Add Some Country Charm to Your Table with Fabulous Farmhouse-Style Table Runners

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There’s something about the charm and simplicity of country decor that feels like home. Natural materials, classic patterns, and rustic textures blend together to create a cozy, welcoming aesthetic perfect for farmhouse-style spaces. If you’re looking to inject some country charm into your dining room or kitchen, one of the easiest ways is by dressing up your table with a beautiful country-style table runner.

Table runners are like little rugs for your table. They instantly add color, texture, and personality while protecting your tabletop. Country-inspired runners with touches of burlap, gingham, floral prints or homespun fabrics effortlessly elevate your space with rural charm.

When chosen with care, table runners can be mixed and matched to suit any occasion. Dress up your holiday table with festive colors and patterns, then switch to solid neutrals for casual family dinners. For those desiring a bit more polish, rich linen or cotton runners add natural texture without looking too precious.

Keep reading to discover the top 5 styles of country table runners along with tips for choosing the right one for you. Get ready to fall in love with the simple beauty of the farmhouse aesthetic.

Burlap Table Runners Provide Rustic, Natural Appeal

Beloved for its casual texture, burlap is the quintessential country fabric. Made from woven jute or other natural fibers, burlap offers an inexpensive way to infuse rustic sensibility into any space. Table runners made of raw burlap provide a nice contrast to polished wood or stone tabletops. Neutral colors like natural tan or grey make ideal backgrounds for colorful china patterns or seasonal displays.

For a material that looks deliciously undone, burlap requires little care. It resists stains, holds up to machine washing, and doesn’t require ironing. The casual look of burlap runners makes them perfect for cozy kitchen settings and relaxed dining spaces. Lay one down a picnic table to tie together gingham napkins and colorful enamelware. For more formal occasions, try layering burlap under more refined cotton or linen runners. The subtle peeking edges provide homespun texture.

However, the coarse weave of burlap does have its downsides. Table settings slide less smoothly over the nubby material compared to smooth linens. Glassware is also prone to catching on the fibers, so take care when setting a more formal table. Burlap lacks the soft hand and elegant drape of finer fabrics, but for everyday country charm, it can’t be beat.

Checkered Table Runners Deliver Classic Style

Gingham, buffalo plaid, ticking stripe – checkered fabrics rank among the most iconic country prints. Checked table runners offer vintage farmhouse flair that never goes out of style. The repeating pattern provides a subtle visual rhythm that complements wood grain and ceramic textures commonly found in rustic kitchens.

A red and white checkered runner adds classic charm.

Checked table runners offer versatility through their color combinations and pattern scales. Choose smaller scale ginghams for intricacy, or go bold with a large buffalo plaid in distinctive colors like red and black. Muted blue ticking stripe runners complement painted kitchen cabinets or whitewashed dining furniture.

The key is selecting checks in hues that coordinate with your existing decor. While you can never go wrong with traditional red and white, don’t be afraid to get creative. Maybe try green, navy, and ivory for a preppy vibe or terra-cotta, tan, and slate blue for a Southwestern palette.

Just beware of checks that are too petite in size. They can distract the eye rather than providing an anchoring pattern. Larger scale checks in classic color combos keep the look timeless and sophisticated. For best results, use checked table runners sparingly to complement solid tablecloths or placemats.

Burlap and Lace Runners Have Shabby Chic Allure

Opposites attract when it comes to pairing the raw, natural texture of burlap with the delicate loveliness of lace trim. Table runners that blend the two materials have an irresistible shabby chic charm. The feminine softness of lace provides the perfect contrast to sturdy burlap.

For those seeking a runner with timeworn character, the blended materials deliver. The delicate pattern of lace calls to mind treasured heirlooms, while the natural jute offers down-to-earth appeal. Using vintage or handmade lace gives the runner extra charm.

Yet for all their romance, the hybrid fabric does require a bit of practical care. The rough texture of burlap can snag or pull delicate netting or needlework. Avoid using lace trimmed burlap runners for outdoor dining setups or messy family meals. Save them for special occasions to preserve their beauty.

When styling a lace-trimmed burlap runner, simplicity is key. A plain white tablecloth lets the texture shine rather than competing. Antique silver, flowers in vintage vessels, and candles create the perfect shabby chic vignette for a romantic dinner or bridal shower. Play up the feminine side by layering in pearls, feathers, or milk glass.

