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Traditional Stair Runner

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Where I Stand on Stair Runners (+ a Quick Ask the Audience)

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Modern Stair Runner
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I’m not sure what could be more boring to talk about than your typical carpet runners for stairs. They are the Chapstick of beauty products. The Tupperware of dinner parties, typically so not exciting. But after months of living in the mountain house on the weekends and enjoying the benefits of the wall-to-wall carpet and especially the quiet and safety of the plush carpeted stairs, Brian has asked me to dive deep into the topic of stair rug runners and see if we can make this work. He and I both know that a carpeted stair is not in the cards for this house,  but a stair runner? Sure, I’ll give that a shot.

As a reminder, here’s the “before” of the staircase, which you see right as you open the front door. We’ve ripped out all that beige carpet already, so the stairs are currently just wood.

Emily Henderson Mountain House Before

After hours of pinning and even going on Instagram and using hashtags to help me search (#stairrunner), I found a few that I liked. The thing is, most of the ones I stumbled across fall into a couple of different categories, not all of which are right for this house. The vast majority of the photos out there lean much more traditional, and this house is a bit too modern/mid-century for something like that to feel appropriate. That said, let’s take a look at the different categories so you can get a sense of what I mean.

Traditional(ish) Runners

First, the more traditional patterns, like herringbone or stripe à la Dash & Albert.

Dash And Albert
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Part of me wonders why I would ever NOT like that? It’s so classic. But you have to remember that our house is much more modern and the mid-century architecture doesn’t lend itself quite to traditional finishes or fixtures so well. But I also think that the style is so transitional and when kept simple (no binding), it’s hard not to love.

Blue Stripe Traditional Stair Runner
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Same here…blue and white chevron-y base with stripes? On the surface, it reads very EHD, but, is it enough?

Traditional Stair Runner
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Here’s another very Dash and Albert-y runner (I think this is actually by Burritt Bros). If you’re not totally sure what I mean by “Dash & Albert-like”, think simple, traditional-ish woven patterns like herringbones, chevrons, stripes and diamonds (like the above).

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That bold stripe is certainly classic but fun and yet I think it’s still too much for me in this house. But maybe not!? We have a black island after all.

L 07
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I love a seagrass or sisal to look at, but not to actually stand or walk on. It’s a great exfoliant on weeks where you don’t have time for a pedicure, but on the other weeks, my feet are not big fans of that natural fiber (I realize this is controversial). Brian Henderson’s feet are actually running for Congress on a “no sisal ever” platform and it’s gaining traction. Please take a moment to digest the number of puns included in that last sentence. It’s important to me.

Stairs 1
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I have never owned leopard anything, and while I understand its ability to act as a “neutral” as so many people have propagated over the years, I neither love or hate the print. It’s just not me and I think the leopard pattern’s inherent desire to be “sexy” turns me, well, off.

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I do love a classic plaid, but again, is it “rustic/refined/Scandi/California/mountain/lake” appropriate? It feels more cottage-y or traditional lake house, less mid-century or Scandi. But for the kids’ rooms, couldn’t that be so cute?

Kilims & Eclectic Vibes

Great Escape Foyer 1116
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Now, I LOVE the above, but again, not totally sure it’s right for this house. I also love that it is a color that would surely hide things well. Brian and I have been in a big do-we-or-don’t-we wall-to-wall debate for months now and one of my complaints is the potential dirt it’ll collect, so I can’t imagine something with a nubby texture like this WOULDN’T be a magnet for particles.

Kilim Ethnic Rug Stair Runner
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You have probably all seen this image above before (designed by Commune) but it was the first one to really execute this vintage-rug-as-stair-runner concept so well. This would be more appropriate in our current house in LA, which doesn’t have a stair runner but is more traditional. That leads me to the next question though: If I’m not lamenting my lack of stair runner here, why are we so convinced that our life would be so terrible up in the mountains with naked stairs? Would my children still grow up to find love and fulfilling careers if they are denied the comfort and sound diffusion of a stair runner in their summer cabin?

