Hallway Runner Options

There’s a new vintage runner in the entryway downstairs (I’ll have to rephotograph the area and share soon), and I’ve turned my attention toward the hall on the second floor. I don’t want to keep the wood floor bare because the kids slip on it when they have socks on, and Murray has a hard time getting traction on slick surfaces. Plus, a little protection for the original floors couldn’t hurt, especially in high-traffic areas.

The UpstairsHallway #makingitlovely

We had gray FLOR tiles in the dining room at the old house, so I brought them out to give ‘em a go. The chimney chase juts out into the hallway here, and there’s an angled wall opposite, so I like that I can custom-fit the runner to the space. (Obviously I would trim a couple of tiles to mimic the angled section.)

Hallway Jog #makingitlovely

I liked the carpet as an 8×10, but the seams are really obvious as a runner. Part of that could be because the pieces have been rearranged though, and maybe if they were stuck together they would wear evenly and that effect would fade. (Anyone have experience with reusing and rearranging them that can weigh in here?) The gray color isn’t doing it for me either, but does that warrant get newer prettier ones in a different color or pattern when we already own these? Although we don’t have enough to extend the runner as far as I’d like, and this style has been discontinued. (Justification!)

Hallway with FLOR #makingitlovely

There is a pink and white plastic runner from the old house that we also already own, which I used briefly in the finished basement’s craft space. It’s cute, but a little on the narrow side. We would need another one for the rest of the hall, and I don’t know if I’m loving it so much that I’d want a second one. And then what do we do at that jog in the hall? Side by side? Slight overlap or gap?

Pink Runner in the Hallway #makingitlovely

A lot of these houses end up with wall-to-wall carpet in the hallways. I’m not sold on the idea, but it’s an option. Use the existing FLOR tiles we have, use new FLOR tiles, buy a second matching pink runner and use those, lay carpeting, find two other runners (wool would be nice)… there are plenty of options. What would you do?

91 Responses to “Hallway Runner Options”

  1. kara January 29, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    i’m too distracted by how awesome those built-ins are to think about a runner! however, i’m a huge fan of this one (although not 100% sure there are any left…) http://www.target.com/p/nate-berkus-arrowhead-runner-onyx-1-10-x7/-/A-14143947?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=Google_PLA_df&LNM=%7C14143947&CPNG=Home+Decor&kpid=14143947&LID=PA&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=14143947&gclid=CKitjf2RpLwCFcY7MgoddXMAhQ

    • Making it Lovely January 29, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

      Yeah, I think they’re long gone from the stores. I actually do have one! I want to reupholster a bench with it someday. Maybe. It’s really teeny for a runner, though.

  2. Kimberly January 29, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

    I think the Flor tiles look great! At the very least, they’re a good placeholder until you find something that really “clicks” for you.

    • Kimberly January 29, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

      Well, except for the seams. But I think you’re right, they might take some time to adjust to a new arrangement.

  3. Kathryn January 29, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    Flor. No question. Trimmed to be narrower and bordered with a contrasting style (compromise, new and old!). I think the seams will be visible, but far less noticeable, once it is properly installed. That’s what happened when I moved ours.

  4. Hilary January 29, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    One of my favorite things about the FLOR tiles that I own is that when I want to expand a rug, I can mix old tiles with new tiles. I’m not sure how that would look as a runner but if you found the right pattern and could arrange it right, it might work really well and then you get a whole new look for half the $$$. Then, since the tiles were different, the seams would be much less of a big deal.

  5. The Maine Mrs. January 29, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    Flor tiles! Wood floors can be treacherous with little ones.

