Stair runner ideas – 25 striking stair runner styles for a fresh look

These 25 stair runner ideas will help transform your staircase with colour, texture and contrast

stair runner ideas with orange border
(Image credit: Alexander James)

Looking for some modern stair runner ideas to transform your staircase? Stair runners are so underrated – they can completely transform a simple staircase and help to define a home's overall look. 

Stair runners are a classic stairway covering for a reason; they add style while also cushioning the noise of your family running up and down, but why stop there? Find a design with a strong repeating pattern, like a bold stripe, so the runner can extend into a wall-to-wall floor covering on the hall or landings. Keep this look going further by using paler shades of the same colour in the rooms coming off the space to create a cohesive theme in your home’s flooring.

Just like with the rest of the home, stair runner styles are a very personal thing. Below you'll find rainbow runners, star-print runners, leopard print and even zebra print (yes, really) stair runners to whet the appetites of the bold and the daring. Looking for a style to better suit a classic or elegant hallway? Stripes are timeless – Roger Oates' designs are a favourite here – as are plain coloured stair runners.

A bold carpet creates an inviting first impression; take note from the home of interior designer Irene Gunter of Gunter & Co, where the runner is paired with an abstract wall for a cool masterclass in clash.

A red stair carpet will injects a pop of vibrancy to a neutral scheme, while a soft pink shade will achieve a more elegant look. A grey stair runner with a dark grey border is a popular look for Victorian houses and traditional properties.

As well as protecting your base material, a stair runner will reduce noise; look to sisal for the most hard-wearing option, or wool if you prefer something softer underfoot.

A natural stair runner like a jute or sissal creates a gorgeous, textural and neutral look, while below there's even a leather stair runner and a stair runner made from silk – very luxurious underfoot, but probably quite tricky to keep clean. One for child and pet-free homes we think!

We've combed through our Livingetc.com archives to pull out some outstanding stair runner ideas. Below there are stair runner ideas to suit every taste...

See Also: Staircase ideas

1. Border edge

As well as protecting your base material, a stair runner will reduce noise; look to sisal for the most hard-wearing option, or wool if you prefer something softer underfoot.

stair runner with orange border

Get the look: Neville Johnson offers classic staircases. Try Ace Carpet Edging for similar binding. Interior design by Hám Interiors

(Image credit: Alexander James)

2. Pop of colour

This red stair carpet injects a pop of vibrancy to the neutral scheme. 

stairs with a bold red stair runner

Get the look: The vintage New York bus station poster was found on eBay.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

3. Patterned stair runner

A bold carpet creates an inviting first impression; take note from the home of interior designer Irene Gunter of Gunter & Co, where the runner is paired with an abstract wall for a cool masterclass in clash. A tactile wooden handrail grounds the scheme. 

striped stair runner

Get the look: Richard Burbidge offers similar staircases. Try Roger Oates for a similar runner. Windmill wallpaper, £69 a roll, Erica Wakerly

(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)

4. Soft pink

The sweep of chic pink stair carpet takes your eye upwards. A soft pink like this creates a very elegant look.

soft pink stair runner

(Image credit: Future)

5. Natural fibres

This stunning hallway features a natural stair runner made from jute or sissal. The neutral palette is punctuated by a few subtle black accents – like the balustrade, bench and minimalist wall light – to prevent the space from feeling too bland. It’s the perfect balance. 

natural sissal jute stair runner

Get the look: Table, Nickey Kehoe. Bench, Design By Them.

(Image credit: Susannah Scott)

6. Incorporate the landing

A design with a strong repeating pattern, like this bold stripe, means that the runner can extend into a wall-to-wall floor covering on the hall or landings. 

striped stair runner ideas

Get the look: Design by Salvesen Graham. Swanson Juniper runner, £132 per m, Roger Oates Design

(Image credit: Alexander James)

7. Geometric patterned stair runner ideas

This hallway is full of pattern, from the patterned stair runner and encaustic tile floors to Harlequin’s bold, geometric Sumi wallpaper. 

staircase with geometric print stair runner

Get the look: This is Harlequin’s Sumi wallpaper in Hessian/Copper. The bespoke stair runner is from Tim Page Carpets. The console table was bought at Lots Road Auctions.

(Image credit: Alexander James)

8. Simple striped border edge

Sometimes the simplest designs win. Here a plain stair runner with striped border highlights the beautiful curved banister and lets the grand hallway sing. 

stair runner ideas with striped border

Get the look: This is the Etch Web pendant by Tom Dixon. The stair runner is by Roger Oates. This is the Zehnder Charleston radiator.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

9. Leopard print stair runner

The leopard print stair runner in this hallway is a real Marmite thing – people love it or hate it. Either way, it gets a reaction. 

