A table runner is designed to hang off the edges of a table, and you should first measure the length of your table before purchasing a table runner. You should also consider choosing a table runner that is heat and stain resistant. Purchasing a table runner that matches the rest of your dining room décor is not necessary, but it is usually advised. Most interior decorating experts also recommend purchasing a few table runners to use during different holidays and other special events.
Table runners are very similar to tablecloths, but they are much narrower, and they are meant to be placed so that they “run” the length of a table. The size of your table will often help you determine the size of the table runner that you should buy. Usually, these cloths are meant to hang down on each side of a table.
Before buying table runners, you should first measure your table. As a general rule, a table runner should hang down about 6 inches (15.3 centimeters) on each end of a table. Therefore, you should purchase table runners that are roughly 1 foot (30.5 centimeters) longer than the length of your table. If you will be using a tablecloth as well, however, keep in mind that table runners are generally not meant to hang lower than the edges of table cloths.
Easy-to-wash, stain-resistant table runners are recommended, since there is always a possibility that food will get spilled on them. If you will be setting warm or hot pans on your table runner, you should also purchase one that is made from heat-resistant material. A vinyl table runner is generally very easy to clean, but it will melt when it comes in contact with hot pans.
Be sure to keep your dining room décor in mind when purchasing an everyday table runner. If possible, table runners should match or complement other dining room décor items, such as tablecloths and napkins. While this is not absolutely necessary, it can help create a more polished look in your dining room.
You may want to purchase a few table runners, so they can be rotated to achieve different looks. Some of these runners can be used every day, while others can be saved for special occasions. A table runner for a special occasion should match the colors associated with it. A table running for a wedding reception, for instance, could be made from white or accent colored cloth. You may also want to purchase table runners for holiday celebrations.