(Back to Golden Gate City! Welcome to Lisa, a new contender for the editor's role. Comment away.)
What's a San Franciscan to do with a 17-foot stretch of naked, drafty floor? Epic hallways are standard issue in many Victorians, but with most off-the-rack hallway runners clocking in at 7-8 feet, we're a city of short-changed pacers.
Solutions come in three flavors: off-the-rack, bespoke, and modular. In the limited off-the-rack category, Overstock.com is currently hawking richly toned Persian runners in a wool that stands up to foot traffic. Check out the 13' Serab Hand-knotted Rug , for $569, or the intricately patterned 10'5 version , $340 , both hailing from the rug-weaving villages of Hamadan , Iran .For a custom runner, California Carpet & Rugs on Folsom will re-work a rug of your choosing, expertly pattern-matching and steam-blending the seams for roughly $50/foot. Cover the same ground in a less spendy manner with one of their sisal-like wool runner rolls, which they will cut, end-cap, pad, and install for fees that start at $23/foot. In the online world, natural grass runners in a dizzying variety of weaves and finishes can be custom-ordered at Natural Area Rugs.com's online price quoting service. And Inweave.com offers a green alternative: rustic selvedge runners made from recycled upholstery fabric trimmings, in an array of widths and custom lengths.
By far the thriftiest way to go (and arguably the most fun) is DIY, with modular pieces from Flor or Ikea. If your hallway is at least 38” wide, Flor's colored, patterned and textured carpet tiles can't be beat, starting at $10.00/tile. And Ikea's round wool ringum rugs can transform a long, lonely walk into a spontaneous game of hopscotch. (Tip: make it non-slip by painting the backs with liquid latex Mold Builder .) -Lisa