And no, I’m not talking about Usain Bolt (but you shouldn’t underestimate him, either). What I’m talking about are runner rugs that you can place in your hallways or on your stairs. Carpet and stair runners are great design accessories that can instantly give any room atmosphere. Their various patterns and colors can complement surrounding furniture and paintings and really help set the “mood” of the room. Not only that, they have a variety of practical benefits that can ensure the well-being of any home. If you are interested in runners but don’t know exactly what they are or what they are used for, this is definitely the place for you!
Purpose of a Runner
So you may be asking: what’s the purpose of a runner? Sure, your hallways or your stairs will be alright without one—but that’s just the point.
You don’t want just “alright” rooms… do you?
If you are anything like I am, then I’m sure you want to take every room to the next level. That includes your hallways and stairs.
And why not?
There’s no reason not to go all the way.
As one might expect, a runner rug can vary in length and size. This is because hallways and staircases are not always the same length. You don’t need to worry about buying a runner if your hallway or staircase is shorter (or conversely, if it is longer) than average. There are plenty of places you can find that will sell you customized runners for your house.
On the long end, runners can run up to (pun intended) about twenty-five feet—but of course, that does not need to be the limit.
I know what you’re probably thinking: twenty-five feet?! And, yes! Long runners have been in style for as long as I can remember—and I predict they will remain in style for a long, long time.
The advantage of long runner rugs is that they help your hallway to look even longer. This means you can add dramatic effect and really cast a great atmosphere over your hallway. This is especially true if you line your hallway walls with a variety of photographs or paintings.
The same can be said about your staircase. You can make your staircase look regal with simple runners. You can even make it look as if you are walking the red carpet!
How cool is that?
Because every house is different, there are too many styles of area rug runners to count. Whiles some runners rely on simple colors, others, especially those from other cultures, make use of more cultural designs.
You can see this in the runners of the Middle East. If you’ve ever heard of Gabbeh rugs, then you know that the Middle East as a long and complex history of producing high-quality Afghan carpets.
The same is true for runners.
There are really great runner rugs of varying designs to come out of countries such as Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. These runners have rectangular designs that contain either monochrome or various colors.
You can use these colors to your advantage.
For example, if your hallways are white or beige, it might be a good idea to purchase a runner that matches the monochrome nature of your hallways. This is also true for staircases, of course.
On the other hand, you can also use runners with bright primary colors to spruce up a dead atmosphere. This is perfect for those houses that need an extra touch.
History of Rugs
It may surprise you to learn that rugs have a history of almost three thousand years old.
Yes, you read that right. Isn’t it amazing how something we consider so stylish today has been around that long?
Many of the oldest rugs have been discovered around the Middle East region, with some of the oldest being found in present-day Armenia. These rugs date from around the 7th century BCE. And some rugs from the 5th century BCE are still around today.
Imagine decorating your house with one of those.
In all seriousness, runners have a long, cultural history that automatically transmits the depth of their importance to any room.
Another great aspect of this historical importance is that it tells you that these carpets are authentic. Though we live in a world today saturated with mass-produced and machine-created objects, we can take comfort in the fact that some things just don’t change. And a good rug runner is one of those things.
It’s always great to know that we can go out and purchase a handmade runner. This authenticity is exactly what every homeowner seeks when buying and decorating a home. And it can help add a personal touch to your home. Whenever you see your runner, you will know that it was not made by some gray and dull machine in a factory that you would never want to visit, but by a real human being with a history and story all of her own.
Owning your own runner means you will be able to participate in the long and significant history carpets have had in our world. It’s time to add your own chapter!
While there are famous rug runners from all across the world, some of the most famous come—not surprisingly—from the Middle East, in particular, Turkey and Afganistan.
Turkish runners are, quite honestly, a marvel of the carpeting world.
Turkish runners, either hand-knotted or flat woven, are always made from the highest-quality material and represent a handmade culture that is still alive to this day. This gives the runners quite a bit of authentic depth that really gives atmosphere to any hallway or staircase.
Plus, you just can’t beat the quality.
You might be asking yourself: how did these runners get to be so good?
The answer is simple: Turkey has one of the richest histories of carpet and runner make. As you’d imagine, in the beginning, people weren’t making rug runners for hallways, but for protection. Turkish winters were cold and fierce, and people needed all the protection they could get from the harsh weather.
