The phone rings, you’re downstairs and realise the sound is coming from your upstairs bedroom. Up you go. The doorbell rings, down you go. The water is still on, up you go. As one of the high traffic areas of any home, stair runners are the perfect way to protect your staircase from wear and tear. Generally between 60 and 70 cm in width and cut to length, stair runners can start at your front door and go all the way along your hall, up the staircase and on to an upstairs landing. Not only will they protect your stairs, they also help to protect you; a high gloss wooden finish or marble floor can be a serious hazard if you are hurrying through the house.
As the primary function of stair runners and carpet runners is to protect what lies beneath, they are manufactured from durable materials, such as polypropylene, seagrass and coir, which are all tough and can withstand high traffic. Attractive borders in tapestry or linen can soften the coarse appearance of natural seagrass, although the addition of colour or pattern on the runners themselves can also mask the rough materials used in their manufacture. Stair runners also require standard carpet gripper at the tread and rise of each step to ensure that it does not warp or shift. They can also be finished with a decorative stair rod, these are available in many varieties, brushed metal, brass or chrome, complete with attractive finials in a many shapes and materials from metal to crystal.
There are literally hundreds of stair runner designs and materials to choose from and there are also companies which will create bespoke designs for your home. The large number of available suppliers work with simple linear designs and warm, natural colours, obviously reflecting the market. A stair runner not only protects, it compliments décor, with many neutral shades, for example, Buxton Mink, a cappuccino colour which would work with both terracotta and earth tones, as well as magnolia or simple white walls.
This is not to say that there are no runner designs for the more adventurous; zebra print or seventies inspired concentric circles are eye catching and make a statement about you as a homeowner and add a touch of chic, bearing in mind that a hall or stair runner is often the first thing that you will see upon entering the home, and impact is all important. The more classic Persian rug style designs are also available to fit in with other carpets and rugs which you may have collected and take pride in.