Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beni Ourain Rugs

As you all know by now, I visited the beautiful country of Morocco back in February.  We brought back lots of goodies, but our favorites and most memorable are our new lights (check them out here and here) and our new rugs.  We waited over 4 weeks for the rugs to arrive.  I had my doubts.  There were days that I thought we would never see them again.  But alas, one day we came home to the most beautiful delivery notice on our front door ever.  And two days later we unpacked them, they were in perfect condition and more beautiful than I remembered.  I'm sorry I ever doubted you Moroccan postal system. 

Purchasing a rug in Morocco was one of the most stressful things I've ever tried to do.  There is alot of negotiating involved - making offers and counter offers, drinking endless glasses of tea, looking at figures on calculators.  The Moroccans know what they're doing and they assume you have money since you're an American.  They say things like 'final offer' and 'berber holiday' to try to persuade you into buying.  They're very good.  But, the whole process just made me frustrated.  So frustrated in fact that we almost left without buying one.  That is, until we went to our final destination in the Atlas Mountains.  We ended up finding the most beautiful Beni Ourain rugs right in our Kasbah.  They were all a flat rate, there was no negotiating and they were all crafted in the mountains where we were staying. 

Before traveling to Morocco, I had never heard of Beni Ourain rugs, but now I can't believe I didn't know about these beautiful pieces of art.  They are hand woven by the Beni Ourain people of North Africa and are traditionally a white background with black symbols woven into them.  The symbols are representative of the traditional language, but the most common is the diamond pattern.  While walking around the gardens of our Kasbah, I came across these posts with the same Berber symbols seen in the rugs.  They're really quite stunning.

They're getting so popular that some of the big stores are starting to carry them in there lines.  West Elm just introduced a Moroccan line of authentic carpets and accessories.  They claim they are made in Morocco and based on the prices they probably are.   Anthropologie also offers a Beni Ourain inspired rug, but it appears to be a knock off based on the name.  To see how people are using them in there homes, check out this link from Apartment Therapy.  I just love them!

West Elm:  Found Moroccan Berber Rug
5x7 - $1499.00

Anthropologie:  Flokati Diamond Rug
5x7 - $898.00  

So now that I've got the background out of the way.  Let me show you what we brought home.  We got a long runner for our bedroom level.  It was so hard to find runners the right length and width.  We thought it was a lost cause, and then we found this one.  It was meant to be ours because the dimensions were spot on.  Take a look:

The second one we bought we put in our 4th floor level.  I really wanted it in our living room on the 2nd floor, but the dimensions were off and it just didn't look right.  So we moved it upstairs, and I'm actually thrilled with the way it all turned out.  It contrasts the red wall and the dark floor and the size is great.  It fills our void just right.  Plus, it has a more casual feel which is great for this space.  Here she is:

I love these rugs so much.  Every time I walk on them I get a little happier!  They're so soft and fluffy, but they're not so delicate that you're afraid of spilling things on them.  I think Marley (my dog) loves them even more than I do because I keep finding her snuggled up on them!  Hope you enjoy :)


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  1. Great post…The tribal graphics of Moroccan Beni Ourain rugs pair well with contemporary or traditional designs. Our Beni Ourain rugs have a simple harlequin pattern, a 1960s vibe and a price that’s half the cost in major rug dealers.

    I would love to share my Beni Ourain Collection with you.Please check them out here:

    Feel free to contact me:
    (646) 369-8480 Ali

  2. These Moroccan rugs are just awesome, i hope you enjoyed your trip of Morocco, you captured some beautiful photos as well.


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