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Uplifting Stair Runners to Brighten Your Space

Treat your stairs to a beautiful runner and turn this vital route through your home into a style statement

Houzz UK Contributor. I have been an interiors journalist since 1995, writing several… More

Stair runners perform a host of practical functions. They soften stair treads, making them more comfortable to walk on in bare feet and, when shoes are on, muffle the sound of heels on wood as people run up and down. When it comes to looks, they can bring real dash and drama to your stairs, too, in a way that fitted carpet, which covers the treads completely, rarely can. The classic striped stair runner is just the start. There are thousands of designs available, featuring patterns and colours that can transform the appearance of your staircase. Here’s a roundup of some of the most stylish and original stair runners out there.

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Sport some spots
A graphic spots pattern makes a nice alternative to stripes. Stick to strong tones rather than neutrals to show this simple design off at its best.

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Choose chunky stripes
Stripes of various widths in a range of bright, zingy shades look dramatic, but also fun. This beautiful runner is from Missoni.

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Team dark with a zingy edge
Choosing a dark-toned stair runner makes practical sense, as it will hide marks and withstand regular footfall. It does not have too look safe or boring, though. This staircase illustrates how a dark, neutral runner can be given a colourful twist by painting the wooden stairs beneath in a hot shade.

See more ways to give your stairs a little flair

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Brighten up
Turn your stairs into a striking design statement with a runner in a single, vibrant shade. It’s a simple way to energise and brighten up a dark hallway.

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Walk on the wild side
Zebra print for your stairs? Why not! It brings a witty touch to a staircase, and striking black and white never goes out of fashion.

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Inject some energy
Stripes may be a much-loved, go-to design for runners, but this staircase shows how exciting an abstract pattern can look. The grey and red design brings vibrancy and originality to the stairway, as well as a shot of fiery colour.

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Lay herringbone
From a distance, this woollen runner appears to be simply a classic mix of grey, black and white. On closer inspection, an elegant herringbone pattern is visible, adding depth and detail to the design.

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Stay neutral
Simple, smart and timeless, a neutral stair runner is a can’t-fail option. Great in hallways that already have patterned wallpaper, ornate banisters or strong tones, a neutral runner is an easy-to-live-with option that won’t fight with its surroundings.

Beautiful banisters that boost staircase style

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Try some tartan
The linear pattern of tartan makes it an ideal fit for a runner – its lines lead the eye up the stairs. Choose a design in soft, nature-inspired tones for a warm effect.

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Go geometric
Geometric prints are big news on rugs, so why not extend that idea up your stairs, too? This bold David Hicks design in soft beige is framed beautifully by the dark wood of the stairs.

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Keep it classic
There are a great many stair runners available that feature a subtle, linear pattern against a neutral backdrop. It’s a winning combination, allowing some colour to be introduced to the stairs without making a loud statement.

TELL US…
Do you have a stair runner? If not, which of these designs would you choose? Share your thoughts and photos in the Comments below.
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