Table runners run down the middle of a formal dining table. Short runners should hang at least 12 inches off the end of the table on both sides. Martha Stewart suggests runners should hang 18 inches at the most. The average overhang of 15 inches is perfect for a table runner.
Width of the Table Runner
In Suzanne Von Drachenfels' book “The Art of the Table: A Complete Guide to Table Setting, Table Manners, and Tableware,” she suggests that a table runner should be 14 to 17 inches wide. Martha Stewart says to make it as wide as you think looks good, while others say that a table runner should be one-third the width of your table.
Pick the length and width that look right for your table. If you are unsure, cut a piece of butcher paper to the desired width and length and lay it on the table to see how that size looks. As long as it looks elegant and beautiful, the exact measurements do not matter.
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