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Is this a moment to do something classic and safe or is doing something more exciting actually the right move? Do you make the stair runner a “moment” or just do something quiet and simple? Last night while I was spacing out, Brian asked me what I was thinking about, and I smiled and repeated that last sentence. These are the thoughts happening all the time.

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Img 8318
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I’m definitely interested in doing something special, but there are many risks involved and it needs to fit into the overall style of the house.

All Black Runners

6hallway
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I started finding really simple black carpets and am very intrigued by this prospect. While typically I veer more toward lighter tones, I obviously know that a white stair runner is not best for my dirty family.

2400842 House 18dec14 Sharyn Cairnes B 640x9601
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There is something so cool and chic about this simple dark tone, no pattern. It’s minimal and would take the house toward the more edgy Scandinavian contemporary chalet vibe that I originally intended for the house before I remembered I was married to Brian “Mountain Man” Henderson.

Fresh & Cool (A.K.A. Something a Little Different)

Lastly, I finally found a few patterns that I did like. These are more geometric which feel appropriate for the style of the house and architecture. None of these are EXACTLY right but I’m liking what they are doing to the space and I could even see them in the bunk room and stairs to the play attic. 

Luxury Stair Carpet Unique Tour A Gramercy Park Triplex Designed
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I think it’s playful without being too loud. In a more neutral color palette (like black and white), it does what I want it to do—make a fun statement—while not veering the house into the wrong direction.

Modern Stair Runner
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This one, that I started the post with, was the first one that got me excited to dive into this world and while its vibe isn’t totally right, if it were on our stairs, I’d be pretty proud.

Striped Stair Runner
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I’m very surprised by how much I love this black and cream stripe, but I would probably lose the yellow binding for our house despite it being pretty great here.

Hallwaydownstairs2
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So per usual, I’m curious about your stair-runner thoughts and have a few questions for you on the matter:
  1. Do you believe in stair runners? Is the architectural sacrifice (i.e. steal attention from a gorgeous wood staircase) worth the comfort and sound benefits?
  2. Do they work better only in more traditional homes? I didn’t find any that were in a more mid-century house…but ours is a mountain cabin so its not a true midcentury house either.
  3. If you have a runner, are you super happy with it? Do you wish you had done it differently? Do they stain as easily as I think they will?
  4. Are there any to stay away from or certain things to avoid?
  5. Do you know of any good sources for more modern patterns like the last few? I can NOT find any online and I don’t know if this is something I can customize easily.

Once again I’m grateful for your input. I wouldn’t be able to live a true day without asking the opinions of others … 🙂

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Allison

Honestly, I’d pass on the runner solely on the basis of how much I hate vacuuming my current carpeted stairs. I’d much rather run a swiffer along wood stairs than have to vacuum, especially with a house in the mountains where the kiddos will be running through the woods and tracking dirt in. If you have someone else do the vacuuming, then by all means a runner is lovely.

Katie

I have never weighed in on your comments section before, but I’m pretty anti stair runner. Unless you are going to have a house cleaner who will vacuum your stairs regularly. It’s so easy to clean stairs with no runner and oh so painful to keep a runner vacuumed. I love the way many of these look and have been tempted but I can’t get past the work involved, I have enough to clean.

Jessvii

Not really a fan of stair runners – I don’t generally think they look good, and they’ll be dirt magnets. I guess I like the all black option best for the mountain house – it’s visually quieter, and I’ve got to imagine it would be decent at concealing a bit of mud.

priscilla

you would think not, but black shows as much dirt as white (unless it’s black dirt). i would so rue the day i put down a black floor.

Rebekah

I second this. We had a rug with a lot of black in it and I felt like it constantly looked dirty.

Vicki S Williams

Ditto, ditto, ditto!

Christa

Yup.
I once had an apartment with white tile floors in one area and black tile in another. It was like a test. Black failed. Well, both were a pain, but for sure, black was worse.

INTERESTING. Ok so good to know.

Turner

Yes! Especially with blonde hair… trust me!

Lane

I have black shiny granite tile on the floor in master bath and don’t find any issues with it. Love the look. But I wouldn’t get a black or navy rug either.

