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5 CREATIVE WAYS TO USE VINTAGE RUNNERS

Don’t get us wrong—a hallway is a fine place for a vintage runner, but sometimes we crave using it somewhere a little less…preconceived. Be it in a bedroom, kitchen, or closet, a hallway rug’s slim profile promises to feel remarkably fresh, while its reserved take on pattern seems custom-tailored to avoid overpowering a room.

With credentials like that, we’re sold on the concept of this petite runway, but we’ve admittedly been stumped on how to factor one into a room. If you find yourself in much the same situation, you’re in luck! We’ve scouted the web for the most ‘gram-worthy takes on the vintage rug runner trend and have detailed the best of them below. Ready to run?

In the Kitchen

Think about all the time you spend standing stove-front sauteing, braising, and stirring sauces (hey, Kraft Mac n’ Cheese lovers, this doesn’t exclude you!), and it becomes clear, the kitchen is in dire need of a soft place to stand. Enter: a vintage runner. Most kitchens feature narrow floor plans, making a standard area rug a non-option, but thanks to its narrow width, a carpet runner will nestle between cabinets and islands with ease. Galley kitchen? A vintage runner will lay down serious style. Because the kitchen is prone to spills, look for runner rugs in materials like cotton, which are easy to toss in the wash. Dhurries and kilims are both good options, but because they’re unbacked, a rug pad is an absolute necessity. If you’d rather not fuss with it, opt for an outdoor runner. In addition to being backed (although a rug pad is still advisable), outdoor runners are often made of materials like polypropylene, which is water-absorbent and stain and fade-resistant. If that doesn’t sound like a prescription made for the kitchen, we don’t know what does.

In the Closet

If you desire making a balconette-sized space like a closet or pantry feel like an actual room, let us propose a small runner. Throwing down a vintage runner will not only lend an incredibly soft note underfoot, but it’s capable of imbuing character into spaces that typically go without. With that said, we love the idea of using a simple-design cotton runner in a closet or pantry. Turkish and Moroccan rugs can be busy, making a room that’s stocked with clothing or branded pantry staples a little less than Zen. On the contrary, a simple striped dhurrie runner can make these spaces feel like an outright retreat. If you have the space, you might also think about plunking a small ottoman or low stool on top of your used runner, which can double as place to drop a handbag in a closet, or a place to collect cake-baking staples in a pantry. The overall effect? A room that’s anything but an afterthought.

In the Bedroom

While an area rug seems like a shoo-in for the bedroom, vintage runners are perhaps a more economical choice. Since a bed takes up the majority of real estate in a bedroom, area rugs are frequently eclipsed by one. A vintage runner, then, is perfect for those who want to insert pattern into a bedroom, but don’t necessarily want to invest in a piece that’s going to spend most of its time hiding from view. The beauty of using a vintage runner carpet in a bedroom is that you can get creative with placement. Use a single runner between two twin beds, or float a runner carpet on either side of a king size bed. Because your runner rug will be the first thing your feet land on in the morning, feel entitled to splurge here, and opt for fuzzy Moroccan rug runners and sheepskin flokatis. Trust us when we say, your tootsies will thank you come December.

In the Bathroom

If you’re living with a tired terry cloth bathmat, consider swapping it out for a bold vintage runner. Just as absorbent as a bathmat, but boasting twice the personality, a vintage runner is the best piece you never thought to put in your bath, but completely should have. While any hallway runner will work here, we love the look of a Turkish or Persian runner in a bathroom. Featuring deep, saturated colors and dizzying, geometric handiwork, these pieces are perfect for personalizing the normally minimalist bath. Again, a rug pad is close to mandatory here, since in addition to placing your runner directly on top of a slippery surface like tile, water will also be coming into play. Another tip? Since rug runners for hallways are typically too long for a bathroom, look for short runners, or consider having a long runner professionally cut and bound.

On the Stairs

When you think about it, a staircase eats up a good chunk of visual space in your home, but they rarely get the design treatment to match. One way to tackle? A vintage runner, of course. Depending on the number of stairs you have, this project may require more than one rug runner. Don’t fret, though! You can mix and match hallway runners. To begin, find one very long runner, or three to five vintage runners you love (ideally, your runners should all be the same width and should all feature a similar color palette. Pro tip: Turkish runners are great for mixing and matching). Next, look up online tutorials on how to adhere to your carpet runners to your stairs, or get a professional to do the deed. If you want to dress up your stairs even more, consider adding brass stair rods. No matter your preference, the end result will be an incredible, oh-wow moment in a previously overlooked corner of your home.