Stair Runners 101

Monday, August 20, 2012 | Category: Color, Decor Accessories, Fabric, Floors, Small Spaces

Lately, I’ve been decorating a lot of clients’ stairways in funky, eclectic patterns that will make the entryways of their homes pop! If you want to snaz up your stairs and create a bold look, a runner in any pattern can do the job.

I prefer to use a natural material (like sisal) when the client wants something textural, muted, inexpensive and versatile for the future.  Alternatively, if the client wants something with a unique pattern, durability, softness, and doesn’t mind spending more, a long lasting wool is nice.

Looking for a runner yourself? Take a look at these options- hopefully they will help you decide what look is best for your home!


You can never go wrong with a bold geometric print.  Using a geometric for your stair runner is most desirable in neutrals (black and white, etc) because a bright color paired with a bold pattern, might be a leetle too crazy for something so permanent.



This trendy print would look great as a runner but I have yet to find a source for it! Anyone out there know where to find something like this?


Stripes are always classic and never go out of style.  I prefer wide stripes myself, but of course you don’t want to go too wide with your stripes, as your stairs are only so wide.

Animal prints-

Zebra, leopard, cheetah, antelope, you name it.  I LOVE a good animal print as a stair runner..and by good, I mean “not a nylon”.  Recently I went looking for an animal print stair runner and the nylons looked really cheesy to me, but the wool versions were heavenly! Jan Showers always makes the animal printed stair runner look super classy.


I adore a good natural runner…more specifically, Stark’s diamond sisal.

If you don’t want the pattern (or want something less pricey), a regular sisal will work just fine too (with or without the thick binding on the edges)

Solid with Banding

I love this clean, graphic look.  This is a great look for someone who wants to avoid getting too trendy.  Also, the darker background will wear really well for high traffic areas.

Washable/Uber Durable

Dash and Albert makes super durable rugs that can be made into runners.  They even have a diamond pattern that resembles the diamond sisal.

Just Plain Funky

Peacock! Enough said.

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7 Comments to 'Stair Runners 101'

Monika 20 Aug 12 at 10:32 am

I really like the last picture!!

Erlinda 20 Aug 12 at 11:12 am

Makes me really miss the awesome stairway I had in Seattle

Dawn 20 Aug 12 at 4:13 pm

This is such an awesome post! I love the geometric runners. The first and fourth photographs are my favorites. I also like the solid with banding runners.

Edita 21 Aug 12 at 10:14 am

Looks like animal print stair runners are in lately. Not that animal print really goes out of style. Reminds me of this animal print chaise.

Kimberly Houston 21 Aug 12 at 10:15 am

Wow, love this blog!

Who knew how creative and cool simple stair runners could be?!

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I love the chevron and other geometric-inspired patterns.

Thanks for sharing these beatiful images! : )

Shannon 21 Aug 12 at 12:05 pm

Love this post!! I am trying to decide on a stair runner and I’m torn between several. This helps visualize the options perfectly! Any resources available for these runners?

Claudine 23 Aug 12 at 12:30 pm

Love this post!!! I think I pinned every pic. Many thanks for the inspiration!!


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