Shannon

I mean, sure. Think about having a black car – it has to be washed so much more than other colors bc it shows everything.

Ginger

Black is the worst at hiding dirt! I will never have dark wood floors or black cabinets/countertops again. Been there done that, and a nightmare to clean. Especially if your in the mountains.

Natalie

I have a black entry rug and hate it! It shows everything! I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it would be to deal with on stairs. 😬

Lauren Sharp

Agreed about black or very dark anything on stairs showing dirt and fuzz and lint, oh my. My father owned a floor coving company and always said, “If you want to hide dirt go with the color of dirt.” I have a mid-tone warm grey runner on my stairs and it’s superb at not showing dirt. The comfort underfoot, safety, and sound absorption are most important to me. 100% wool while pricy naturally repels stains and the pile holds up well for decades.

Emily Morrison

I recently installed a Serena & Lily runner that’s made of wool & denim (sounds weirder than it looks—promise!), and although it’s only been 5 months it is proving to be very durable. We go up and down these stairs OFTEN too.

https://instagram.com/p/BkqXo4Rn9qW/

Emily Morrison

Also, this thing hides dirt too well — that’s a good thing or bad thing depending on your perspective;-)

Daria

Wow, I LOVE this.

Emily Morrison

Thank you! I do too— makes carrying laundry up and down them not so bad 😉

I love this too!!! Maybe I’ll just copy you 🙂 I forgot that Serena and Lily did stair runners … i love that pattern a lot. thanks so much for sharing. xx

Emily Morrison

😘

Sonja

Emily M sold me but generally I’d be a no vote. Though that top pic is also enticing.

Tara

This is perfect! Even though I just commented to go neutral:)

Jenny L

My stairs are carpeted and I’d love to change to wood but worry about my two year old slipping on them with socked feet. Knowing we will be in small child stage for the next few years I’ve been curious about this idea and love the ones you pulled. I think they look beautiful.

Tiffanie

We have naked, steep stairs and have always kept our two year old in grip socks. GAP makes them and my favorite Bonds.com/au. When he’s barefoot he doesn’t slip either.

I’m not for or against a stair runner. Just don’t have the brain power to pick something out. Maybe when my son runs up the stairs like a herd of antelope I’ll do something to lessen the noise. Speaking of antelope, Making It Lovely used that pattern on he stairs. Looks less sexy and more quirky than leopard.

Emily

We have wood floors and stairs and do bare feet or slippers in winter. Even grip socks aren’t always enough for our toddler.

Lisa

I love all the photos under the “Traditional” heading, though I think all of them look modern and fresh and could definitely work in the Mountain House! A big No to the kilim section – while I love good kilim rug, these runners just look too heavy and complicated. I have a plain beige berber runner and while, yes, you have to vacuum it and, yes, it gets a bit dirty so you will have to steam clean it now and then, the safety and comfort of it wins. Especially if you have a long stretch of stairs. My kids… Read more »

Lane

I completely agree with everything. I think that geometric patterns are in the modern category

Laura

I think stair runners are really great, but then again I’m a big fan of anything to help deaden sound so others may continue to sleep. Just imagine you’ve tucked your kids in, but your friends are arriving at 10 pm. Do you want their clomping feet to wake the kids up as they shuffle suitcases inside? For your mountain house I really think a black runner could be stunning.

I know. I’m anti sound, too. And we got so used to the carpet everywhere there and secretly LOVE it.

meghan

I am very pro stair runner! we have old painted stairs and when our sweet golden (dog) turned 10 we knew we had to do something to help him up and down the stairs. I went with a striped Dash and Albert runner and it’s a showstopper. The colours are fun and it’s actually not difficult to keep clean. The BEST household investment we ever made was the Dyson V7 handheld – your stairs can be as good as new in a quick-minute.

runner: https://annieselke.com/Rugs/Stone-Soup-Indoor-Outdoor-Rug/p/DA163

Samantha

am going to second the dyson recommendation! a cordless vacuum makes keeping carpeted stairs (and even hardwood stairs) clean SO. MUCH. EASIER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

my main staircase to the top floor of the house is hardwood, and the stairs to the basement are carpeted. they were like this when i bought the house, but since the basement is ya know, underground, i like the warmth of the carpet on those stairs.