  6. jbhat January 29, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    I’m not digging the repurposed gray FLOR tiles in that area at all. They look industrial and sort of bummed out to be placed there (maybe they’d be happier and more useful somewhere else in the house). I vote that you shop for something pretty and more suited for the space.

    jbhat

    • Making it Lovely January 29, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

      The thing is, I don’t think there’s another good spot for them. I hate for them to go to waste, but they look really awful here. Maybe someone I know wants them…

  7. Mary January 29, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

    You might consider taking measurements that leave about 6 inches of space on every side of the total space you’d like to cover, go to a carpet remnant store, find a remnant big enough to cover those dimensions, and have them cut it to fit and bind it. Binding, about $1 per linear foot. We’ve done this with irregularly-shaped rooms in our place and it looks good–

    • Making it Lovely January 29, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

      That’s a good idea.

    • Katih January 30, 2014 at 8:32 am #

      This. I was coming here to post the same suggestion…it will look great since it’s custom fit to the space, and is a reasonable option cost wise.

  8. WES January 29, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    I have wondered about buying remnants and having them bound for area rugs and runners but never looked into pricing it out. I have to wonder is that an option for you? Maybe you could get the remnant cut for that angle and then bound? It maybe cost prohibitive though, I have never looked into the cost, but I know you can buy and bound remnants.

    I think the FLOR tiles can work especially once trimmed for the space. Maybe as another poster suggested get some new to create a border. I thought that they had some rectangular pieces in addition to the square that could work for the border but I cannot find them on their site.

    • Ryan January 29, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

      I was going to suggest the same thing, getting a piece of carpet custom cut to the shape of your hallway and bound. I know the local carpet stores here will do that and the price will depend largely on the carpet selection.

    • Making it Lovely January 29, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

      FLOR carpet tiles are all square, but they can be cut (by them or by you) into rectangles or other shapes.

      Maybe I’ll head over to a carpet store and have a look.

  9. Laura January 29, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    I would want two shorter runners on either side of a circular rug in the angle, in complementary patterns/colors, not necessarily all the same. (I can really see a round rug in the angle!)

    Getting some new tiles to incorporate with what you have could tone down the gray and minimize the edges.

    • Making it Lovely January 29, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

      The hallway upstairs (which is carpeted) has a similar layout, and we used a round table in the space. I think of it as our Hall of Playmobil — we set up the castle and there’s a bookshelf with the kids’ other Playmobil stuff across from it.

  10. Katharine January 29, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    I like Hilary’s comment about mixing the old tiles with new ones, maybe a patterned tile even. The gray looks so drab and dark in that space, but I like the interest and texture that the patterned pink runner adds.

    • Making it Lovely January 29, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      The gray looks awful. I think it would just drag any other color down with it!

  11. Laura @ Rather Square January 29, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    How are you at sewing? Could you cut pieces of multiple runners to fit the angles and sew them together? Might be tricky with a pattern (but could look nice with stripes).

    • Making it Lovely January 29, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

      I saw some small kitchen rugs recently on Apartment Therapy that were whipstitched together with contrasting thread, and I loved the look.

  12. Jessica @ SundayLoves.com January 29, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

    New Flor tiles all together or a runner made for the space. The gray doesn’t pop, the pink does, but it’s too narrow and the shape is obviously not working!

  13. Amy Kelly January 29, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    Because of the unusual shape of the space, I think a subtle, patterned carpet could be lovely and add a hint of character as well! Perhaps even have it installed to look like a runner (but perfectly fitted to the angles of the space, if that makes sense), so hints of the beautiful wood floor still shows.

    Something along these lines:

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/3394348/Wide-Binding-Sisal-Runners-traditional-hall-new-york

    http://stairrunnersusa.com/images/AD1.jpg

    • Making it Lovely January 29, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

      Those are great.

