Table Runner Sizing Guide | What’s the Right Length for Your Table - Kim Seybert, Inc.

Table Runner Sizing Guide | What’s the Right Length for Your Table

From formal to everyday use, follow Kim Seybert’s expert tips for choosing the ideal size table runner for any dining table.

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The Art of Table Runners: Balancing Beauty and Practicality

Kim Seybert Etoile Runner paired with the Etoile Placemat in Champagne and Zenith Napkin Ring

Table runners are versatile pieces of decor that can transform a dining space from ordinary to extraordinary. Whether you're hosting a formal dinner party or enjoying a casual family meal, the right table runner can enhance both the functionality and style of your table setting. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the dimensions, styles, and practical considerations to help you choose the perfect table runner for your needs.

The Purpose and Aesthetic Value of Table Runners

Kim Seybert Gardenia Runner in Sky, White & Yellow matched with Gardenia Drink Coasters

Table runners serve both functional and aesthetic purposes in home decor. Functionally, they protect the table from scratches, heat damage, and spills. Soft furnishing runners are designed to either replace tablecloths on some occasions or complement them. Aesthetically, they add color, texture, and visual interest to the dining area, creating a focal point that ties together the table setting.

Understanding Table Runner Dimensions

Kim Seybert Dahlia Runner in Multi paired with matching Dahlia Drink Coasters

What Is a Table Runner?

A table runner is a versatile piece of decor that adds charm and functionality to any dining table. Typically a long, narrow strip of fabric, a table runner runs down the center of a table, serving as both a decorative accent and a practical layer of protection. Alternatively, some decorative runners are smaller in size, and sit on the center of the table as a decorative piece. They come in various widths and lengths, catering to different table sizes and personal preferences. They can be used alone for a minimalist look or layered over a tablecloth to add depth and texture to the dining space.

We offer a wide variety of runners suited for floral and coastal themes, available in a range of color palettes and crafted from various metallic beads. Our newest runners, launched in the Spring 2024 collection, include the Paradiso, Oasis, Papillon, and Flores Runner. Beautiful hues of gold, green, and brown make them perfect for any spring occasion. 

Key Dimensions of Table Runners

Kim Seybert Triton Runner paired with matching placemats and the Orion Wine Glass

Table runners typically vary in width and length, with standard widths ranging from 12 to 18 inches. Lengths can vary significantly depending on table size and desired overhang. Our runners are available in lengths ranging from 30 to 43 inches, making them perfect for complementing smaller tables and also ideal as centerpieces for larger tables.

How to Measure Your Table for a Table Runner

To determine the appropriate size of a table runner, start by measuring the length and width of your table. Use a measuring tape and follow these steps:

  1. Length Measurement: Measure from one end of the table to the other along the longest side.

  2. Width Measurement: Measure from one side of the table to the other along the shortest side.

How Long should Runners Be - Determining the Ideal Length

Kim Seybert Orient Runner photographed with coordinating Orient Placemats, Orient Napkin Ring, and Arches Napkin

The length of the table runner should take into account the size of your table and the desired overhang at each end. 

A standard runner for a 6-foot rectangular table might measure around 72 inches to ensure an elegant overhang on both sides. This overhang is not merely decorative but also serves a functional purpose, protecting the edges of the table from wear and tear while adding visual interest to the dining area.

For round tables, the dimensions of table runners are tailored to complement the diameter of the table. Ideally, the runner should extend from edge to edge or slightly less, maintaining a balanced appearance that harmonizes with the round shape.

When opting for a shorter runner, such as one measuring between 30-43 inches in length, it's essential to ensure it still complements the table's dimensions effectively. Shorter runners can be particularly suitable for smaller tables or when a more minimalist aesthetic is desired. They can still provide a stylish base for centerpieces or tableware while requiring less maintenance and avoiding excessive draping.

Square tables require careful consideration of proportions. The runner should be chosen to provide an equal overhang on all sides, enhancing the symmetry of the table setting. This ensures that the runner doesn't overwhelm the table while still contributing to its aesthetic appeal.

