Cali-cool design-school Part 5: AMAZING rugs

6/09/2016 06:30:00 am HELEN STILES 1 Comments

For today's post we're back to the 'Cali-cool design-school' where I've been delving into all the elements that make Californian interiors so lust-worthy....This morning I'm talking rugs. I have a bit of a thing about rugs, I just don't think a room is complete without one. Cali-cool rooms always contain an amazing rug, and Californian designers aren't afraid to mix things up to keep things informal and eclectic.
Via The Apartment

Rugs really do help to pull a room together – if there is one thing that can turn a room from 'meh to 'mazing it has to be a rug. If you're struggling to make any decisions on a room redesign, then I often start with the rug – find something you really love, and build the rest of the room around that. You can take your cue from the colours, textures and shape of a rug. Alternatively, if you have already decorated but your room just doesn't feel quite finished, then I would again try a rug (or two)! There are a few styles that Californian designers definitely favour, so I thought I'd give you the lowdown on some of the best rugs to achieve that cali-cool look, starting with Moroccan berber rugs. I've listed a few examples of the best on the web right now.

1. The Beni Ourain

via Lonny
These rugs have been gracing the pages of fashionable magazines for a good few years now. But there's a very good reason for that: they make a striking yet 'quiet' addition to a room, with their monochrome design, usually a black or dark brown diamond design on an off-white base. Authentic Beni-Ourain rugs are always made of 100% wool, sheared from the sheep raised by the semi-nomadic Beni Ourain tribes in the Atlas Mountains.
via Commune Design

They were traditionally created for use as blankets and bedding in the cold upper mountain regions where the tribes live (I like to think I'm being trad by draping one on my sofa to break up the great lump of grey fabric!)

More often in the west they are used as rugs – but they are luxuriously soft and tactile underfoot (not to mention warm if you happen to have drafty old floorboards underneath).  There are a range of reasonably priced copies available online now, but many are made of man-made fibres and lack the lovely textural pile and wonky design of the real thing. I can't help but feel that if you want one, then invest in an authentic Beni Ourain rug. You can choose either an antique (if budget allows) or a newer carpet, the latter helps to keep the craft alive for those tribes who are still making them.

Antique patchwork Beni Ourain // Beni Ourain 2 // Beni Ourain 3


2. Boucherouite Rugs 

Via Apartment Therapy

Staying on the Moroccan theme, boucherouite rugs are also very popular in Californian interiors and much used by North European designers too – apparently Denmark is the biggest European market for boucherouites (am I turning into a rug nerd?)

Anyway, boucherouite rugs have been a little slower to catch on here in the UK, but they have to be the most vibrant and colourful rug options available. They are also machine washable, so perfect for playrooms and kids' rooms.  Every boucherouite is unique, woven by women in villages all over Morocco from fabric remnants.  The designs are typically asymmetric, often featuring diamond or cross motifs. They are like pieces of art in their own right, vibrant, spontaneous, colourful designs – perfect for adding some laid-back style.

Here are some of the best:-
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3. Azilal Rugs

Hide & Seek London

Azilals are similar to boucherouites, they are traditional rugs woven from remnants, although tend to be made of wool rather than other textiles. They often feature quite vibrant pinks, reds and yellows over a visible white or off-white background. More expensive than boucherouites, Azilals are really beautiful and are becoming quite collectable. Something about that shaggy woollen texture gives them a definite 70s vibe, but they can honestly work almost anywhere. Snap up one of these before everyone catches on!

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And that is my round-up of the best of Beni ourain, Boucherouite and Azilal rugs. Of course, it doesn't end there – Persian rugs, Kilims, cowhides and geometrics all have their place in a Cali-cool interior, so I'll cover those off in the next post, otherwise this one is going to end up being very lengthy!

I'll just leave you 2 last examples of moroccan rugs, on the left quite a 'masculine' room, designed by Isle Crawford; and on the right a more feminine version – rocking that pink chaise. See, you can please everyone with a good rug!

Isle Crawford Spa Hotel // via Apartment Therapy

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