      • Katie January 29, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

        This is the exact solution we used in our zig-zaggy hardwood floored upstairs hall in our historic home (whew!). We wanted a carpet for the same reasons you indicated (kids, dog) and it looks great and got the job done. Our hallway is also quite on the narrow side (as yours looks in pictures), and I worried that leaving a wooden border on either side would make everything just look skimpy, but it turned out beautifully. Really warmed up the space and make it look luxe. Also had the runner continue down our hardwood, twisty front stairs (also narrow and again for the safety of the kids and dog), and that turned out great, too. If you are interested in pictures, let me know! (By the way, due to the tricky angles, etc., we had a reputable local carpet company come and measure everything and install. Definitely the way to go. They could do the hallway in one piece, despite the odd angles. Initially, I told them not to staple it down, as I did not want to damage the floors permanently, but it shifted around too much and always looked bad. So, they came back and stapled and I have not regretted it.)

  14. heather January 29, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

    I actually really love the pink rug and don’t mind the narrowness of it……maybe I’m the only one?

    • Ashley January 29, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

      I completely agree.

  15. Celeste January 29, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    I’m all about using what you have differently. I agree that the FLOR tiles could be great, but right now the seams are too obvious. Working in a color that would complement the space could give those tiles a second life, reduce the seam problems and give you the size/shape you need.

    The carpet remnant idea is a good one, too, though!

    I’m sure you’ll figure out whatever is right for the space (and your budget) and I’ll be impressed, though.

  16. Mary January 29, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    I dont like the look of the Flor. Go to a carpet store and buy a remnant or some brand new carpet and have it cut and bound. It costs about $1/foot to bind here in Alaska. You’ll be able to get pretty much exactly the look you want, with no seams.

  17. Katie January 29, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    Why not some little round rugs like stones on a garden path?

    • Making it Lovely January 29, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

      Sounds cute, but I don’t think it would give me the function I’m looking for.

  18. Rebecca D January 29, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    I agree with several others that the Flor tiles don’t work with this space. I liked the look of the single runner and if it feels small for this space. It’s what it was designed for and m ore than that I think will look cluttered or just off. It’s becoming apparent why so many people opted for wall-to-wall upstairs last century.

  19. Sarah January 29, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    I personally don’t really like how the FLOR tiles look in that space, but I am kind of biased against them from my own experience. I got them to go in our bedroom, and have had terrible luck keeping them together, especially the outside row at the foot of our bed. They always look slightly misaligned, the seams are really visible, and there’s a sticky place where the the FLOR “dots” connect together that always catches dirt and debris. Am I alone in this experience?

    • Making it Lovely January 29, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

      I haven’t had trouble with them staying together, but they do get kind of gross in the seams. It’s especially noticeable since I’m reusing old carpet tiles.

  20. Peaches January 29, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    I’m digging the pink, but I always dig pink. The FLOR tiles are awesome in their own right but I can’t imagine how they’d hold up after a year. Mine got pretty dogearred after a few months, and I live alone.

    If you go down the wall-to-wall route, Olympic carpets (or is it Olympia? –It’s at Division and the Kennedy) will make custom shaped area rugs by cutting and seaming the edges of the regular stuff. Pretty good prices too. I had a rhombus shaped rug made there for a couple hundred a few years ago. No fancy colors or patterns, but they carried some overrun from a casino that had leopard spots and roccocco swirls that was super fierce!

    • Making it Lovely January 29, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

      Fierce leopard spots would be kind of hysterical in the hall!

  21. meghan January 29, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    What if you added a contrasting trim on the edges? or even added a stencil print to loosely mimic the arrowhead style or print? then if that doesn’t work get new tiles or some sort of vintage rug and overdye it….

    • Making it Lovely January 29, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

      I wonder if works on dark rugs.

      • karin January 29, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

        Now, that could be a fun recycle project! Also, If you were to re-purpose the FLOR, I bet if you went 1/2 tile narrower, they’d fit the space a bit better.