How Are Table Runners Supposed to Fit - By Table Type

Kim Seybert Banana Palm Runner, paired with Laurel Drink Coasters, and placemats, napkins, and napkin rings of coordinating colors

Rectangular Tables

For rectangular tables, the runner should typically hang evenly over each end. Recommended lengths vary:
  • 6ft table: 72 inches (6 feet)
  • 7ft table: 84 inches (7 feet)
  • 8ft table: 96 inches (8 feet)

If your rectangular table is smaller, such as around 4-5 feet (48-60 inches) in length, a 30-40 inch runner can be placed centrally without overhanging. This size of runner will cover the middle portion of the table, providing a decorative accent without extending beyond the edges. 

Round Tables

Choose a runner size that complements the diameter of the round table. A good rule of thumb is to have the runner extend from edge to edge or slightly less for a more centered look. Our runners are the perfect dimension for rounder tables and can act as an amazing centerpiece for your tablescape. 

Square Tables

Square tables benefit from a runner that maintains proportionality. For a small square table, typically around 30-40 inches in both length and width, a 30-40 inch runner can sit nicely centered on the table. This size allows the runner to cover the middle portion of the table without extending over the edges.

For medium-sized square tables, which are typically around 42-48 inches in both length and width, a 30-40 inch runner can still be used, but it may appear slightly smaller in relation to the table. Consider placing the runner more centered or slightly off-center to maintain a proportional appearance.

Aesthetic Considerations for Table Runners

Kim Seybert Java Runner in Natural, Gold & Silver paired with Spoke Placemats and Reed and Shell Fringe Napkin Rings

Influence of Style and Occasion

The style of the runner can vary based on the formality of the occasion. For formal settings, opt for elegant fabrics such as silk, satin, or beaded runners in subdued colors or featuring metallic beads. Our Diamant Butterflies Runner, crafted from glass, stone, and crystals, is a stunning choice that elevates any tablescape and embodies glamorous dining.

For casual gatherings, consider cotton, linen, or woven runners adorned with vibrant patterns or seasonal motifs to add a playful touch. The Flores Runner, handwoven from wheatgrass, is perfect for effortlessly chic summertime entertaining occasions.

Material and Pattern Choices 

Consider the fabric, pattern, and beading of the runner in relation to your overall decor scheme. Textured fabrics such as burlap or jacquard can add depth, while patterns like stripes or florals can complement existing tableware. Choosing a runner like the Java Runner, with its intricate leaf patterns inspired by the tropics, is ideal for adding depth and intricate details to your table setting. The neutral color palette of wooden, glass, and plastic beads, combined with sturdy raffia, complements a wide range of dining decors.

Practical Tips for Choosing the Right Table Runner

Kim Seybert Trellis Runners paired with matching placemats, the Radiate Charger, napkins in green, and matching coordinating glassware

Functionality vs. Decoration

When deciding between functionality and decoration, consider the practical aspects of your lifestyle and dining habits. Opt for materials that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also durable and easy to maintain. Stain-resistant fabrics like polyester blends or treated cotton can offer both practicality and style, ensuring your runner remains looking fresh and vibrant after each use. Additionally, if you have young children or frequently entertain guests, choosing a runner that balances decorative elements with ease of cleaning can simplify your daily routines while enhancing the visual allure of your dining table.


Maintenance and Care

Check the care instructions for the fabric before purchasing. Some materials may require dry cleaning, while others can be machine-washed. Opt for stain-resistant materials if spills are a concern. To clean our runners, we recommend machine washing them in cool water on a gentle cycle with a mild detergent like Le Blanc Linen Wash. Dry them on a low, quick seven to ten-minute cycle and lay them flat to dry. You may use a spot remover if necessary, but refrain from soaking in bleach to preserve the condition of any colored embroidery.

Final Thoughts: Elevating Your Dining Space with the Right Table Runner

Kim Seybert Coral Spray Runner paired with coordinating placemats, Coral Spray Napkin, Coral Cuff Napkin Ring, and other aquatic/ coastal themed decor

Choosing the right table runner involves considering both practical and aesthetic factors. By measuring your table accurately and understanding how different runner sizes and styles can enhance your dining experience, you can create a welcoming and visually appealing table setting for any occasion. Whether you opt for a classic design or a contemporary pattern, the perfect table runner will undoubtedly add charm and elegance to your home decor

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