In this way, the Turkish people were forced to make their runners and carpets with the highest quality material. This ensured their survival in the bitter cold.
Over time, this tradition continued to develop, as the Turkish used wool or cotton (sometimes infused with silk) to make runners that weren’t only practical but were also decorative.
This tradition, of course, still lives to this day. Now people all across the world are carrying on with this example. More and more houses are turning to runners to add depth and beauty to their interiors.
And who can blame them?
Afghanistan is also one of the world’s most easily recognized countries when it comes to carpet-making. Like Turkey, Afghanistan produces high-quality runners that are handmade and easily recognizable. The colors and patterns of Afghani runners are unique and beautiful.
This is why they have become something of a phenomenon across the world. As more and more people learn about the beauty of Afghani runners, they are becoming somewhat of a trend in many households.
The great thing about them is that people all over the world are now able to purchase them! Sadly, as a result of certain political tensions between the US and particular regions of the Middle East (such as Iran), not all of the carpet products that come out of the Middle East are available to US consumers.
This is not the case for Afghani carpets and runners, however, so it is highly urged that you look into them for yourself!
Of course, rug runners are not only famous in the Middle East. These days, European and American models are also enjoying wide popularity, and this is great for people who want to express themselves. Western runners differ in tradition from Middle Eastern ones, and by nature, they feature different designs. These designs range from a variety of patterns and colors, some being simple, and others being more complex. It’s worth checking them out for yourself and comparing! You can definitely find a wide variety of modern runners today that are guaranteed to add diversity to your home—even if it’s already diverse!
Okay, so runners have a long history—what does that have to do with today?
Even though it might sound hard to believe, runners have great places in today’s modern environment. Houses have changed a lot over the years, and naturally, the flooring present in houses has followed suit.
In the past, it might have been that hardwood floors were the rave. Then everyone wanted carpet. That was great for runners, right?
Actually, because runners are merely small bits of carpet, this trend negatively affected the runner. Fortunately, however, we have seen an increase in the number of modern-day hardwood floors, and with it an increase in the use of modern runner rugs, as well.
These consist of modern stair runners that are not only stylish and decorative (and believe me, they are) but are also safe.
For one thing, the presence of carpet on wooden runners makes it less likely that one will fall when going up and down the steps. Anyone who has ever fallen down a staircase knows that it’s not as comical as people in the movies make it out to be. It hurts.
So that’s why it’s great to put down a runner! Runners help to build traction and friction, which makes it significantly harder to trip up or down a staircase. Those who are worried about their loved ones or themselves having an accident on the staircase should seriously consider this option!
Another advantage of modern staircase runners is that they provide for a quieter environment. No one likes creaky hardwood, and unfortunately for us, creaky staircases aren’t just a thing of horror movies.
Anyone who has ever woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of someone creaking her way up the stairs knows just how frustrating it can actually be.
Adding a carpet runner to your staircase can soften the sound of steps and make it easier to enjoy a peaceful environment. This is especially great if you are someone with kids. Seriously. No matter how many times you tell them, children love to do things they consider fun: and playing on the stairs, it seems, is one of those things. Adding a runner for your staircase will definitely help you keep your sanity.
And it will also help you and your family have more comfort. Walking across hardwood is more uncomfortable to our feet and ankles. Adding carpet will soften the impact and help keep you from developing sore and aching feet. Save yourself an expensive trip to the massage therapist and invest in a great rug that will be easier for everyone!
Of course, this is also true for modern area rug runners that are used in the hallway. Though it’s not as likely one will fall or break down a hallway, it’s still nice to know that you have added comfort to your house. It might sound trivial now, but you will appreciate it later!
By now, you should have no doubt of the benefit rugs runners can bring to any home. Apart from being internationally stylish, historically significant, and efficient even today in the modern world, runners simply provide a sense that you know what you are doing. You are someone who knows a good opportunity when she sees one, and you are also someone with a great sense of style.
It’s hard not to appreciate the simple, yet the varied beauty of a good hallway or staircase runner. And it’s also hard not to appreciate the long history they are part of—the history of carpets worldwide that have greatly influenced how we operate in the world today. Whether your interest is in long runner rugs or short runner rugs, you will definitely love your selection!