Floral Print Runners Spread Cheerful Cottage Vibes

Is there anything more cheerful than walking into a country kitchen dressed up with gorgeous floral prints? Table runners featuring botanical motifs, flowering vines, or splashy arrangements invite the garden indoors. They lend a breath of fresh air with colors and motifs inspired by nature.

The key to selecting a floral table runner is choosing a style that complements your aesthetic. Watercolor blooms have a soft, impressionistic vibe perfect for shabby chic rooms. Large cabbage roses or peonies feel lush and romantic. Ditsy sprigs keep it quaint and countrified. Just beware of floral prints that skew too chintzy or old-fashioned unless you’re deliberately seeking a vintage look.

For best results, opt for artwork rendered in soft, muted hues rather than neon brights. Aim for a timeless look that can transition between the seasons, rather than screaming summer. Pairing florals with solids can help balance cacophonous mixes.

Floral runners shine brightest in feminine spaces and in spring and summer. But don’t be afraid to break the rules! Contrasting a pink peony runner with dark wood dining furniture or laying one on a rustic wood table can yield beautiful results.

Natural Linens & Cottons Offer Effortless Elegance

Crisp white linen and natural cotton runners harvest country style with refined simplicity. Made from plant fibers rather than synthetic blends, these fabrics have an airy, breathable feel perfect for formal dining. The matte texture and casual wrinkling give off relaxed elegance rather than fussiness.

Linen and cotton table runners can take on different vibes depending on color and pattern. Crisp solid whites feel fresh and indulgent, begging for fine china and gleaming crystal. Natural shades like stone and tan work for more casual tables. Checked gingham cottons made from organic fabric add sustainability.

The natural fibers also boast practical qualities that make them perfect for dining. Linen and cotton absorb liquids and resist staining, stand up to hot serving dishes, and launder beautifully. They only require occasional touch-ups with an iron to smooth out wrinkles.

Downsides of natural fiber runners include cost for pricier materials like Belgian linen, as well as labor for delicate handiwork. Blends with polyester and synthetic fibers reduce cost, but sacrifice that luxurious all-natural feel. For country runners with crisp sophistication, pure linen and cotton have outstanding appeal.

Tips for Selecting the Perfect Country Table Runner for Your Home

Now that you know the most popular country-style table runner options, how do you select the perfect one for your home decor? Follow these tips to make sure your new runner complements your aesthetic and fits your lifestyle.

Consider what overall style you want to accentuate. Shabby chic dining rooms come alive with rustic burlap mixed with lace. Classic farmhouse spaces shine with gingham checks in calming hues. Cottage kitchens benefit from cheerful floral prints. Linen stands up to messy family meals or formal dinner parties with equal grace.

Measure your table proportions carefully. Runners look best when sized appropriately for your table length. Standard width for a runner is about two-thirds the width of your table. A runner that’s too skinny looks lost, while an oversized one visually competes with placemats and tablescapes. Know your dimensions.

Assess the formality of your dining setup. Indoor picnic benches or outdoor patio tables can handle casual burlap runners with raveled edges. Formal dining with fine china and chandeliers calls for elegant linen or pristine polished cotton. Mixing up levels of formality by layering for contrast has a charming farmhouse feel.

Consider hues that complement your color scheme. Checkered runner colors should blend pleasingly with your dishes, kitchen color palette, and any tablecloths used. Floral prints in harmonizing or contrasting shades prevent clashing. Neutrals like natural linen always work to provide an airy backdrop for vibrant table decor.

Evaluate the texture you want to create. Smooth linen provides an elegant feel and uninterrupted tabletop for place settings to glide across. Nubby burlap adds cozy charm that contrasts beautifully against stoneware dishes and whitewashed wood furniture. Know whether you desire a seamless or tactile backdrop.

Factor in your budget. Quality linen and intricately detailed lace runners cost more due to higher-end materials and artisan craftsmanship. Burlap and budget-friendly cottons keep costs affordable without sacrificing country charm. Set a budget maximum before falling for a pricey runner your wallet can’t sustain long-term.