        Pretty sure Vecco is an SC Johnson project. Maybe go to Racine and ask to see their design studio? ;)

  22. Molly January 29, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    I think the gray just looks too drab by itself, but the pink is absolutely glowing! What about a mix of pink FLOR tiles for a pattern with the gray you already have? That way, you could get the best of all worlds: something new, something old, something neutral, and something that pops. We have wall-to-wall carpeting in our hallway & up our stairs, and i HATE it. I’m counting down the days until we can afford to switch to something new that has more personality & is less bulky and weird. I think a mix of FLOR tiles is exactly what you need! And here are my pink suggestions:

    http://www.flor.com/heaven-sent-pink.html
    http://www.flor.com/remembrance-fuchsia.html
    http://www.flor.com/reoriented-pink.html
    http://www.flor.com/like-minded-pink.html

    • Making it Lovely January 29, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

      Those are fun. I really like their chenille options because it reminds me of my grandparents’ wall-to-wall carpeting (in a good way)!

      • Penny January 29, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

        I have the chenille in my living room as an area rug and I love it. It is so easy to clean and I haven’t had any problems with the squares coming apart. That’s with five dogs that daily rough-house on it. I’ve also removed some squares to clean when I’ve had some puppy messes. They have stuck right back down with no movement.

  23. Blergh January 29, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    Carpeting that hallways would be a crime against all that is beautiful.

    That said, the FLOR tiles look terrible.

    • Making it Lovely January 29, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

      Ha! I like how you don’t pull any punches. I think they look terrible too.

  24. Ashlea Walter January 29, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    I like the narrower look because then you can actually see the beautiful floors. I don’t like the scale of the FLOR tiles in that space.

    And wait a minute, I have been reading this blog for several years and I don’t know anything about Murray!!!??? Do tell.

  25. Meg January 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    Maybe I’m weird, but I’m not a fan of the FLOR look. Maybe, as mentioned, trimmed with a contrasting look/pattern, but the pink-and-white (or perhaps a not-yet-seen other option ;-)) side-to-side does it for me. :-)

  26. Jo January 29, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    I’d use the flor tiles until you find what you love. I would look for two crazy (but complementary) persian/iranian runners on eBay (they have some great, not hugely expensive options).

    • Making it Lovely January 29, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

      That was another option I was thinking of (just didn’t list it above). I found a vintage Persian runner for the entryway and I love it.

  27. GG January 29, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    I would have two of the same or similar rectangular oriental runners covering the length of the straight halls, as wide as you want to go. I wouldn’t do anything at the angled area, just have long rectangular carpets laying side by side in the middle, kind of like a brick pattern. There might be some space b/t them but not enough to slip on or catch Murray’s paws! The key would be measure the length and width of the 2 long hallways and get something to cover both separately but that go together if not identical. The house will carry vintage oriental or kilim well.

  28. cherneeshouse January 29, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    Hello – I love the pink patterned rug – it just makes the space look happy and I like how it looks against those beautiful floors!! I would get another runner. I found some nice wool runners at Overstock, there were 125 a piece not bad for runners. Also, I like the idea of talking to a local carpet store, I just visited one w a girlfriend and the prices were cheaper than the box stores.

  29. Janine January 29, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    I think I agree with the other commenters that the FLOR tiles aren’t working. Seems like the edges are curled up a bit. The pink and white runner is adorable and I think it’s okay.

    If you wanted to try something really inexpensive and crafty, maybe make a floor cloth. They’re just painted canvas. You could do something in a medium green with Rifle Paper Company -esque flowers down the edges.

    Actually, the edges of the floor cloth could be a painted story about the kids and the Rainbow House they wanted, and their adventures. That would be super fun!

  30. jkshdjkah January 29, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

    I would leave it uncarpeted and have my children wear house slippers.

    • Making it Lovely January 29, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

      They do sometimes (or go barefoot), but not always. And the dog doesn’t have much of an option, and I’d also like to protect the wood.

  31. Andrew January 29, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    Persian, Persian, Persian!! One long one and another short for the short section. In complementary patterns. Or, have a super long one cut & tailored to fit the jog. It would look gorgeous.

    Also, I would like to reiterate what someone mentioned above, that hallway is gorgeous. The transoms are amazing. Reminds me of the upstairs halls at Tree Studios.

