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‘If you spill, you pay the bill’! - Jack Horton

The table runners are considered essential nowadays, required for many purposes on the dining table, adding value as well a vision to the whole setting. Table runners are usually vertical and thin pieces of fine cloth that are laid out on topcloth. There are many ways to decorate your table with a runner as it can be solved for a multitude of purposes within table etiquettes like depicting a seating arrangement, putting down tableware when the table is in use or to be laid down on a bare table to enhance the aesthetics or even hide a table spot in case of a dirty table cloth. Runner helps in so many ways. You can check out runners on Ellementry.


Table runners have been in use since some pretty early times but in different shapes and colours. Initially, it was used on top of wooden tables so as not to spill any drink on the wood and cut short the wood's life. Then it started to be in use to avoid any spillage of food. Runners, when laid out on top of tablecloths, helps in protecting the tablecloths against any food or drink stain. 

In this article, we will be specifically talking about the many ways to decorate your table with a runner and how you can use it to enhance the setting of the whole setup.  A right runner has the ability to subtly align with the surroundings lifting the aesthetic value by a few notches. A right kind of runner can jazz up your surroundings bringing in a sprightly vibe to the whole room. 

Moving on, as promised, let’s take a look at some of the ways to decorate your table with a runner.

  • Lengthwise Dynamics:

While selecting a table runner, the length of the table should be kept in mind. Ideally, to run across an average spaced out table, the runner length should be approximately 8 to 10 inches or about 85 centimetres long. The width of the runner should depend on the width of the table. 

(P.S- Never buy a runner that falls beyond the table cloth length when spread across as it might ruin the whole look)

Now, while choosing the fabric, keeping in mind the entire setting of your house is very important. The colour should reflect the vibe of the house and could be in warm undertones or vibrant overtones, depending on the setting.

While using a table runner lengthwise, it's best to keep it in the middle of the table so as to become the centre of attraction, and also act as a base for the food that is usually and conveniently placed in the middle. If placed correctly, then the centre runner might prove to be a beautiful base for centrepieces. You can jazz things up by another pair of runners to serve as placement and in colour chosen in a way that it creates a pattern of the colour block, which looks quite sophisticated ad is in trend currently. The idea is to look elegant without looking cluttered. 

  • Short & sleek:

The long and flared up table runners are definitely the first and the traditional choice, but nowadays, the casual settings demand a change of trend. Thus, came the shorter casual table runners. These runners are shorter in length and are used for a more casual setting. Such kind of runners is good for the use of smaller and delicate items like candles or fancy elegant cups as they are able to hold the items and give away a fancy look at the same time. 

Although the effectiveness of a full-length runner is unmatched, a small runner is your best bet if you want to show off your gorgeous table and hold any items without any damage simultaneously.

  • Wowed by wide:

Wider table runners are quite popular by demand currently. This is because the use of a wider table runner can completely excuse the presence of placemats or table mats altogether.  Wider table runners make more sense if the dining table is longer than usual as then it can cover more than 3/4th of the area. This pushes the focus more on the runner and the items on and around it rather than the table. These sorts of runners, when placed across parallelly, give the illusion of more space as it will divide the table sectionally, creating the allure of a bigger surface area. 

  • Toying with the table cloth:

As discussed above, traditionally, the table runners were laid out on top of table cloths to protect it from any kind of spillage, thus reducing the hard work of washing the table cloth every time someone eats on it. But, with changing times and the changing designs, the table runners gained an individuality of its own. Nowadays, depending on the design of the dining table, people choose to pair it with a table cloth or leave the table cloth out.

But if you are planning to keep the table cloth on, then selecting out a contrast pattern or colour against the back-drop and the setting is a good idea. This kind of contrast will bring out the beauty of the table cloth and the runner uniquely yet separately. 

  • Discover new, discover you:

Table runners should be selected so that it brings out the personality of the host.

Thus, apart from the above-mentioned usual styles, you can do a lot more on an elegant table runner. For example, if you have a bright centrepiece then placing it against a muted but short centrepiece is a definite way to call for attention or if you are looking for a vintage look, then using a paste-colour lace runner to support ceramic cookware or tableware might be a good way to achieve that look. 

Where can you buy runners?

The market is filled with beautiful collections of table runners, both physically and online, offering great deals and an even greater variety. And with so many lovely varieties to use for, becoming greedy or frustrated could be a two-way thing. There are lots of websites online that offer the rarest collection of cookware collectables, and with great deals that will never disappoint you. However, one website that has a precious and rare collection of the best tableware for sale is, 'Ellementry.' 

Ellementary believes in elegance and good living, offering a plethora of tableware and home furnishings that are sustainable and worth every penny. If you are looking to buy runners, then don’t forget to browse through the Ellementry pages for a sustainable and classic perspective on simpler things. You can find cotton table runners for your table that can not only protect your table but add charm to your parties.

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