Table runners offer a fantastic way to decorate your table areas throughout your home, without actually having to cover them up.
What’s the point of purchasing a beautiful table for your home - just to cover it up? Table runners provide an alternative to a full coverage table cloth, along with the opportunity to add a personal touch to your home addition.
Just like most soft furnishings, table runners come in many different designs, lengths, and patterns. So it’s all about what your style and preferences are.
At The Mill shop, we provide a fantastic range of beautiful table runners. But what is their actual purpose? And how or when should they be used? We’re here to help shed some light on their overall purpose.
Read on to discover what table runners are, as well as how and when to use them…
What is a table runner?
A table runner is a soft furnishing, designed to either completely replace or complement a table cloth.
As the name suggests, table cloths are designed to run across the table, either vertically or horizontally - depending on your personal preference or the shape of the table you want to decorate.
Adding a table runner can be a subtle yet beautiful way to add a finishing touch to your table decor, bringing a finished look together.
What are table runners used for?
Originally (we’re talking the 1600s here) tablecloths were invented so that diners could wipe their faces after finishing a meal. Almost similar to having a large communal napkin that lived in the centre of the table.
Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then. Nowadays, having a tablecloth on your table is a sign of sophistication. If you love to host dinner parties, you definitely need a table runner if you want to achieve the wow factor. It’s a simple yet subtle way to add a pop of colour or sense of style to your home.
Table runners are commonly used to make table decorations more visually appealing, as they help to define seating arrangements whilst also connecting placemats.
Using a table runner is a popular option for people who prefer their decorations to match, giving a consistent and symmetrical finish.
Although table runners offer an aesthetically pleasing addition to your dining area, they also have many practical qualities:
- Food and beverages tend to be placed on the table runner, which will prevent staining.
- Table runners protect tables from heat damage caused by hot dishes.
- Table runners can act as a water repellent.
- They offer a place to put condiments - preventing any spillage from reaching the table.
When should you use a table runner?
There are no rules on when you should use a table runner in your home, but there are different types of table runners that are better suited for either formal or informal gatherings.
Formal table runners tend to be made of a smooth and shiny texture. Common materials used for a formal setting would be silk or a similar smooth material. Although formal table runners can come in any colour, the most common shades are ivory, neutral tones, whites, or pastels.
Informal table runners are made to withstand everyday use and tend to be made from airier and light materials. These include fabrics such as grasscloth, polyester, cotton blends, or bamboo. Unlike formal table runners, you’ll be able to find casual table runners in any shade and they tend to feature bolder patterns.
Where can I use a table runner?
There’s no rule on where you can and cannot place a table runner, it’ll just depend on the shape and layout of the table you want to decorate.
Some common places and table shapes for table runners to be incorporated include:
- Dining tables (of course).
- Coffee tables.
- Outside tables, such as patio tables.
- Hall tables.
- End tables.
- Round tables.
- Square tables.
- Rectangular tables.
- Oval tables.
These are common places, but don’t take this list as a limitation. Table runners will more likely than not complement any table area.
So why not treat your table for a more elegant dining experience. Whether you're looking for something for everyday dining or special events throughout the year, we've got it here at The Mill Shop.