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How to Set a Table with a Runner and Placemats

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Setting a table isn't just about arranging cutlery and plates; it's an art that can turn a simple meal into an elegant dining experience. Using table runners and placemats adds a touch of sophistication and style to your dining setup. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the process of setting a beautiful table using a runner and placemats to impress your guests and elevate your dining ambiance.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary supplies:

Table Runner: Choose a table runner that complements your table's shape and size. It should be long enough to hang over the edges but not too wide to overshadow the placemats or dinnerware.

Placemats: Opt for placemats that coordinate with your table runner and tableware. Consider the material, color, and texture to match your desired dining atmosphere.

Dinnerware: Set your table with dinner plates, salad plates, and bowls, depending on the meal you'll be serving. Ensure they're clean and polished.

Flatware: Include forks, knives, spoons, and any specialty utensils you may need for your menu.

Glassware: Set out water glasses, wine glasses, or any other beverage glasses you plan to use.

Napkins: Choose cloth or paper napkins that complement your overall table setting.

Step 2: Choose the Perfect Table Runner

The table runner serves as the foundation for your table setting. To pick the ideal runner:

  • Measure your table's length and width, adding enough extra length on each side for an overhang (around 6-12 inches on each side is ideal).

  • Consider the color and design of the runner to match your dining room's theme or the occasion you're celebrating.

  • Ensure the material is easy to clean, as spills are inevitable during meals.

Step 3: Select Complementary Placemats

Placemats protect your table from spills and scratches while adding a layer of style to each place setting. Here's how to choose them:

  • Measure the size of your dinner plates to ensure the placemats are large enough to accommodate them comfortably.

  • Coordinate the placemat color and material with the table runner, dinnerware, and surrounding decor.

  • Opt for placemats that are easy to clean and durable for regular use.

Step 4: How to Set a Table with a Runner and Placemats Ends Up in Setting the Table

Now it's time to put everything together:

Start with the table runner: Lay it down the center of the table, ensuring it hangs equally on both ends. The runner should be the anchor of your table setting.

Place the placemats: Set the placemats on top of the runner, aligning them with each chair's edge. Ensure they are evenly spaced, leaving enough room for each guest.

Arrange the dinnerware: Place the dinner plate at the center of each placemat. The salad plate or bowl can be positioned on top of the dinner plate.

Set the flatware: Place the fork to the left of the plate and the knife and spoon to the right. The knife should face the plate, and the spoon should be on the outside, next to the knife.

Arrange the glassware: Position the water glass above the knife and spoon, slightly to the right. If you're serving wine, place the wine glasses above the water glass.

Fold the napkins: Fold the napkins neatly and place them on the dinner plates or to the left of the forks.


How to set a table with a runner and placemats adds an extra layer of elegance to any dining occasion. By choosing the right materials, colors, and arrangement, you can create a stunning table setting that will impress your guests and elevate your dining experiences. With these simple steps, you'll be well on your way to mastering the art of table setting with a runner and placemats. So, go ahead, unleash your creativity, and set a beautiful table for your next gathering!

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