The Reasons to Try a Moroccan Handmade Beni Ourain Rug

You’ve seen them staring up at you from the floors of some of your favourite home photos and even in posh modern hotels. Moroccan carpets have become something of an obsession among the design crowd, and if you haven’t yet hopped on the bandwagon, here are 10 reasons to consider giving one a try. But first, a bit of background.

A very short history of Moroccan rugs. Authentic Beni Ourain carpets have been made by hand by the people of the Beni Ourain tribes in the Atlas mountains of Morocco for generations. Originally used as warm, comfy bed covers, these handwoven carpets are much plusher and softer than your average area rug. They are made from the wool of sheep kept at high elevations, which yields an especially thick, warm fibre in rich cream to beige tones.

The rugs tend to be decorated with geometric or abstract designs.If you take a look at one up close, the difference between the real deal and a mass-produced carpet will obvious: The latter tend to have more regular patterns and whiter white areas (rather than cream or beige), while the former have natural variations and a much plusher, softer feel.

Now the reasons for trying a Moroccan rug

1. Trendy yet classic

Moroccan Beni Ourain carpets have been spotted everywhere, and the trend shows no sign of slowing. In fact, this “trend” has been going on for so long now, I think “new classic” is a better term for these much-loved rugs.

Contemporary Bedroom by Studio Frank

2. Super warm and cozy.

Made in the high Atlas mountains of Morocco, these rugs are designed with warmth in mind. Put a big one in the bedroom and you will make your feet very happy, especially on chilly winter mornings.

3. Comfortable enough to sit on.

May I suggest a Beni Ourain for the nursery? When you have a little one, you are bound to spend a lot of time on the floor — and these carpets are so plush, it’s like sitting on a floor cushion. Your knees will thank you! (Wondering about spills and wear and tear? Don’t worry, that’s covered in the next point.)

Shabby-chic Style Dining Room by Artisan Books

4. Surprisingly durable.

These carpets haven’t been around for generations for nothing — the natural fibres are extremely durable, and spills are quite easily cleaned when treated promptly. I wouldn’t put one in the entry hall where mucky boots would be trampling it, but otherwise they can really stand up to anything.
Contemporary Family Room by Bardes Interiors

5. Work with all colors and patterns.

Using a Beni Ourain carpet is as easy as throwing on a favourite pair of blue jeans. Its neutral hue and subtle pattern work with colors bright or subtle, florals, stripes, geometric prints … and anything else you can come up with!

Industrial Dining Room by Adrienne DeRosa

6. Utterly cool.

Space feeling a little blah? Instantly up the cool factor of any room with a Moroccan rug. Coveted by stylish people everywhere, it is capable of creating a laid-back mood but without the dreaded 70’s-rec-room connotation of shag rugs.

Industrial Living Room by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

7. Authentic ones are one of a kind.

Beni Ourain carpets are loomed by hand, so each rug is unique. Each one has a slightly different color, pattern and shape, making this a wonderful way to personalize your home — even if these rugs are trendy (see point No. 1), no one will have one quite like yours.

Traditional Living Room by Kate Jackson Design

8. Layer up like a dream.

Make your Moroccan carpet go even further by layering it over another natural-fiber rug, like jute or sisal. This is a great way to make use of a smaller rug in a big space, and layering will give your Moroccan rug a slightly more traditional vibe — especially helpful if you want to blend it into a traditional or transitional space.

Contemporary Living Room by Jessica Turf Design

9. Pulls an eclectic room together like nobody’s business.

As noted already, Moroccan carpets go with all sorts of colors, patterns and styles, and are undeniably cool — but beyond all of that, they have a way of drawing the eye and pulling a room together like nothing else can. You can take a room filled with a mishmash of eclectic finds that have nothing in common, plunk a Beni Ourain carpet down in the middle of everything, and it suddenly works. If you love eclectic style, you need one of these carpets.
Contemporary Area Rugs by West Elm

10. Available at all price points.

If you have been drooling over authentic Moroccan carpets but the real deal is a little out of your price range, you don’t need to feel left out.

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