How to Use Runners to Add Style to Your Dining Table


If you want to dress up your dining table to make it a central point of attraction or give your home a fresh seasonal look, you can consider using runners. Long overlooked compared to tablecloths, runners are very much in home décor vogue nowadays. A runner is a long piece of cloth used as a decorative piece on top of the table or the tablecloth. Since they are available in a wide variety of fabrics, colors, patterns, textures, and sizes, you can always find one that suits the occasion, your existing home décor, and your sense of aesthetics. If you have never bought a runner, the sheer choice can prove bewildering; however, you can’t go wrong if you follow your personal style and express your creativity in a way that goes well with your home décor sensibilities. Some attractive ways of using runners on your tables:

Lengthwise Placement

Conventionally, you place runners in the center of the table so that they run along the length and hang over both ends. The way to get it right is to measure your table and buy a runner with 6-12 inches hanging at each end. The ideal width is one-third of the breadth of the table. However, if you have a wide table, you can think about placing two runners lengthwise, both set a little away from the sides. Traditionally, you place decorative centerpieces on the middle of the runner, however, when you are using two table runners, you can use the space between the two to place the table decorations.

Short Runners

If the surface of your dining table is attractive or you don’t want to hide your tablecloth, you can consider using a short runner that does not hand over the edges when placed lengthwise. When you are buying a runner, you have to make sure that the runner is shorter than the length of the table. These runners are ideal for showing off both the table centerpieces and your table surface. Short runners are perfect for casual get-togethers with family and friends.

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Breadth-wise Placement 

Another nice way of using short runners is placing them across the width of the table; however, you need to place one runner against every seat. This arrangement works very well with long dining tables because it separates each diner from those on either side. By placing your runners like this, you can avoid using placemats. All you need to do to complete the table arrangement is place chargers for the rest of the dinnerware. If you are using runners on the tablecloth, you must make sure that the runner does not hang over the tablecloth, says Inn Style.


While the three arrangements are most popular with people trying to make their dining table more interesting and warm, by no means are they the only ways you can use runners. You can also use them on top of the tablecloth, and depending on your selection, you can make your dining room décor ultra-formal or simply lend it a fun look.

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