Natural Berber Moroccan rugs are stylish organic alternatives to retro shag carpets.
Moroccan rugs are varied and while that country may be known for its vividly colored, flat-weave rugs, another style is so completely different you may not guess it too, hails from Morocco.
Vintage Beni Ouarain (the name of the tribe) rugs are pale and shaggy with geometric designs. They were woven by Berber women of Morocco’s Mid-Atlas mountains from the 1940s to 1960s using natural-color sheep’s wool in varying shades of white and brown. The result is an almost oatmeal-hued background often decorated with abstract line drawings and patterns.
I’ve seen dozens of these rugs and the natural colorings make each one unique. The wool is soft, fluffy and similar to the retro 1960s shag carpet that has again become so popular. If you watch closely, you’ll see these earthy, organic textiles appearing in various designer room settings.
Designer Jonathan Adler decorated the Parker Palm Springs hotel with vintage Beni Ouarain rugs pairing them with his signature retro style ceramics and Rat Pack era furniture.
Whereas Adler’s rooms were designed around a lively, retro, mid-century modern theme, Chicago designer Kara Mann takes a different approach in this Mexican villa, focusing instead on the monochromatic style of the carpets. Used in conjunction with other natural elements in the room, the carpets reinforce the tranquil atmosphere of the home’s ocean front location.
(Sources: Parker Palm Springs, Jonathan Adler, Kara Mann Designs)
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