Emily

You should absolutely have a stair runner for safety. This is a house where you will have lots of guests going up stairs – if you guys have adjusted to especial stair caution at your own house that’s one thing but when others including kids and people in their socks are going up these stairs it’s a must.

Erin

Yes yes yes. Wood stairs are so slippery! We recently moved into a house with “naked” stairs, and after my son slipped and bounced down 5 or 6 steps on his bum, we installed a stair runner. Best decision ever. Much safer, and so soft on our bare feet in the morning.

Ginger

I agree! My parents cabin has wooden stairs and I slipped on them with my socks coming down and broke my tailbone. They are so dangerous, especially for any older guests or young children.

Jamie L

I agree. I love the look of naked stairs but after slipping down them and badly dislocating my shoulder I’ve changed my feelings.

K

We JUST installed a stair runner two days ago!
We went graphic! Bold! Very geometric/modern pattern, but in neutral colors.
After just a few days, I can say that I prefer my kids and dog going up and down on the runner versus naked stairs. It’s an older home with imperfections and the runner really made the stairs seem in better condition.
No regrets here.

Oh awesome. Where did you find your pattern?

K

It’s just a cheapie from Wayfair. It’s listed as an indoor/outdoor. It’s actually soft on the foot and we put padding on the stairs so theirs good cushion. We did have to connect two together but that was no problem.

Deb

Not a stair runner fan, but we’re going to have to add one as we’re planning to adopt a greyhound and they don’t do well with wooden treads. When we moved into our house my kids were babies and we had a gate up, so the dogs got used to not going downstairs to the family room.

I’m looking for a mid-century modern/Scandinavian runner as well. Love the look of the kilims, but would prefer something that just disappears visually.

Sarah

Greyhound lover here – they can master stairs pretty easily but the stair runner really helps especially if the stairs are particularly long or steep. They are literally the best dogs. We are currently on a greyhound break because we tent camp and hike a ton and they just don’t love being away from their cushy beds, but I will have another when we slow down a bit. Enjoy. They are wonderful dogs.

Amy

We have 3 big dogs and they barrel down the stairs like crazy animals, so having carpeted stairs is the safest option for them. I also have a nonskid throw rug at the bottom of the stairs for them to “land” on when they invariably jump off the last 2 steps in a frenzy….daily.

Liz

Your answer to whether or not you should have a stair runner depends on your answer to this question: Are you a shoes on or off inside family? If you don’t wear shoes inside (like my family), I think a stair runner is a (functionality) plus. It doesn’t get dirty/stained, it provides a non-slip surface for sock wearers, and it dampens noises. If you do wear shoes inside, I would skip it. It could be annoying to clean ground in dirt from shoe soles, and you don’t need a non-slip surface.

Ashley R

I love vintage rugs as runners, but I agree that it’s probably not right for this style of house. I absolutely love that first image though and think that would be perfect in the Mountain house. It’s simple and quiet, it has texture which I think you’ll need as this home is in an area that will get cold. I think doing a stair runner will add an element of coziness that you’ll be grateful for.

Stacie

I have lived in houses with and without carpeted/runnered stairs, and despite it being yes, more difficult to clean, I prefer the “with” 10 to 1! Particularly since this project is meant for rest, hosting guests, and general comfort, I think you should go for it. That first photo under “traditional” definitely reads modern/mid century to me and I think something in that vein would look best – a neutral small pattern that won’t detract from a beautiful wooden staircase. Another option is just to use some type of stair tread cover – having the rises visible will still keep… Read more »

Stacie I thought about that too, but when I googled it I got scared …

Marie

We just did custom ones!! My husband and I went back and forth for YEARS about a runner. I love their classic look (even though we too have a more modern aesthetic), but he didn’t want to mess with the beautiful wood. Seriously – years. And I also googled stair tread covers and got scared. But then I found some remnants of carpet we have in a bedroom and it was almost exactly enough to take to the local binder and get 11 tread carpets custom made. I’m still not completely in love with them, but I didn’t realize how… Read more »

