How to Set a Table with a Runner and Placemats

In event decoration, proper table setting is important to make sure you get a dining experience to remember. Learning how to set a table with runners and a placemat to get a balanced look is one important part of dressing up your dining tables. 

Essential Table Setting Components

elegant wooden table settings

Table runners and placemats are great decor pieces to add to any party designer’s arsenal. Both of these items serve aesthetic and functional purposes. They protect your tables from stains and spillage while adding detail and texture for ambiance.

Choose the most appropriate color, pattern, and fabric for your table runner, and get matching placemats to tie your table setting to your party theme. It’s important to coordinate these elements as they cover a majority of your dining table. These items can set the tone for your dining experience. 

Setting the Foundation

Prepare your Tableware and Decor

Before you start setting your dinner table, be sure to have all your tableware, table linens, and decorations set. Aside from table runners and placemats, have your dinner plates, charger plates, bowls, utensils, tablecloths, and table napkins ready.

Plain Round 13" Charger Plates - Rustic
Satin Napkin 20"x20" - Emerald Green
Glass Crystal Bowl/Ball Centerpiece on Stand 30" - Gold

Placing the Table Runner

Begin by laying your table runner along the length of your table. Runners typically hang over both edges by 6-12 inches. 

Some table runners are shorter than the tables. Choose longer runners for formal events, and shorter ones for more casual occasions. Make sure the runners are straight and centered as they serve as the foundation of your table setting. 

Positioning the Placemats 

Next, set the table placemats on each side of the table runner, ensuring they are evenly spaced. Make sure there is also enough space between the placemat and the table’s edge. The spacing you’ll need will depend on the width of your table runner.

Runners usually have a width that measures about one-third of the width of your tables. For wider runners, you can also opt to layer your placemats on top of them. We’ll delve into ways to style with layering later on. 

Arranging Tableware and Decor

Once your table runners and placemats are ready, you can finally position your tableware. Place your charger plates as the base and set your dinner plate on top of it. Position your utensils on each side.

You can also opt to complete your look with elegantly folded table napkins on top of your dinner plates. Top off your table setting with a lavish centerpiece placed in the middle of your table runner.

Layering Placemats and Runners

2 pc/set Boho Raffia Leaf Placemat
Chiffon Wedding Table Runner 10FT x 27" - Dusty Rose/Mauve

Experiment with different combinations of placemats and runners and layer them to add a touch of depth to your table setting. Most decorators like to layer placemats on top of the table runner. Another unconventional option is to layer the table runner on top of the placemats. This will depend on the look you’re going for.

Make sure you balance off layering with space on the table to keep your table from looking overcrowded. Always consider the shape of your table as well when laying placemats for layering. Make sure they are parallel to the edges for rectangle and oval placemats. Place them along the contour as well for round tables.

Choosing Table Runners and Placemats 

Choosing the right color, fabric, and pattern for your runners and placemats for table setting is an important part of decorating. For formal occasions, opt for neutrals, muted colors, and deep shades like emerald green table runners. You can also go for luxurious fabric like satin and velvet table runners. Pair these with placemats in similar shades or complementing colors.

Velvet Table Runner - Emerald Green
Satin Table Runner - Silver
Chiffon Wedding Table Runner 10FT x 27" - Dusty Blue

For casual events, opt for light shades like pastel or dusty blue runners. Sheer and delicate materials like chiffon also work best for formal dinner parties. Printed runners and placemats also work best for casual events. Mix and match with this combination and get creative. Top tip: try buying your placemats and table runners in bulk to get discounted wholesale prices.

Stylish Table Setting with Placemats and Runners

Learning how to set tables with placemats and runners is essential in event decoration. They set the tone for your dining experience and serve practical purposes to protect your tables and tablecloths.

We’ve gone through the basics of table setting with runners and placemats along with ideas for table runners and placemat layering and positioning. Also, we’ve discussed ways to choose the best ones depending on the formality of your event.

Now that we’ve gone through the basics, you’re well on your way to creating the perfect dining table set up for your guests. Dine in style and create memories to remember for a lifetime.

Our Products

4 pc/set Fringed Edge Woven 15" Placemats
Faux Rattan Braided Acrylic Charger Plate - Brown
Cheesecloth Table Runner 25" x 16ft - Champagne

Table Placemats

Charger Plates

Table Runners


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