Why the Woman who Invented the Table Runner was a Genius!

Updated: Jun 7, 2018

And Six Ways to Make Your Table Look Amazing


I don’t know her name (I’m guessing it was the woman who was in charge of doing the laundry) but whoever they were, that person was extraordinary. An unsung hero, a master of design, a tabletop legend and we at MollyMac are her humble followers and we want to pay homage to her cleverness with a few suggested ways of exploiting that magical interior decoration dream, the dinner party star, the item that makes a party pop, a cover that sings style and themes an event. The woman that first came up with the idea of using a table runner instead of a tablecloth was a genius.


Don’t get me wrong, I love a tablecloth, but it is a bit more work when it comes to cleaning up after the feast and everyone who has done the washing-up since then has been jolly glad that the table runner exists. I’m a big fan myself. Apart from being so much easier to wash and iron, a runner adds a little extra design and pattern, isn’t too overwhelming and you can put it on the table in a flash and be ready for your party. If it is in the centre, it won’t catch too many spills and if you do something a little more unusual, you may have to launder it unless, of course, you can persuade or pay someone else to do it for you!


So here I have it - six good layouts to inspire you to use a table runner or two and create a beautiful table.

This is the most common way to lay a table with the runner going down the centre long ways. By adding the place settings or plates and some decoration you can create a very pretty table. There needs to be some space for dishes for food, but by adding a few flowers and candlesticks to give the table a little height, you can create something very special. I love these brass candlesticks - I found in a charity shop - and I have balanced a couple of brass birds on them to keep the theme, but I could have used virtually any ornaments I had hanging round the house. My advice is to keep them sparse or low down. People like to see each other when they chat over dinner.

This is the Bird on a Wire Table Runner and you can find it here:

Lay the runner across the table. I know, right – radical!

Don’t forget - the less obvious layout is to lay the table runner across the table, but it can look very pretty, especially here with matching napkins. Hope you love the design photographed which is the Flick of Hares Table Runner and napkins and the flowers are lily of the valley from a friend’s garden - they smell divine! I created the vase by using an upturned egg cup - it was just the right size.


Using two of the same or different table runners to run across the table, that can also act as placemats for some of your place settings, you can create a charming table.


Here I used the Why Did the Chicken?Table Runner with matching napkins which looks great and added a cute vase of pinks to finish the look.







Cross two different table runners lengthways across the table make a real statement. Lots of plants and flowers add to the drama at one end as