Often the layout in homes will mean that you see the staircase as you come through the front door and a stair runner can create a welcoming atmosphere as you enter the home.
Stair runners can be installed over natural hardwood floors or staircases that have been painted.
There are typically two types of runners that you can get, you can have one made from broadloom carpet and the other is called a flatweave runner.
Runners made from broadloom carpet are often used when you want to continue the carpet on the landings and into other rooms.
Sisal carpet is a popular choice in these scenarios, but it can be made from any carpet such as a wool loop or a cut velvet.
THINKING OF USING BROADLOOM CARPET FOR A STAIR RUNER?
BROADLOOM RUNNER DESIGN
Once you have decided on the type of carpet you would like, you will have the option of going for a pattern, such as the example below or a plain carpet.
There are many different designs available and you can have something bold or subtle.
BORDERS & EDGING
You can have your runner finished as the runner in the image above, with a blind hem down the sides or you can choose a whipped edge or a piped/bordered edge.
When the carpet finisher takes a thick yarn and stitches the ends of the carpet to stop fraying.
A standard finish is to use the yarn in the closest colour to the carpet however I encourage my clients to get creative with this detail.
Recently I worked on a project with a client who chose a runner to be made from sisal carpet in a natural colour.
She had put up a bright wallpaper on the wall along the staircase and instead of going for the usual natural yarn we picked out vivid pink tone, that matched the wallpaper pattern.
She had painted her stairs black and the combination of the wallpaper, warm tone of the sisal and the bright whipped edge brought something extra to that space.
With a bordered edge, you can have even more creative fun.
Borders are available in many different colours and materials such as cotton, linen, suede and leather. Opting for a border in a darker tone than your runner will make it feel more contemporary whereas having a similar tone or lighter border makes the space feel more relaxed.
BRIGHTLY COLOURED BORDERS
Cotton is the most popular material choice for borders, especially in family homes, suede and leather are often used in modern apartment settings.
Whats more, it's that you can have a double border if you want.
Borders are usually set at approximately 5cm’s but what I have done with clients previously is take that border up to 7cm’s and have 2cm in one colour and 5cm’s in another.
As you can see below, it can make a great colour impact.
Design & image by Rascal & Roses
Flatweave runners are made from 100% wool and are produced on a Hattersley loom.
Its production methods have been used in England since the 1920's and those who know how to weave on these wooden looms these days, are considered artisans in their trade
INDUSTRY INSIDER TIP
A lot of flatweave runner designs will be made to order and can have a lead time of 14 weeks - so be sure to plan ahead.
Designs will vary from traditional too contemporary, intricate too plain and with or without a border.
I feel that a bold line border draws your eye up the staircase and adds a level of sophistication. Patterns without a border feel less formal.
DETAILED OR PLAIN
Detailed designs sit well in country houses or rustic interiors.
Designs often have a stripe pattern to a degree but there are also plain designs available.
If you find that none of the above designs are too your liking, consider alternatives patterns to bring interest to your staircase.
BRIGHT & BOLD
The great thing with stair runners is that if you want to be bright and bold, there are beautiful options available.
You might even consider using a different design on your landing to compliment your stair runner.
Having stair rods installed is optional but it is a lovely finishing touch and there are many designs on the market to to suit all tastes.
Below is an example of a modern design, but there are hundreds of options to choose from.
They are also available in array of different finishes such as Antique Brass (shown), Chrome and Pewter to name a few.
MIND THE GAP!
Regardless of which type of runner you choose, proportion is key to getting your runner right.
Stairs are typically 80cm - 90cm (31-35 inches) wide, so most runners are set at a 70cm (27 inches) width.
However, many clients have narrower stairs going to the basement or loft, in which case you can have your runner produced in a narrower width.
Aim to have at least 10cm’s (4 inches) on each side of the runner, it creates a feeling a grander to your staircase. Leaving too small of a gap either side will make the runner seem too big for the staircase and leaving a wider gap 15cm - 20cm (6-8 inches) will make the runner feel to bitty.
It all depends on the width of your stairs, but usually between 8cm - 12cm (3-5 inches) gap on either side is the sweet spot.
VISUALISING YOUR RUNNER
I encourage you to borrow samples from your carpet showroom.
Runner samples are usually 30cm x 70cm (11x27 inches) lay them out on your steps and stand back to get the impact of the design on your staircase.
This will help you decide if you need to go for a smaller or bigger design.
Designs are available in a few colour ways but there are bespoke options too, should you wish to go for a particular colour that is not available in the standard collection.
I would love to see your stair runner pictures and please do contact me should you wish to get a quote for a stair runner.