Table Runners - A Quick & Easy Way to Add Color and Style to Any Room

Updated July 11

I often get questions about table runners. 

  • What are table runners used for?
  • What should I know about using table runners? 
  • What do you do with table runners?
  • What colors should table runners be?
  • What style of table runners should I choose?
  • Where do table runners go?
  • Where should I place a table runner?
  • Why should I use a table runner?
  • Do table runners have to hang off the table?

So what are the answers when using a table runner? There are lots of questions and lots of ways to use table runners.  Let’s take a look. 

I grew up using placemats and napkins.  My mom was a working wife and mother. She was able to go to work, come home, and have a meal on the table for the family every day. She kept a clean orderly home and found time for me and my father.  To this day, I still don’t know how she did it.

Once I started decorating my own home, I discovered table runners. When I first started my own home, I decorated in a style called “What Deb Likes (and can afford)”. I did not have a lot of money, so garage sales and thrift stores were where I found a lot of my furnishings and accessories. 

I was lucky enough to find a sturdy table that I liked for just the right price, free.  The table was the right size, and the color and style of the table went with my other furniture. There was a catch, although most of the table’s finish was fine, there was a small stain almost in the center of the table.   So, of course, I called my mom to see if there was a solution.  She suggested a table runner. Hmmm, a table runner.

What are table runners used for?

Table runners are great because they protect the table’s surface, are very versatile, require little maintenance, and take up very little storage space. This was a great solution. I could hide the stain and protect the table from future damage. Thanks, Mom.

Do table runners have to hang over?

This is the most popular question asked. The answer- it is your preference. The usual guideline is a table runner hang for a formal setting or decoration. A table runner can be shorter than the table if you desire a more casual look. So a table runner can be the best size for your taste.

Decorating with Table Runners

What I have learned over the years is table runners can be used in any room of the home. There are lots of creative table runner ideas for decorating. Whether your home is a house, apartment, camper, or boat, there is so much that can be done with a table runner. Table runners come in all shapes and sizes, so no matter the table size or style, there is a table runner available.

A Quick & Easy Way to Add Color and Style to Any Room - Table Runner on Buffet

Table Runners in the Dining Room

A traditional table runner idea is to place the table runner length wise in the center of the dining room table; but, there are lots of other places to use them.  The buffet is a great place for a table runner and believe it or not on the dining room wall. Hanging vertically or horizontally, table runners can be used as wall art in narrow or wide spaces.

A Quick & Easy Way to Add Color and Style to Any Room – Dining Room Camila Camacho

Although the traditional placement of table runners is popular.  One table runner idea is to place the table runner across the width of the table.  This works well when combining placemats with table runners for a more modern décor look to the table.

A Quick & Easy Way to Add Color and Style to Any Room - Table Runner in Kitchen
In the Kitchen Image by Amber-Turner- Unsplash

Table Runners in the Kitchen

Table runners enhance kitchen décor. Table runners work well as a base for kitchen décor. Either on a kitchen table or kitchen island. Quilted table runners are a great place to keep salt and pepper shakers, napkins (I love cloth napkins), decorative teapots, and more.

Whatever your kitchen décor style, table runners add a little more zest. Supreme Accents has a variety of quilted table runners for many tastes. 

There are other table runner ideas for the kitchen. Table runners are great for a kitchen island or a baker’s rack.  If your kitchen has a hutch, a quilted table runner is a great item to place on the hutch to add color and charm.

Supreme Accents Decorate for Healthy Living – Interior Decorating with House Plants - Bedroom Oasis with Plants

Table Runners in the Bedroom

Another great table runner idea is to use a table runner at the end of the bed.  In winter a table runner over a spread, quilt, or comforter can add seasonal charm.  In summer a quilted table runner is a wonderful way to add color to the bed when the bed topper is removed.

The chest of drawers or bureau is a wonderful place to put a table runner.  These surfaces get a lot of wear and tear from keys, bottles, and the like. So they protect the surface and add color and style.

Don’t forget the end tables, lamps, glasses, and alarm clocks can mar the surface of your furniture.  Supreme Accents has lots of styles that match and coordinate.

Here is a table runner idea. Place a table runner on the empty space above the bed.  A colorful table runner adds color and design. It is quick and easy to change the table runner with the seasons.

Table runner highlights a cocktail table
Add color to tables with a table runner

Coffee Table Runners in the Living Room

Coffee tables and end tables are great places for a table runner.  A coffee table runner can add color and charm. Imagine a coffee table runner to match the colors of your living room. These surfaces are often overlooked and are wonderful places for adding color. 

