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Wondering whether you need to invest in a table runner to match your new urban furniture for the dining room? These fabric throws have been around since the feasts of the Middle Ages, and they’re still there to add an extra touch of elegance to a dining setting. 

While tablecloths are all about protecting your table, table runners are more for adding distinctive decoration. These long, narrow pieces of fabric come in many colours and designs. So if you’re planning on hosting people over meals often, you might want to invest in a few, to change up the look of your dining area easily depending on the occasion. Choose a couple options that suit your existing serveware, and you’ll wow your guests each time they arrive. 

When choosing yours, take measurements. Your fabric should hang about 12-15 inches off the edge of the table. The colour, texture and pattern of the fabric should match the room and other table décor. Like to keep things simple? Your runner can stand alone. If going all out with decoration, you could layer it on top of a larger cloth, and even put something more delicate, such as lace, on top of the runner. 

If you think a table runner can only be used on rectangular tables in a dining room, you’re mistaken. They can add decoration when draped across other furniture in other rooms. Think a bedside table or bench at the foot of a bed; an outdoor sidetable on the patio; a console table in the hallway; and, yes, even on round or oval tables.

The concept of a run of fabric adding depth to décor has carried over to the bedroom, too. Mattress covers may protect the mattress you sleep on, but it’s bed runners that tie together bedroom colour schemes. Got a pop of one hue you want to draw visual interest to? Use it in artworks on the wall, on cushion covers and, of course, that piece of fabric you drape across the lower part of your bed.