Leopard print stair runner ideas

Get the look: This leopard-print runner is from Chelsea Flooring Company. For similar vintage-style mirrors, check out Laura Ashley. For a garland like this, try Gisela Graham. The number tags are from Ikea.

(Image credit: James Merrell)

10. Modern pattern

A geometric print stair runner updates this traditional home with a modern look.

Geometric patterned stair runner ideas

Get the look: Lamp from Kelly Wearstler. Custom stair runner from Stark

(Image credit: Laurey Glenn)

11. Soft blues

How serene is this soft blue stair runner?

blue stair runner ideas with striped border edge

Get the look: This is the Hayward design from Roger Oates, £132 per linear metre. Available from rogeroates.com

(Image credit: Christopher Cornwell)

12. Multi coloured

The star-splattered stair runner contrasts brilliantly against the dark-stained oak parquet flooring and walls painted in a historic shade of blue. 

star print stair runner ideas

Get the look: The stair runner was made out of a rug by Solange Azagury-Partridge. The vintage Seventies chandelier is by Vistosi. The walls are painted in Oval Room Blue estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball. The butterflies were custom-framed.

(Image credit: Kate Martin)

13. Zebra print

A zebra print stair runner? Now I think we've really seen it all. There's clearly no rule book when it comes to pattern, and these home owners chose to have a little fun in this hallway. 

Zebra Print stair runner ideas

Get the look: The zebra stair runner is by Alternative Flooring Company at Sultan Carpets. The lights are by Normann Copenhagen at Nest. The floor tiles are from London Mosaic.

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

14. All over stripe

A striped stair runner always look good. Perfect for anyone who's indecisive as you can't go wrong. 

striped stair runner ideas

Get the look: This is the Vernon stair runner in Slate from Roger Oates.

(Image credit: Christopher Cornwell)

15. Leather runner

This steel staircase is coated in a wax finish with a leather carpet glued centrally on the treads and the landing. 

leather stair runner ideas

Get the look: The staircase is a bespoke project by Elite Metalcraft. For leather tiles suitable for flooring, contact Edelman Leather.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

16. Silky texture

This stair runner is made from silk – very luxurious under foot, but probably quite tricky to keep clean. One for child and pet-free homes! 

blue silk stair runner

Get the look: The blue silk stair runner is by Colbourns.

(Image credit: Rei Moon)

17. Rainbow stair runner

A stair runner dyed in rainbow shades gives this house’s dark wood detailing a new vibrance. 

Rainbow stair runner

Get the look: The runner was made bespoke for Barkerdesign. The wall covering is by Stereo Interiors. The limited edition print is by Patrick Caulfield from Iaysha Contemporary Art.

(Image credit: James Merrell)

18. Purple stair runner

The purple stair runner was chosen to tie in with the wallpaper by Black Crow Studio.

Purple stair runner ideas

Get the look: Wallpaper is from Black Crow Studio. Stair carpet is by Landry & Arcair.

(Image credit: Sean Litchfield)

19. Paint the skirting to match

The stairs were painted a plum colour to highlight the stair runner's colour. 

purple stair runner herringbone fabric carpet

Get the look: This is the Kobe Plum by Roger Oates. Find the collection on rogeroates.com; £132 per metre.

(Image credit: Christopher Cornwell)

20. Inject a fresh burst of colour

A vibrant red runner brightens up this dark and moody space. 

red stair runner ideas

Get the look: The mid-century sideboard is from The Old Cinema.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

21. Two toned

Can't decide on a colour? Why not choose the same pattern but in different colours? 

stair runner ideas in two different colours

Get the look: Stair runners are both the Vernon design from Roger Oates, £132 per linear metre. Available from rogeroates.com

(Image credit: Christopher Cornwell)

22. Plain grey – but with a dark border

This grey stair runner with dark grey border is the perfect addition to this traditional Victorian hallway. 

grey stair runner with dark grey border

Get the look: The tiles are from London Mosaic. The stair runner is from Marlows Carpets.

(Image credit: David Lovatti)

23. Deja Vu

The same style – a plain grey stair runner with a border edge – will give a classic, timeless look. 

grey stair runner ideas

Get the look: The lights are by Eichholtz, available at Sweetpea & Willow. The mirrors are by Notre Monde at Houseology. The flooring is by The Parquet Flooring Company.

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

24. Gorgeous greys

As you can see, it's a popular choice for Victorian properties.

grey stair runner in victorian home

(Image credit: Future)

25. Dark for contrast

There's heightened drama here thanks to the dark painted banister and the dark strip of paint that runs below dado height. The scheme is complemented by the grey stair runner, with dark grey border. 

dark stair runner ideas

Get the look: Try Original Style for Victorian encaustic floor tiles. The Mongolian sheepskin bench was bought at 1stdibs.com. The cushion is from Graham and Green.

(Image credit: Alexander James)
Lotte Brouwer
Lotte Brouwer

Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.