    • Making it Lovely January 29, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

      You’ll see the one in the downstairs hallway tomorrow, assuming the light is nice in the morning for photos!

  32. Sarah January 29, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

    I think these FLOR tiles would work well. http://www.flor.com/suit-yourself-pumice.html

    OR get a runner from Company C. I love their designs.

    http://www.companyc.com/handmade-area-rugs-size/runners-area-rugs.htm

  33. kate January 29, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    I’m all for the flor tiles. I have reused and varied mine by mixing old tiles with new ones many times and it always works. I would buy a few new ones, probably 6-9, in a light and neutral color and a deeper, plusher pile, maybe wool. Then I would divide up that space into 3 “rugs,” leaving a bit of exposed hardwood showing and put 2-3 “new” tiles into each for a nice graphic textured look.

  34. Jane January 29, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    I love the idea of a oil cloth floor covering (http://www.thekitchn.com/ugly-kitchen-floor-change-it-w-94617) with some gorgeous graphic stencil
    (This website has some really pretty ones!)
    http://www.royaldesignstudio.com/products/skylars-lace-floral-stencil
    Would definitely be a “project” but you could customize to fit the size of your space.

  35. Ilse den Besten January 29, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

    I would go with to matching runners. So if you can’t find another pink one I think buying two new one’s would be my course of action.

  36. Emily January 29, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

    I think the gray is great for the hall. It will hold up
    To heavy traffic without showing wear and stains. What about just layering a pattern on top. Or a fabulous wall
    Color or awesome lighting /artwork to draw the eye up. Perhaps, since its either here or nowhere, what about taking a risj and stenciling on a border? love working with what you’ve got.

  37. Jessica Holland January 29, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    I would get something custom cut. In our older home our hallway floors were in horrible condition so we got runners cut that left about 2 inches on each side and it was great.

  38. Virginia (The Heartographer) January 29, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    I’m struggling with the exact same query for my hallway, although mine has slightly less awkward juts than yours does in terms of being able to buy standard-sized rugs.

    I’ve heard people say it’s both cheaper and more effective to just get a carpet company to custom bind something to the right fit for your hallway (not an exact fit but like a custom-shaped runner that works for your space). But I have to be honest, the idea of a runner with a jig like that sort of puts me off.

    I think you can get away with a single longer runner for the non-jigged space, and I think that will make you happiest design-wise. Overstock has such cheap ones that I’m sure you’ll find something adorable that works for you!

  39. Maggie McCarthy January 29, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    I have FLOR tiles in my upstairs hallway, and they’re always coming apart from each other. Part of the problem is that they aren’t in one straight line but go around a bend, like in your hallway. Even using thick tape to hold them together doesn’t do the trick. So you might be better off with two runners. (I like the one you’ve got!)

  40. Tamara January 29, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

    Those Flor tiles are giving me the sads. They look like some kind of school/government carpet in that space. I like the idea of doing a custom runner from a carpet place.

  41. Corissa January 29, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    What about using one width of these and getting another color or design and using that with the ones you have? If you can cut these, you could use a half width on either side creating your own custom runner. Does that make sense? You cant beat the durability and you get use of what you have and a little bit of new at the same time.

  42. karin January 29, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

    I’m a huge fan of FLOR (and am known to periodically drool over the catalog!), but I must say, those grey ones aren’t helping your hall one bit. Unless you absolutely must throw something down for the no-slid and toe warming features for now, I’d send them on. I’ve had good luck both buying and selling old FLOR on CL in Chicago. Maybe try that?