MaryMargaret

If you are a shoeless home, this could work. It really does not take much time to clean and it honestly is a task you can assign to your kids in a couple of years if your vacuum is not too unwieldy or you have a handheld. I know you are anti-sisal, but we got sisal tread covers in nature blocked in black and they look great and are perfect for traction. I love the look of naked stairs, but after two falls (one a kid and one the nanny), we realized the naked stairs were too slippery for our… Read more »

Ylva

Hi! I have an unrelated suggestion for the mountain house ceiling. I know two of your alternatives was to stain it black or to paint the beams White. Have you thought about combinating those ideas and stain the beams Black? It would Sölve the problem of having two tones of Wood in the ceiling.

Nikki

I vote no runner. I slipped more times than I can count on carpeted stairs. I have never slipped on bare wood. Plus my kids used to “sled” down carpeted stairs. They didn’t on bare wood because it is just not as comfortable.

Jennifer Brasher

cleaning carpeted stairs is a PAIN!! And they never wear well.

abby

Love the look of a stair runner! I’m a ran of all of the traditional ones you showed, but I also like the last couple of pictures with the small stripes. I laughed out loud at your running for Congress comment 🙂

Ms

We had a Dash and Albert runner in our hallway and it was AWFUL. To vacuum it I had to have another person stand on the corners to hold it down while I stood on the opposite corners and simultaneously ran the vacuum. Yes, that’s as awkward as it sounds. That wouldn’t be an issue for a runner that’s nailed to the stairs, but just shows that they are so lightweight. It also faded even though there is no natural light in the hallway. In the end I threw it away.

jennifer

Didn’t read through the comments, so forgive if repeating, but just weighing in to say that I think black carpets show almost as much dirt as light ones. Dust is really a grayish or tan or rust color most places and fuzz balls and foot prints and pet hair (don’t you have cats?) show easily.

Ashley

As a person who’s fallen down the stairs of literally every home I’ve ever lived in, I can and will wax poetic about the virtue of soft stairs to cushion my (many) falls. (Don’t be scared, I bought a ranch-style home for this very reason. Fewer stairs to fall down.) Wooden stairs are pretty, if not a little boring, but worst of all, they’re slippery. I’m not sure if you’re a shoes on in the house kind of family, but if you’re an avid socks only type of gal, slipping on those stupid stairs is inevitable. Yes vacuuming is a… Read more »

Catherine

HAHA I didn’t think about that, but you’re so right! An older woman could certainly kill herself falling down a staircase sans runner. And I think I’m 90% convinced an owl did it.

Bea

Ha – I’m pretty sure it was the blow poke wielded by the husband (can owls strangle?)!

Dena

This is the best that Michael Peterson’s case has ended up here!! My take is still that the odds of him being the very last person to see two women fall down the stairs as an accident to their death is pretty astronomical. The Netflix show left out a lot of details that I had to look up on Youtube because I just couldn’t take watching it from mostly the defense’s point of view.

Also, I agree a graphic runner would look amazing and be great for slipping.

Paula

100% agree.

Diane

If you choose runners, be sure to add a few feet of rug at top or bottom so that when heavily stained, or worn,, the carpet can be unnailed and pulled up or down. New carpet on the stair treads!

thelady

YESSSSS!!!! Go with those in the “Fresh & cool” section. But wait until you finish the house and have other textiles in place.

Yah, we are definitely waiting. Maybe once we live there it won’t bug us at all!

Betty

I like it both ways – plain and with runner! We have one because of the dog – the minute someone enters the gate she’s flying down the stairs doing her duty, fell and injured herself on our bare wood stairs. Now it’s much better with a runner and actually I think it’s safer for us too! I love the first one (with toddler)……not my color scheme now, but one day….maybe!

Christa

Those modern geo-pattern ones are pretty great looking. I would get indoor/outdoor woven polypropylene that can be swept. It will look cool in summer and feel warmer in winter and rarely need a full vacuuming.

