the art of table runner decoration!

Key Takeaways:

  • Elevate your space with the perfect table runner by considering size, material, color, and occasion. Proper placement and matching with your theme can create a visually stunning and harmonious look in your home.
  • Think outside the box and explore alternative uses for table runners, from bed runners to wall decor. Proper cleaning and maintenance will keep your table runners looking fresh and beautiful for years to come.

Choosing the Right Table Runner

When it comes to selecting a table runner, there are several factors to consider. The first is the size of your table. Measure the length and width of your table and choose a runner that is slightly longer and wider to create an elegant overhang on each side. This will provide a balanced and visually pleasing look.

Next, think about the material and texture that best suits your style and the overall aesthetic of your space. For a more formal and luxurious feel, silk or satin table runners can add a touch of elegance. If you prefer a more casual and rustic look, consider opting for a burlap or linen runner.

Additionally, consider the color and pattern of the runner. If you have a neutral-toned table, you can choose a bold and vibrant runner to add a pop of color and create a focal point. Alternatively, if your table is already quite decorative or has a strong pattern, opt for a simple and understated runner to complement rather than compete with the existing design.

Furthermore, take into account the occasion or event for which you are decorating. For formal gatherings or holidays, choose a runner that exudes elegance and sophistication. For more casual occasions or everyday use, a runner with a relaxed and playful design will be more suitable.

Lastly, consider the practical aspects of the runner. Look for a material that is easy to clean and maintain, as well as one that does not easily wrinkle or fray. This will ensure that your table runner remains in excellent condition for years to come.

By carefully considering these factors and taking your personal preferences into account, you can choose a table runner that not only enhances the aesthetic of your space but also reflects your unique style and personality.

Proper Placement

Once you have selected the perfect table runner, it’s essential to know how to properly place it on your table. The placement of the runner can greatly impact the overall look and feel of your space.

The most common and traditional way to place a table runner is to have it running horizontally across the center of the table, from one end to the other. Make sure the runner is evenly distributed, with an equal overhang on each side. This placement creates a sense of symmetry and balance.

Another placement option is to position the runner vertically down the center of the table. This is a great choice for longer tables or rectangular tables, as it helps visually break up the space and creates a focal point.

If you have a round table, consider using a circular or oval-shaped table runner. Place it in the center of the table, following the curves of the table’s shape. This will enhance the natural beauty of the round table and create a visually pleasing arrangement.

For a more unique and unconventional placement, you can experiment with diagonal or crisscross patterns. These placements can add visual interest and create a dynamic look on your table.

Remember to always ensure that the table runner is centered and straight, without any twists or wrinkles. This will create a polished and sophisticated look.

In addition to the placement on the dining table, table runners can also be used on other surfaces in your home, such as console tables, sideboards, or even on the mantel. These placements can add warmth and style to other areas of your living space.

By experimenting with different placements and considering the shape and size of your table, you can find the perfect arrangement that enhances the overall aesthetic of your space.

Matching with Your Overall Theme

When decorating with table runners, it’s important to consider the overall theme and style of your space. A well-matched table runner can harmonize with the existing décor and create a cohesive look.

If your space has a specific theme, such as coastal, farmhouse, or modern, select a table runner that complements that style. For example, if you have a coastal-themed space with nautical colors and beach-inspired accessories, a table runner featuring seashells or coral motifs would be a perfect match.

Consider the color scheme of your space as well. Choose a table runner that incorporates hues that are already present in the room. This will tie everything together and create a seamless and harmonious look.

If your space has a more eclectic or bohemian vibe, don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns and colors. Look for table runners with vibrant prints and bold designs that add a touch of whimsy and personality to your space.

On the other hand, if you prefer a clean and minimalist aesthetic, opt for a simple and understated table runner in a neutral color. This will create a modern and sophisticated look without overpowering the rest of the décor.

Remember to also consider the texture of the table runner. If your space has a lot of smooth and sleek surfaces, such as glass or metal, a table runner with a textured fabric, like burlap or linen, can add warmth and dimension.

Ultimately, the goal is to select a table runner that enhances and complements your overall theme. By considering the style, colors, and textures of your space, you can choose a table runner that seamlessly fits into your existing décor and elevates the overall visual appeal of your home.

Using Table Runners on Different Surfaces

Table runners aren’t just limited to dining tables. They can be used on various surfaces throughout your home to add style and charm to any space.

One idea is to use a table runner on a console table in your entryway or hallway. This can serve as a decorative focal point and create a welcoming atmosphere as soon as guests enter your home. Choose a table runner that complements the style of the area, whether it’s a sleek and modern console table or a rustic and farmhouse-inspired one.