See the runner in person before buying if possible. Online product shots don’t always show scale, detail and color accuracy. If you can, see before you buy to get a feel for true size, fabric texture and print vibrancy. Many designers sell at boutiques where you can touch products first.

Look for quality construction and materials. Check that edges are neatly hemmed to prevent fraying, lining is included minimize slipping, and detailing like lace appears intricately attached rather than glued on as an afterthought. Linen and cotton blends should list percentages – the higher the natural fiber content, the better.

Caring for and Styling Your Country Table Runner

Once you’ve selected the perfect country-style runner for your dining space, a little care and creativity in styling will help it last for many meals to come. Here are some top tips:

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for laundering. Most cotton and linen runners can be gently machine washed and air dried, but check labels to be sure. Burlap and lace often require spot cleaning only. If instructions aren’t included, opt for the most delicate cycle possible and natural drying to protect the fabric.

Roll (don’t fold) for storage to avoid sharp creases forming in natural fabrics like linen. Store rolled runners in protective bags or bins to prevent dust buildup. Proper storage in between uses prolongs the life of your runner significantly.

Use thick tabletop protector pads underneath extremely hot dishes like casserole pans or tea pots. The layer of insulation prevents moisture damage and stains on more delicate runners. Pads also keep surfaces level for a polished presentation.

Switch out your runners seasonally for a fresh change of scenery. Pack away rich florals and plaids in winter for cozier solids and checks in darker hues. Rotate runners from spaces like kitchens to dining rooms to spread out wear and tear.

Layer different runners for contrasting textures and patterns. A simple striped cotton runner becomes more visually interesting when paired with burlap or lace runners. Varying lengths and widths adds dimension while protecting your tabletop.

Make bare tables cozy with a simple runner. Too much bare wood or stone looks cold. Draping a textured runner down the center provides natural warmth and an anchoring visual focus for table decor. Avoid overhanging edges for safety and aesthetics.

Coordinate runners with napkins, placemats and tablecloths. Tying everything together through color scheme, patterns, and texture creates a custom, curated look. Mixing and matching allows you to get creative.

Repurpose tired runners creatively once they’ve served their time on the table. Use them as rustic wall hangings, drawer liners, kitchen pot holders, pet beds, and more. Upcycle beloved florals into throw pillows or curtains once they fade.

Frequently Asked Questions About Country Table Runners

If you’re new to using table runners, chances are you have a few questions about choosing and caring for them. Here are answers to some of the most common queries:

How wide should my table runner be proportionally?

For most standard tables, a properly proportioned runner should be about two-thirds the width of your table. This provides nice visual balance without overwhelming place settings.

Should my table runner match my tablecloth or placemats?

Matching is not required, but using complementary colors and patterns can give your table decor a cohesive, styled look. Contrasting runners over tablecloths can be beautiful too. Just avoid busy clashes.

Do I need to iron my linen table runner before each use?

Linen wrinkles easily, but resists most wrinkles during use with the weight of place settings. Spot iron only very stubborn creases as needed. Most good linen can be simply smoothed by hand and will relax during use.

Can I place hot dishes directly on my table runner?

Direct contact risks moisture damage or staining. Use an insulated pad or trivet under very hot plates and dishes to protect delicate runner fabrics like linen. Heat-resistant runners like cotton or burlap are less prone to damage.

What is the best way to clean country-style table runners?

Always check care labels, but most can be gently machine washed and air dried. Tumble dry low if needed. Spot treat stains. For delicate lace runners, specialist dry cleaning is best. Avoid overly hot water or aggressive detergents.

The Rustic, Welcoming Allure of Country Table Runners

If you love the down-home charm of country decor, consider dressing up your dining space with one of these top five farmhouse-fabulous table runner styles. Natural burlap and vintage gingham offer unfussy charm and versatility, while pretty florals and refined linens inject freshness and polish.

Whichever country runner you choose, take care to select fabrics and patterns that complement your existing decor for a cohesive feel. Layer and mix-and-match for added dimension. Follow the care instructions to help even delicate heirloom runners last for years of use.

With the right country table runner gracing your space, every meal feels like a celebration of heartfelt traditions and the simple beauty of the handmade. Gather around friends and family and make memories over food, drinks and meaningful conversation. A welcoming runner sets the stage for connection, coziness, and cherished time together.

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