How To Decorate With Table Runners (Table Setting Ideas) - TableCoversNow.Com

How To Decorate With Table Runners: Style Choices For Dining Table Decoration & How To Place Runners

When you decorate with a table runner, you elevate the overall appearance of your dining table with style and charm. In this post, we will take a close look at a range of style choices for dining table settings with runners. Whether you prefer classic elegance or a touch of modern flair, we offer insights into how to style a table runner so you can master the art of placing them for maximum impact.

How To Decorate With Table Runners: Style Choices For Dining Table Decoration & How To Place Runners

Key Takeaways

  • Table runners are versatile and elegant, and you can style a table runner to work for different occasions, both formal and casual.
  • Table runner styling involves thoughts about placement, combining with other decor items, and choosing the appropriate angle and drape for application.
  • You can combine table runners with other tableware, as well as dedicated accessories, to get the desired aesthetic for your table setting.
  • Table runners can be applied to rectangle, square, or circular tables to add dimension and visual appeal in a range of creative ways.
  • Different colors, fabrics, and designs on table runners drastically alter the visual effect, so make considered choices when designing or selecting a runner.
  • You can think outside the box when it comes to the way you lay your table runner and the angle it sits at to create different aesthetic styles.
  • We supply high-quality custom table runners, enabling you to determine the size, colors, and bespoke visual elements to get the perfect look for your table.

How To Decorate With Table Runners

Table runners are versatile and elegant in the home, and they offer endless possibilities to enhance dining tables and other flat surfaces. You will find them in an array of styles, materials, and colors, and good table runner styling can instantly transform a space from simple to refined.

Some popular choices include:

  • Elegant lace for formal dinners
  • Vibrant patterns for a festive touch
  • Rustic burlap for a farmhouse feel

Whatever your preferences, you need to know how to decorate with a table runner, and it starts with making the right choices.

Take into account the occasion, table size, and surroundings decor to guide you on size and color. A well-chosen custom table runner offers tabletop protection and makes a stunning centerpiece to your table setting.

a table decorated with a layered runner for how to decorate with table runners

Table Runner Styling

Table runner styling can give your table decor a lift at both casual family dinners and formal occasions, and everything in between. Here are a few possible strategies for achieving a refined look:

  • Centered placement: Extend the runner along the table’s center line for a classic, balanced appearance.
  • Layering: Pair a shorter runner with a longer one, or layer multiple runners to create texture and dimension.
  • Angles and draping: Diagonal placements and elegant drapes are popular ideas for how to decorate with a table runner.

Mixing and matching table runners with complementary tableware and centerpieces can help create a cohesive look. Simpler designs are best for everyday use, saving luxurious fabrics and intricate patterns for grander occasions.

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Should A Table Runner Hang Off The Ends Of The Table?

When exploring how to style a table runner, the decision about overhang depends on personal preference and the style you aim to achieve. Traditionally, table runners will hang over the edges symmetrically for a formal, cohesive look. But modern trends embrace a more relaxed approach, and some choose for their table runner to hang over the edge unevenly for a more contemporary look.

Consider the length of your table runner as it relates to the table size and shape. You could choose a custom table runner to get the optimal length for your needs, whether your table is rectangular, square, or round. On rectangular tables, a runner hanging slightly off the ends can have the effect of making the table appear longer, while shorter runners may be better on smaller tables. 

How To Measure Your Table Before Choosing The Runner

It is crucial to know how to measure for a table runner to lay the foundation for table settings with runners. Follow these steps to get the perfect fit and aesthetic appeal:

  1. Length measurement: Measure the length of your table from end to end.
  2. Width measurement: Measure your table’s width from side to side.
  3. Drop length: Determine your desired drop length. Consider whether you want it to hang just at the edges or drape further down the sides.
  4. Calculate total length: You must add the length measurement plus 2x the desired drop length to determine the overall table runner length. And decide how wide you want your runner to be to work for your table.

Order from us to customize your table runner’s size for the optimal dimensions, and personalize the overall look as well.

How To Decorate A Dining Room Table With Runner

There are endless creative possibilities when it comes to how to decorate with a table runner. Mix and match different table runners with complementary elements like:

  • Placemats
  • Coasters
  • Napkins
  • Centerpieces

With the right creative choices, you will develop a cohesive and inviting table setting. You could even layer multiple table runners to add texture, or mix patterns and colors for a vibrant aesthetic.

Use our service to create a custom print table runner with unique designs like monograms and motifs. You can create a bespoke look that reflects your style, whether you prefer a classic, formal aesthetic or something modern and eclectic.

Should You Use A Tablecloth And Placemats With A Table Runner? 

In table runner styling, many choose to combine tablecloths and placemats with table runners. The decision about whether to do this depends on your personal style preferences and desired table setting. Let’s look at the pros and cons of doing this.


  • You get a layered look with depth and visual interest.
  • It provides additional protection for your table against spills and scratches.
  • It’s a versatile look that helps you customize your table setting further.


  • If you over-layer your table setting, it can look overly cluttered or busy.
  • More layers means more items to clean and maintain.