Another option is to place a table runner on a sideboard or buffet table in your dining room. This can enhance the visual appeal of the space and also provide a practical solution for protecting the surface from scratches or spills. Consider using a longer table runner that hangs down on each side for an elegant and sophisticated look.

If you have a coffee table or ottoman in your living room, a table runner can add a touch of style and help tie the room together. Opt for a table runner that complements your sofa or accent pillows to create a cohesive and visually pleasing arrangement.

Don’t forget about your outdoor spaces as well. If you have a patio table or outdoor dining area, a table runner can be a great addition to your decor. Choose a runner made of weather-resistant material that can withstand the elements while adding a stylish touch to your outdoor gatherings.

Additionally, table runners can be used on other surfaces such as dressers, vanities, or even as a decorative accent on a bookshelf. The possibilities are endless when it comes to incorporating table runners into your home decor.

Regardless of the surface you choose, remember to adjust the size and placement of the table runner accordingly. A larger surface may require a longer runner, while a smaller area may benefit from a shorter and more compact design. Experiment with different placements and see how a table runner can transform the look and feel of various surfaces in your home.

When using table runners, consider the color and pattern of your tablecloth to ensure they complement each other. If the tablecloth is busy, opt for a simple, solid-colored runner, and vice versa. This will create a balanced and visually appealing table setting.

Incorporating Table Runners with Centerpieces

A table runner can beautifully complement and enhance the impact of a centerpiece on your dining table or any other surface. By strategically combining these two elements, you can create a captivating and visually stunning focal point.

When incorporating a centerpiece with a table runner, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. The first is scale and proportion. Ensure that the size and height of your centerpiece are appropriate for the length and width of your table runner. You don’t want the centerpiece to overpower the runner or vice versa.

A popular approach is to place the centerpiece directly on top of the table runner, at the center of the table. This creates a visually balanced arrangement and allows the runner to frame the centerpiece. Choose a centerpiece that complements the colors and style of the runner, whether it’s a floral arrangement, a collection of candles, or a sculptural piece.

Alternatively, you can create a layered effect by placing the table runner underneath a runner or placemat. This adds depth and texture to the overall look and allows the centerpiece to stand out even more. Play with different patterns and textures to find a combination that enhances your centerpiece and complements your table runner.

If your centerpiece is more elaborate and takes up a significant portion of the table, consider using smaller coordinating accent pieces or votive candles along the length of the table runner. This creates a cohesive and visually interesting display that complements the centerpiece without detracting from its impact.

Moreover, don’t be afraid to experiment with asymmetrical arrangements. Instead of placing the centerpiece directly in the center, position it slightly off-center and let the table runner flow naturally on either side. This adds a touch of whimsy and creates a dynamic and visually appealing look.

Remember, the goal is to create a harmonious and visually balanced arrangement between the table runner and the centerpiece. Experiment with different placement options, mix and match textures and colors, and let your creativity shine as you incorporate these two elements to create a captivating and memorable table setting.

Alternative Uses for Table Runners

While table runners are typically used to adorn dining tables, their versatility allows for various alternative uses in home decor. Here are a few creative ways to incorporate table runners in unconventional ways:

1. Bed Runners: Add a touch of elegance and style to your bedroom by using a table runner as a bed runner. Simply drape the runner across the foot of the bed to create a visually appealing and luxurious look.

2. Wall Decor: Transform a plain wall into a stunning focal point by hanging a table runner as wall decor. Choose a runner with a striking pattern or design and use a decorative rod or drapery hardware to hang it vertically or horizontally.

3. Chair Accents: Give your dining chairs or accent chairs a makeover by tying a table runner around the backrest or the seat cushions. This adds a pop of color and texture while enhancing the overall aesthetic of your seating area.

4. Window Valance: Create a unique window treatment by using a table runner as a valance. Simply drape the runner across the curtain rod or attach it with curtain clips for an instant touch of style and personality.

5. Tablecloth Replacement: If you have a small side table or a coffee table that doesn’t require a full tablecloth, a table runner can serve as a decorative alternative. Simply lay the runner across the tabletop to protect the surface and add a touch of style.

6. Bookshelf Runner: Add visual interest and color to your bookshelf by using a table runner as a decorative element. Drape the runner over the top shelf or weave it through the books to create a visually appealing display.

7. Bathroom Accents: Elevate your bathroom decor by using a table runner as a decorative accent on bathroom countertops, shelves, or even as a towel holder. The runner can add a pop of color and texture while creating a cohesive look in your bathroom.

8. Picnic Blanket: Enjoy a stylish and comfortable picnic by using a table runner as a picnic blanket. Choose a runner made of durable material and spread it out on the grass or sand for a chic and convenient dining experience.