Elizabeth

As a klutz, I often slip on our naked stairs and it’s a little scary. Some mentioned that stair runners are impossible to vacuum–I just use a really small vacuum for daily vacuuming (my husband and cats are SLOBS) and it would do a stair runner perfectly. It doesn’t seem like a super permanent experiment to try out.

Sarah

I forget the design of your stairs, but I kinda recall that you added a 180 degree turn with a mid stair landing – maybe that is Portland. Anyhoo, I think runners are great on long, narrow or steep stairs – less so on stairs that have a turn or landing. Yes they get dirty (hand held vacuums are key) but they also make the stairs feel so much safer and more comfortable for kids, dogs and less agile adults. I’m actually not a fan of trying to make them into a “moment”. I prefer a neutral carpet that lets… Read more »

Karen

The top picture looks like it could be more of a hazard than not having one. Anything that messes with the lines of the steps, could cause someone to trip, which would be defeating the purpose of the runner.

I’ve had to put a runner in when we got new wood floors put in. We all kept slipping, and was worried when my elderly parents were coming to visit. It really made me sad because the wood was beautiful alone.

Julie P

I feel like stair runners work only if the upstairs is carpeted. It seems weird that the stairs would otherwise be an island of carpet. I also think that anything with white in it is going to be a ridiculous nightmare to keep clean even with a shoes off household policy. I think the Dash and Albert type would be easiest to keep clean. It does read too traditional for mid century but I think it’s SO EHD that no one would mind. I also think runners look best when it’s one long straight set of stairs, not with a… Read more »

We have thought about that too – the whole random stair island thing, and i hadn’t thought about the curve, but I now agree with you …

christelle

stairs get dirty soooo damn quickly, it’s already inconvenient enough without having a carpet to clean on top of it.

indre

Can’t remember where, but I saw this genius idea of making stair runner from leftover patches of leather (specialised stores sell cut-offs in bulk) and securing them with gold runner-holders (don’t know the proper english word for those things). It looked stunning – leather is not slippery and develops a gorgeous patina over time. Seriously thinking of doing that in my own home.

LL

Along the lines of above, I was thinking of cowhides in their natural form. Another option for the antique rug look that might work in the house is to use horse blankets. There are some that read more dash and albert than southwest.

Heather

Not a huge fan, but we’re going to be installing some. We have hardwood stairs and after 5 serious wipeouts and many minor on them in 5 years, one in which I was permanently scarred and one very recently in which I had to watch my friend’s daughter in agonizing pain, safety needs to trump looks. Or you need to always ask guests to go barefoot, sober, and walk slowly. Not realistic…

Allison H.

Pro stair runner!! The first picture you show is my favorite for sure. And all in that last sub-section are a close second.
It’s going to be cold up there. Even in summer, it cools down at night in the mountains. Which means socks on cold feet and socks + bare stairs + kiddos hurrying around = falls and spills and scuffed walls and railings. With all your resources at your disposal I’m sure you can find something amazing and cool AND comfy.

Nicki

I do indeed believe in stair runners if done right. Generally I lean toward the ones that make a statement. So many good examples above. Do it. You won’t be sorry.

Janine

I love this post so much. Exactly what I needed!

If runners are boring, then call me beige wallpaper because I’m HERE FOR IT.

Hanoian of Glasgow

Aha! This is definitely a topic I can eagerly join in! We have a beatiful Victorian duplex apartment with such drama white curvy staircase and skyline with a RED stair runner. Everytime I walk up and down the stair I feel like I’m a queen or big star posing on Oscar red carpet (talking about drama!). Now when it comes to real life… It’s lovely to walk on but also drives me mad try to keep it prestine. It’s in red so a tiny little drop a dust immediately stands out like a sore thump. And belive me it isn’t… Read more »

Brandon K.

One of the recurrent arguments in our house is who is going to vacuum the stairs, the partner or me. I would much prefer to sweep and/or swiffer the stairs than deal with carpet.

Karyn

I say YES to the runner!! If you want a more modern look, find a more narrow runner that will expose the wood stairs on the sides. There are so many benefits to having one. No slipping on the stairs, much more quiet as people go up and down them, and you can replace the runner to change the look, color, and feel as often as you want!! It can add lots of your personality to that part of the room. Instead of black (which shows as much dirt as white), go with a neutral gray or sage or blue!!

