by Amanda Mears
If there was a study done on the area of your house with the most traffic, main hallways would probably top the list. Luckily, there's a rug sized especially to protect your carpet and wood floors from constant wear. Rectangular runner rugs can provide a sound barrier and protect feet from cold floors, but they also make a big impact in a small space. Before you start shopping, think about what will work best for the space you have in mind and use these tips.
Measure before you shop. Although the shape of runners seems pretty basic, they come in several sizes to fit almost any hallway. Long, skinny halls call for a runner that won't overwhelm a small space, while short, wide hallways need something that will look substantial. Measure your hallway four inches from the walls to get a rug that fits perfectly.
Narrow down a style. Whether you have an old home that's oozing with charm or a sleek new pad, hallway runners will fit into your existing style and help accentuate features in your home. You can brighten a dim hallway with a light-colored wool area rug with a pattern or without. If you're worried about your runner getting dirty in a main entryway, look for rugs with a dark color and a pattern to disguise dirt. You can also choose runners based on the design of your home. For chic tile or marble floors, try a contemporary rug with graphic prints, like zebra or damask. Cozy wood floors were made to be paired with a more traditional style, like a floral or braided rug.
Look at materials. Depending on what your runner is made of, you can use it indoors or outdoors. For indoor runners, try a hand-knotted Persian rug or a wool shag rug. If you plan on using your runner outdoors, look for durable outdoor rugs made from synthetic materials that are completely weather resistant. Organic materials, like sea grass or jute, are also good for outdoor rugs and are eco-friendly as well.