By thinking outside the box and exploring alternative uses, you can maximize the versatility of table runners and transform them into stunning decorative accents throughout your home. Let your creativity guide you as you discover new and unexpected ways to incorporate table runners into your decor.

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Table Runners

Proper cleaning and maintenance are essential for keeping your table runners looking fresh and beautiful. Here are some tips to help you care for your table runners:

1. Read the Care Instructions: Before washing or cleaning your table runner, carefully read the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Different materials may require specific cleaning methods to avoid damage.

2. Spot Cleaning: If there are minor stains or spills on your table runner, it’s best to spot clean them as soon as possible. Use a mild detergent or a stain remover and gently blot the affected area with a clean cloth or sponge. Avoid rubbing, as it can spread the stain.

3. Machine Washing: If your table runner is machine washable, place it in a mesh laundry bag to protect it during the washing process. Use a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals, as it can damage the fabric.

4. Hand Washing: For delicate or non-machine washable table runners, it’s best to hand wash them. Fill a basin or sink with cold water and a gentle detergent. Gently agitate the table runner in the soapy water, paying particular attention to any stained areas. Rinse thoroughly with cold water, making sure to remove all traces of detergent.

5. Drying: After washing, reshape the table runner while it’s still damp to prevent wrinkles. Lay it flat on a clean towel or hang it to air dry. Avoid using a dryer, as high heat can shrink or damage the fabric.

6. Ironing: If necessary, iron your table runner on a low or medium heat setting. Avoid ironing directly on any embellishments or delicate details. Place a clean cloth or a pressing cloth over the runner before ironing to protect the fabric.

7. Storing: When not in use, fold your table runner neatly and store it in a cool and dry place. Avoid storing it in direct sunlight or areas with high humidity, as it can cause fading or mold growth.

8. Preventing Damage: To protect your table runner from spills and stains, consider using a tablecloth or placemats underneath when dining. This can help prevent direct contact with food and beverages.

By following these cleaning and maintenance tips, you can keep your table runners looking pristine and extend their lifespan. Proper care ensures that you can continue to enjoy their beauty and style for many years to come.


Table runners are more than just decorative pieces for your dining table. They have the power to transform your space, add style and sophistication, and protect your furniture. By carefully choosing the right table runner, properly placing it, and matching it with your overall theme, you can create a visually stunning and harmonious look in your home.

Don’t limit yourself to using table runners only on dining tables. Explore alternative uses like bed runners, wall decor, chair accents, and window valances to infuse creativity and style throughout your living space.

Incorporating table runners with centerpieces can create eye-catching and impressive table settings. Pay attention to scale, proportion, and balance to achieve a visually pleasing arrangement that captivates your guests.

Lastly, make sure to clean and maintain your table runners properly to keep them looking their best. Follow the care instructions, spot clean when needed, and handle with care during washing, drying, and storing.

In conclusion, table runners are versatile decor items that can elevate the ambiance of any room. Let your creativity and personal style guide you as you experiment with different patterns, textures, and placements. With the right table runner, you can effortlessly transform your space and create a visually stunning environment that reflects your unique personality and taste.

Frequently Asked Questions about How To Decorate Using Table Runners

What are some creative ways to use table runners for decoration?

Table runners can be used in various creative ways to decorate your table. You can use them as a centerpiece by layering them over a tablecloth, or you can let them hang off the edges of the table for a more casual look. Additionally, you can use multiple table runners of different lengths and colors to create a unique and visually appealing table setting.
Can table runners be used for different types of events and occasions?

Absolutely! Table runners are versatile and can be used for a wide range of events and occasions. Whether it’s a formal dinner party, a casual brunch, a wedding reception, or even a holiday gathering, table runners can add a touch of elegance and style to any table setting.
How do I choose the right table runner for my table?

When choosing a table runner, consider the size and shape of your table, as well as the overall theme or color scheme of your event. For a long rectangular table, opt for a table runner that runs the length of the table, while for a round table, a circular or square table runner would work best. Additionally, choose a fabric and color that complements the rest of your table decor.
Are there any specific table runner trends or styles to keep in mind?

Table runners come in a variety of styles and materials, so you can choose one that fits your personal taste and the theme of your event. Currently, natural and textured materials like burlap and linen are popular choices, as well as bold patterns and prints for a more modern look. Ultimately, the trend is to mix and match different styles to create a unique and personalized table setting.
How can I care for and maintain my table runners?

To keep your table runners looking their best, it’s important to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. In general, most table runners can be machine washed or hand washed with mild detergent, and then air-dried or tumble-dried on low heat. Be sure to iron the table runners on a low setting if needed, and store them in a cool, dry place to prevent any damage or wrinkles.

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