tips for styling runners in your home

People often assume runners are just for hallways. Of course runners are for hallways, but they are also ideal for many other places too. Today we’re exploring those ways. We’ve got hanging ideas, zoning ideas, pattern-forming ideas, ideas focused on particular rooms… and at the end of all of it we’ve got some of our newest runners to show you. To ease in gently, lets begin by exploring the more expected…

Hallways and corridors

Like we said, runners are great for hallways and on one of the upper landings in our showroom we’ve been playing around with different ideas. Above is one of our favourites two outcomes: The straightforward use of this blush-toned Turkish Chaput creates a walkway from one room to another, adds pattern and warmth to a minimal space and its length perfectly mimics the balustrade it sits next to.

In much the same way, this simple hallway found in House & Garden (below) features a rug that uses the outline of walls around it to inform size. In short, use the architecture of the building as your guide for choosing how long your runner should be.

You can of course go against this idea as we have in our second favourite outcome in the hall of our showroom. This time we layered two shorter runners together to create a colour clash and interesting floor shapes – together they extend beyond the length of the ballustrade.

The pattern – a classic stripe – is the same on each Chaput for continuity so that it’s the colour differences that strike you. This reminds us of the sofa in the chic home in Tilda Swinton’s latest movie A Bigger Splash (directed by I Am Love‘s Luca Guadagnino). See if you can spot it in the trailer.

Runners connect rooms and lead the eye

Some corridors are more like transition spaces – less obvious, but no less suitable places for runners. Below, Italian brand Molteni makes the area between a bedroom, closet and ensuite more cosy.

Using a longer-than-necessary runner here is unexpected and leads the eye into the next room. We’ve achieved similar with one of our Moroccan Berbers, lining it up to a door.

How to use runners in wider rooms

We’ve found that not everyone thinks to use our longer, slimmer runners in environments such as living rooms and dining rooms. In fact there are various ways to utilise them in these broader rooms.

An obvious one is to line up your runner with your main sofa as the wonderful Gert Voorjans has done in his living room (below).

Take this idea further by making your runner(s) the statement of your living area instead of the sofa. Try two runners at right angles and overlapping with each other to form an interesting shape in front of a sofa and use the shape to frame a side table. Stick to the same type of rug (for example, only Boucherouites) so there’s not too big a mish-mash of different fibres.

For smaller furniture items, the runner works well underneath – here’s a reading corner from B&B Italia, which is made cosy by the rug marking out the seat.

Similarly, you can place your runner beneath your dining table to make it cosy, indulgent and luxurious. Have it poking out from under the chairs to highlight the material and textural contrast with the floor.

Or, run your textile alongside the table, again marking out its shape. On a side note, we love the blush and red contrast in this image from modular furniture brand USM.

This wouldn’t be Emily’s House London without a rug on the wall and long runners are unexpectedly ideal for corners and filling sections of larger wall in an interesting way. We have a sturdy steel structure in the showroom for hanging rugs, but for a softer more homely look use a wooden bracket to hang your runner from, painting it the same colour as your wall so that it blends in (shown here in the Bath Hay showroom). Use strong screws in each end of the bracket then attach metal or wooden clips onto the screws through the small hole in each clip.

Pushing creativity further

For parties, informal weddings and barbeques in the summer months, create a bohemian, cosy lounge space by layering a garden room with lots of runners with a mix of fibres and patterns. Cover them with comfy cushions, poufs, benches, and add low seating and tables for eating.

Finally, to set the mood of a Bedouin-style tent, hang rugs from the ceiling. Use flat woven runners here and take advantage of the length of the rug to create something dramatic. Use beams (if you have them) for clipping and hanging the ends of the rug.

As usual, you can find our textiles on our Etsy page, and here are some of our newest pieces…

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