When it comes to your space, nothing can pull a space more together than a rug. Rugs are a gorgeous and practical home piece that can add a design element to any room, even when there isn’t much else happening. This is exceptionally true for runner rugs, which can be a great addition to a room that doesn’t have much going on.
What is a Runner?
We’re not talking about track and field here. Runners are a type of rug that is long and narrow. It typically fills walkways, halls, and other skinny corridors/passageways in a home. They often come in a standard width of two feet (2’) and offer a variety of different lengths depending on the size you need to fill.
Runners are great to have because they help to protect your floors from the extra wear and tear. With runners being used in high traffic areas (meaning areas where people walk through a lot), a runner can help to protect these heavy use spaces. They also provide a soft feel under foot and can even help to absorb sound, making heavy foot noises quieter in these very busy areas.
Feng Shui and Runners
Did you know that rugs and runners are also great for Feng Shui and the energy of your home? Rugs act to ground and slow down the qi (otherwise known as energy) of spaces. This is important for areas that contain a lot of fast moving energy, such as these hallways and corridors where runners are commonly used! Having a rug will help slow down the qi in these areas, making the energy move more evenly throughout your home.
How to Choose the Right Rug Runner Size for your Space?
Choosing the right sized rug for your space is a huge question for many people when it comes to rug shopping. A runner rug is no different. Ideally, as mentioned, a runner rug is suited for a space that is long and narrow, such as a hallway. However, you can use runners in many different applications, such as in between your kitchen island and countertops or as a long bath rug in front of your bathroom sink vanity.
Knowing that runner rugs are long and skinny, choose a runner that leaves about 6” of your flooring exposed on the sides of the rug to the walls. This general rule of thumb helps to balance the positive and negative space between the rug and the walls, still leaving some of your beautiful flooring exposed. When shopping for length, keep this rule in mind as well and look for a length that is roughly 6” less than the ends of when this rug is being placed. For example, if your runner is going in the aisle of your kitchen, make sure that the ends of the runner do not extend past the edges of your countertops, and instead, are kept 6” or so inward.
Shopping for the Right Runner
When it comes to rug shopping, there are so many options out there. Though, not all rugs are created equally. If you are a conscious consumer, we have a couple tips for what to look for when shopping for your runner rug.
Natural Materials – Wool rugs have been beloved for years, and rightly so. They are anti-bacterial, moisture protective, and flame retardant, as well as being hypoallergenic. Since they’re a natural material, they are also better for the environment than synthetic rugs which are made of micro-plastics. Aside from wool, other natural materials to look for in rugs are jute and sisal.
Fair Trade or USA Made – With manufacturing plants happening everywhere in the world, it pays to know where exactly your rug is coming from. Is it a plant where minimum wage and poor labor conditions are happening? Shop for an ethically sourced rug that either has a Fair Trade label or made in a country with those standards already in practice like the USA.
How to Maintain your Runner
The maintenance of your runner rug will come down mainly to the material in which the rug is constructed. However, there are some common housekeeping tips that can be used for all varieties of rugs.
First, vacuum your runner regularly. This will not only remove the dust and dirt, but keep this from entering the fibers of your rug. A good rule is to vacuum your rug once a week.
Second is to treat spots and stains as soon as they appear! Liquids can seep into the fibers, turning the color and staining your rug if left untreated. You want to start off by blotting away the spill with a clean cotton towel, repeatedly turning the towel to a clean area and repeating this process until you have absorbed the liquid as much as possible. Make sure you DO NOT RUB! Rubbing will actually work the stain into the fiber stains more, making them more difficult to remove. After you have removed most of the liquid, then treat the stain according to the rug material.
Lastly, when transporting your rug, be sure to roll the rug rather than fold it. Folding can leave creases in the rug that are difficult to remove. Rolling the rug will not only be easier to move, but prevent these creases and fold from forming, protecting your rug for longer.
A runner rug can make a beautiful addition to your home. Now knowing more about runner rugs and all that they do, you can shop in confidence and create a stunning space for you and your home to love.
For more ideas on adding rugs to your home, check out our article on Moroccan Beni Ouarain Rugs or 7 Hints for a Sustainable Designed Home