Jac

Yes to carpet runner. Kept my kids alive when falling. Tried Dash and Albert but with four cats, I found the weave too loose, and the damaged it way too easily. Pile runner was endless vacuuming of fur and dirt. Sorry Brian, I’ve been in love with sisal for 10+years. Quick run over with vacuum wand gets all fur and dirt. Mid tone color hides all sins. Have had two in those 10 years. No brainer. Will do again.

Kathy

I’m lucky enough to have a mountain home myself, and while I LOVE the stair runner in my traditional home in LA (but it’s sisal so it would be voted out of a Henderson home!), I have to say I also love just having plain wood stairs in the mountains. There’s something about being outdoors a LOT while we’re there that makes the wood feel right… and while we do take our shoes off at the door, an occasional guest– adult, child, pet, you name it– wanders in and around with a lot of nature left on their shoes and… Read more »

lauren

I had no opinion of stair runners prior to your post. Now I’m thinking …. do I need a stair runner for the new house? Of all the ones you posted, and thinking about the vibe of the mountain cabin, I’m leaning towards a) yes, the stair runner will add comfort and visual appeal and b) the black (or dark grey?) and cream/stripe with no border at the very end was my fave. I loved the herringbone blue and white with black dashes, but for the vibe you are rocking I think geometric, yet subtle is the best option (my… Read more »

Jb

I’ve found that every house we have had carpet or a runner in I end up regretting it. The piles get worn down in the middle of the stair very quickly.

Also please please do not choose a solid dark color. It shows every little speck of lint and dust. It’s worse than white by a long shot. Some pattern even if it’s tiny is better for hiding dirt.

Mary Lewis

Personally, I woukd not hide beautiful wood. If I had to have runners they wiuld have to be monochromatic for safety reasons. Busy patterns cause confusion with many folks, especially those of us who haved suffered strokes.

Robin

I have a mid-century house with concrete stairs that lead to a finished basement. I was going back and forth on whether to carpet them or not when my daughter (20) slipped and fell. My hesitation was that I had never done a runner. I either had fully carpeted or wood stairs in the past. As it turns out, I love the runner. It makes falling less likely and, if they do, it hurts less. I have more modern taste, but like a hint of traditional and vintage as well. I chose a traditional oriental runner with a more modern… Read more »

milo

OMG! That Commune photo stopped me in my tracks because I have a similar stairs/trim situation that doesn’t look great in the former homeowner’s mint/white combo. That paint color is what I’ve been missing!!

Brooke

Having had carpeted stairs in the past – I hate them. Cleaning them is a pain in the butt and I feel guilty for asking a housekeeper to clean them. Wood is so much easier to clean. I’m also finding that my dogs nails snag these Dash style rugs (I have a runner in the laundry room, which I paid to have fiber protected to keep it nicer because of the dogs, which is now trashed after having it a short 3 months).

Robin

For us “olds”, going down a staircase with the optics of graphic pattern would being daunting. Simple and secure would be my priorities.

Michelle

I really like the look of a stair runner and for a family with young children it is absolutely the way to go. Each of my boys has fallen down our stairs more than once and each time I have thanked God that they are carpeted.

E

I’m going to go a step further and not just declare myself pro-stair runner, I’m pro-walltowallstairway carpet. I live in a really old house with all hardwood floors except the wall to wall on the stairs and landing. It is old and really needs to be replaced, with some newer more modern wall to wall carpet. Those stairs would be so noisy without it and I don’t want to get the stairs refinished just so their outside edges will show. Also, do you have to swiff AND vacuum the stairs with a stair runner? How do you get both the… Read more »

Diane

When we ripped up the carpet, we took away the stair runner also. Now we have wood floors, and replaced the stair treads with solid wood and stained it antique walnut. Even now it is amazing how much dust/dirt etc that the staircase attracts. With the wood I see it, and it’s SO easy to clean. With a stair runner the dirt/dust just stays there – lurking, until you lug the vacuum out!

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