How to Use Runners to Give Your Table Setting a Boost

Runners for the dining table is not a new concept, however, it remains largely unappreciated. Even people who use runners end up making mistakes that do not allow them to optimize them. Such errors are understandable because, given the variety of fabrics, colors, patterns, textures, shapes, and sizes, it is easy to be carried away and forget to relate it with the shape and size of the table, the existing décor, and the occasion. However, the good thing is that sorting out these details and buying suitable runners is not a very difficult task. Some tips on how to use runners to add sparkle to your dining table:

The Traditional Lengthwise Placement 

It is the convention to place runners lengthwise on the center of the table so that they hang over the two sides. However, if you are using a tablecloth, you must make sure that the runner is shorter than the tablecloth. It is, therefore, vital that you measure the length of your dining table. Also keep in mind that while the tablecloth covers the dining table fully, the runner, when placed lengthwise, should not occupy more than a third of the table’s width. Complete the look of the table décor with napkins, centerpieces, and dinnerware in complementary colors. According to Livspace, you can use a runner to complete the look even if you don’t have too many accessories to decorate the table.

The Short Runner in a Contrasting Color

If you want to go against convention for a more striking look, you can buy a runner that is shot enough not to hang over the sides of the table. If you select short table runners in vivid colors that contrast well with a tablecloth or the dark natural surface of the tabletop, you can create a more casual and gay effect for informal parties. Choosing a runner that leaves 8-12 inches from the edges of the table works the best for displaying your table surface. This arrangement is ideal for candlelight dinners where you are worried about the wax dripping onto your table.

Go Wide For a Chic Appeal

If you want to go against the trend to add a casual look to your dining table, you can opt to place the runner along the width instead of the length of the table. It works beautifully when you have a long table because by placing multiple runners, not only can you lend visual unity to the table but also eliminate the requirement of placemats. You can place the runners directly on the table if the surface looks nice, or you can use a tablecloth to achieve the desired contrast. Depending on your choice, you can go with a minimalist appearance or a more gay and vibrant look with contrasting colors and prints.


The good thing about runners is that you can be as creative as you like. While there are certain conventions regarding table décor, there are no hard and fast rules. Using a variety of accessories can help you create an innovative and fresh look that will make your dining table look attractive.

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