When Should You Use a Table Runner?
Maybe it sounds like a silly question: “when should I use a table runner?”, but it really isn’t. That’s because a table runner can be used for a variety of reasons, in multiple ways.
There are no hard-and-fast rules for when you should use a table runner. In fact, it can be used for everyday meals to formal gatherings. There are SO many options, the possibilities are crazy!
When to use a table runner
You should use a table runner to protect your table from possible scratches or stains caused by table decorations or serving dishes and food. It serves as a foundation for these items while still enabling the table to be seen.
For your everyday kitchen or dining table, you should use a table runner to add visual interest to your table. This is especially nice when your table isn’t being used. It helps prevent the table from becoming a dumping ground.
For elegant gatherings, a table runner should be used to add to the theme of the event and elevate the overall look of the table. It will be used for style, not function.
How to use a table runner
The easiest way to use a table runner is to place it down the middle of a dining table. It will protect the center of the table while elevating the look of the table at the same time. This is what most people do and is most common.
A table runner really pulls attention to an area of your table. Whether you have decorations or serving dishes on it, it directs your eye to that area and makes it the focus of the table.
Changing out your table runner for the holidays or different seasons will bring a simple excitement to your table. Kind of like getting dressed up when you usually don’t. A table runner can make the room feel attractive and happy.
If you are planning to use a table runner, it looks best if it coordinates with everything else you have on the table. If you are using placemats, it should complement them. They don’t need to match, they should just coordinate with the color(s) or theme.
Other ways you can use a table runner
Instead of running the length of the table, use two table runners and lay them down on each side of the table, so they are under the plates. This will create a unique look to your table, as people aren’t accustomed to table runners being used this way, and they will take notice.
Another option is you can use shorter table runners and lay them across the table, from one plate to the other. You are essentially joining two place settings. The table runners become unique placemats in this way and provide visual interest at the same time.
Table runners aren’t just for dining and kitchen tables. They can also be used for buffets, sideboards, and coffee tables.
You can even use table runners on top of tablecloths. There is no good reason you shouldn’t use them together. In fact, I love using table runners and tablecloths together! It’s a great way to incorporate different colors, textures, and patterns into your tablescape.