    Also, I can speak to the FlOR In the hallway question, since we do have a collection of brightly colored Feeling Groovy tiles down the long meandering hall our vintage Chicago apartment (the hall so big it is actually a room, I call it. And thus it needed it’s own special rug!). After 3 years of floor in a very high traffic and long space, it’s a MEH. They do look cute from a distance, and the funky bright mixture added a modern edge to what would otherwise be a long, dark hall. And it has been nice to be able to clean up the occasional big hallway mess relatively easily. But they quickly started to look frayed along the edges, and they shift around with just the floor dots ( I resorted to duct-taping a few for added strength). More than half of ours were re-purposed from our last home, and another chunk were a CL purchase, so I only ordered 8 new tiles to do our long hall, so it was worth it in the end. But I would not recommend going out of one’s way to put FLOR in a high-traffic hallway. Or at least not unless you are using the higher traffic tiles and fixing them to the floor.

    I’d love to see thick, bright wool runners in here. Mis-matched but coordinating long area rugs could be cute too.

    Love seeing your project updates! Have fun.

  43. Elysa January 30, 2014 at 1:55 am #

    The floors are wonderful! The FLOR tiles are awful! Must apologize as I might offend, but I can’t figure out why anyone would want them in their home. I am also not quite sure why you think the runner has to go through the “jig” part. Two runners would look great in the space and you would be able to see those beautiful floors, as well as provide protection. We have wood floors throughout most of our home and I don’t use any runners. Never had a problem with the kids slipping though I don’t have a dog so I can understand why you might want some protection. Btw I am enjoying watching your home come together, thanks for your blog :)

  44. meta January 30, 2014 at 3:05 am #

    No to the FLOR tiles! Get something much prettier since you’ll be looking at it too much :)

  45. Cara January 30, 2014 at 3:25 am #

    What about keeping the flor tiles (my thought is you already own them and I bet there are higher things on the list to spend $ on) and painting a pattern on them? It’s one of those ideas that could be either totally awesome or go horribly wrong but maybe a mock up in photoshop first would help? Just a thought!

  46. Christine January 30, 2014 at 4:51 am #

    Paint the Flor carpet tiles!Personally, I really like the greek key, or spiral pattern or anything that you think will fit in the space, the gray-yellow, or gray-white-light gray sounds nice combination!

    Some ideas: http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=Stenciled%20%26%20Painted%20carpets

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/496733033872132993/

    p.s. Sorry for my english!

  47. Inne January 30, 2014 at 5:00 am #

    When reading your post, I immediately thought of this image (first one on the page):

    http://indiapiedaterre.com/2013/08/30/multiple-rugs-layered/

    Personally, I love your more narrow pink runner, as it will provide the protection/anti-slip function you’re after yet still shows off the beautiful wooden floors. Plus it would be easy to layer with other (quirky, patterned,coloured) runners without having to pay for a custom job.

  48. jenw January 30, 2014 at 7:51 am #

    New Flor tiles, in a pattern that will both nicely hide any accidents and camo the seams a bit more. I definitley do NOT like the idea of two runners and patching them together somehow.

  49. Lauren January 30, 2014 at 9:09 am #

    This has already been said many times but…. a big NO to the Flor tiles- they look so wrong in such a beautiful, classy house. I would sell them, give them to a friend, or donate. And then I would try to find two vintage runners to place along each of the parallel stretches. That way your net contribution of “stuff/junk” on the planet is zero, but you end up with something that actually works in the space.

    Also- please, please, please do not put carpet over that original hardwood!!! I say this as an owner and lover of old homes…. it would be a true crime. Also, really gross if you have pets… there is nothing more disgusting than carpeted homes with pets.

    I will also echo those who have said they love seeing the progress on your place- it has been so much fun to read along and I truly love seeing your posts pop up on my feed!

  50. Deborah January 30, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    If you’re going to consider cutting and finishing a remnant, I would also suggest looking at NaturalAreaRugs.com (this isn’t a plug — I don’t work for them). I had a similarly quirky area in need of a non-standard size runner. I ordered samples of various sisals, jutes, even some wools, selected one and had it edged. Looks fabulous, just the right size, and was less expensive than it would have cost to cut and finish a remnant. Also free shipping.

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