Complementary elements are essential to balance textures and patterns to achieve visual harmony. We recommend opting for a subtle tablecloth or placemats so that the table runner stands out, or vice versa, so that the resulting table setting looks balanced and inviting.

a refined table setting with a lace runner and accessories for how to decorate with table runners

Can I Mix Table Runners With Accessories?

Mixing table runners with accessories is a great strategy for how to style a table runner beautifully. A centerpiece that complements the style and colors of your runner can work well. Popular choices include:

  • Floral arrangements
  • Decorative bowls
  • Themed ornaments

Incorporating candles can add warmth and ambiance, whether in the form of pillar candles or tea lights. Don’t hesitate to incorporate other accessories like place card holders, seasonal accents, and elegant tableware. These are all very common practices for creating table settings with runners. Experiment with different combinations to balance your table runner with other accessories for visual harmony.

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Can You Use A Table Runner On A Round Table?

You can add charm and style to a dining space by using a table runner on a round table. There are different benefits to choosing a table runner vs a tablecloth, so explore your options.

For everyday use, we recommend applying a shorter table runner with a modest drape and running it along the table’s diameter for a circular flow. For special occasions, consider layering the table runners with a round placemat to highlight the table’s shape and create additional visual interest.

Alternatively, you could choose a longer table runner that cascades gracefully at the ends, creating a more formal look with your circular table. You can experiment with patterns, textures, and colors in exploring how to decorate a table runner. Aim to complement your tableware and decor for a captivating, inviting dining experience.

Are Green Or Blue Table Runners The Best Choice?

Green and blue are popular choices for decorating a dining room table with a table runner. The colors have the following connotations:

  • Green: Evokes freshness, nature, and harmony, perfect for earthy themes or spring and summer settings.
  • Blue: Symbolized tranquility, suitable for any season and a good match for both casual and formal occasions.

Incorporate green with botanical motifs, fresh flowers, or rustic accents to emphasize the natural feel. Blue can combine with metallic accents, coastal elements, or geometric patterns for a sophisticated look. Both colors mix well with neutral tones, and you can experiment with different designs before creating them with us for a high-quality finish. Consider your existing decor and the mood you want to create when choosing colors.

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How To Make A Burlap Runner For A Rustic Look

Creating a burlap table runner makes a great DIY project and can infuse rustic or farmhouse charm into your table runner styling. Here’s a step-by-step guide for DIY burlap table runners:

  1. Gather your materials: You will need burlap fabric, scissors, measuring tape, and a sewing machine/fabric glue.
  2. Measure and cut: Identify the desired length and width of your runner and cut the burlap accordingly.
  3. Finish edges: Fold and hem the edges to prevent fraying. This can be done with a sewing machine or fabric glue.
  4. Add embellishments: This is optional, but you can decorate the runner with lace, ribbons, and stenciled designs for a bespoke look.
  5. Place strategically: Position your burlap runner on the table as desired for a rustic look, perfect for everyday meals and special occasions.

How Do You Scrunch A Table Runner?

Scrunching can be a great choice for how to decorate a dining table with a table runner. It adds texture and dimension, which can work for both elegant and casual ambiances. The best fabric choices include chiffon, organza, or tulle as they are lightweight, but you can make it work with polyester and cotton as well.

To scrunch:

  • Ruching: Gather the fabric lengthwise and sew/pin in place for a gathered effect.
  • Layering: Fold the runner accordion-style or scrunch randomly for a relaxed, casual appearance.
  • Decorative knots: Tie knots along the runner for a playful, textured look.

Experiment with these scrunching techniques to achieve the look you want.

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Table Runner Setting Ideas

When you order your custom bulk table runners, consider how table runner styling can transform your table decor. Think outside the box to alter the placement and direction for different effects.

  • Vertical placement: Running your table runner vertically down the table has a lengthening effect, elongating visually and drawing attention to the table’s length.
  • Horizontal placement: This adds width and can divide the table into distinct sections. It’s a good choice for showcasing centerpieces or creating individual place settings.
  • Diagonal placement: This creates a dynamic look, adding movement and interest to your table runner setting idea.

Experimenting with different placements is a break from the norm and allows for a bespoke focus and flow. Think about what you could do to suit different occasions and styles.

a rustic table setting with runner and accessories for how to decorate with table runners

Alternative Uses For Table Runners In Home Decor

Table runners are versatile accents, and you don’t need to limit your table runner styling to dining tables. They can add charm and style to various pieces of furniture in your home.

  • Dressers: Place a table runner across a dresser for a decorative focal point. It could hang over the edges or layer with other textiles for a sophisticated aesthetic.
  • Coffee tables: Lay a table runner over a coffee table to add color and texture. Combine with candles, vases, or books for an inviting centerpiece.
  • Console tables: Put a table runner on a console table to introduce a pop of color or a pattern in an entryway/living room. Add decorative bowls or figurines for a stylish vignette.

With these creative approaches to how to decorate with a table runner, you can personalize your space for additional visual interest.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Decorate With Table Runners

How To Decorate With Table Runners

Decorating with table runners involves getting the right size, choosing the appropriate colors and motifs, combining with other decorative items and determining the optimal placement. There is room for creativity in all these choices.

Can You Use A Table Runner On A Round Table?

Yes, table runners can work really well on round tables. You will need to think carefully about the size and placement of the runner, but the right choices can create an elegant and refined look for different occasions.

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