Console Table Runners In the EntryWay

This is a wonderful area to set the mood for entering your home. Guests and families alike will love the welcoming feel table runners add to your décor. Imagine a festive holiday table runner to celebrate the season.

A great quilted table runner is also a foundation for a beautiful tablescape. The chest, console table, or hutch placed in the entry area are wonderful areas for table runners.

Table Runners in the Family Room

The family room other than the kitchen is usually the most used area.  Kids play and adults entertain, so the coffee tables, console tables and end tables are great places for table runners.

Other areas are sofa tables, TV tables, and bookshelves. Supreme Accents has a great selection of quilted table runners for any color, décor, or taste.

Decorating for the Seasons

Table Runners for Seasonal Decorating

Table runners work well as wall decorations, especially for seasonal or holiday decorating. I often like to change the feel of my dining room, especially during the holidays. 

Table runners are a great starting point.  For July 4th, red, white, and blue get it placed on the table, For Halloween, jack-o-lanterns become the star of the dining room table. Sometimes just have the table runner. At other times add a centerpiece, candles, or other decorating items.

In the End

Table runners are an often-overlooked way of adding a touch of color and style to any room. They’re quick and easy to install and can make an impact in a short amount of time. Whether you want a cozy, romantic look or a more contemporary vibe, the perfect table runner can be the centerpiece of your room’s design. Furthermore, table runners are an inexpensive way to make a big difference.

In short, if you’re looking for an affordable way to give your room a makeover, a table runner may be just the thing. So give them a try. You may just be surprised at how much of a difference a table runner can make.

Here are some other articles you may enjoy

Dinner Table Napkins – How to Instantly Add Vibrant Elegance to Your Table in an Amazing Way

17 Great Tips to Arrange Pillows Like a Designer

12 Great Ways to Find the Perfect Color Scheme

8 thoughts on “Table Runners – A Quick & Easy Way to Add Color and Style to Any Room

  1. Lesleigh Kacin says:

    I’m wanting to buy a table runner to put on the top of a chest of drawers in the bedroom… but unsure of the size. Should it hang over the ends like on a dining table, fit exactly or show a bit of the furniture on each end??
    The chest of drawers’ top measures 86cm x 38cm

    • Debra Wiggins says:

      Since I cannot see the chest of drawers in the room, this answer is general.

      Table runners are meant to protect the surface and for beauty. Usually, table runners which hang over the ends is a more formal look.

      In this case, I am assuming your bedroom is not so formal, so not hanging the table runner over the end is a fine.

      If you want to protect the entire dresser, a table runner from end to end is a solution to consider.

      If you want to enjoy the beauty of the dresser top, a table runner that shows a bit of the furniture may be a the answer.

      I hope this helps.

      Please take advantage of the Ultimate Table Runner Size Guide. The link is Here

  2. Angela E. says:

    I’m hosting a small birthday Luncheon at a restaurant for someone. The theme colors are gold and royal blue. The linen tablecloth is gold and the linen table runner is royal blue. The chair covers are blue and gold too. I was thinking adding every other cover gold and then blue. Should a centerpiece be added? I also have gold jar and gold floral accents to go inside the jar. I was thinking about getting royal blue paper plates. The server will provide the silverware, etc. What are your thoughts or suggestions?

    • Debra Wiggins says:

      Hi Angela;

      Thank you so much for reaching out. It sounds like the event is going to be very special.

      The colors of royal blue and gold is a classic combination. They work well together. However, if you want to add another color, consider white.

      To make every thing visually appealing try combining the colors with a balancing formula. A balancing formula helps when making decisions of how often to use colors. A popular balancing formula is 60-30-10.

      60% of color one (main color)
      30% of color two (secondary color)
      10% of color three (accent color)

      Here are 2 examples using this formula, of course there are others.

      Royal Blue – main color 60%
      Gold – secondary color 30%
      White – accent color 10%


      White – main color = 60%
      Royal blue – secondary color = 30%
      Gold – accent color = 10 %

      You get the idea.

      A centerpiece is a great idea. Consider adding an organic element.

      I hope this helps. Please reach out again, if you have any other questions.

      Please let me know what you have decided. I would love to see pictures.


    • Debra Wiggins says:

      Hi Mary Ann;

      Thank you so much for reaching out.

      Yes, you can use table runner with table cloths.

      Deb Wiggins

  3. Mary Ann says:

    My Christmas motif is Blue and silver. Can I use a hint of red on my charger plates. I have gold and red on my plates

    • Debra Wiggins says:

      Hi Mary Ann;

      Blue and Silver is a cool color combination. Red and Gold is a warm color combination. So the contrast should work on a table setting.

      Try taking a picture of the combination to get an ideal of how it will look. The camera eye can be a help in making decisions.


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