A Beni Ourain rug invites you to step onto history.
Where our grandparents might once have looked to Persian and Turkish rugs to give their homes that well-travelled vibe, now it’s Morocco’s turn to be a designer’s go-to. Rugs traditionally woven by the women of the nomadic Beni Ourain tribe in Morocco’s snowy Atlas Mountains are a classic that’s been literally centuries in the making. The striking rugs have long been admired for their graphic patterns in cream and black. Nowadays, the Beni Ourain name is used more liberally, though perhaps not more accurately, to describe just about any plush monochrome rug that hails from Morocco.
While that minimalist vibe is a fave, immediately signalling a laid-back boho aesthetic, a deeper dive into Morocco’s richly woven history reveals rugs in a panoply of colour, pattern and texture, all hailing from different regions. Rather than having to trek to North Africa yourself, savvy retailers are bringing the rugs to your door. Online-based Beni Rugs is a designer’s favourite for good reason, thanks to custom handwoven classics like their Range rug, which is offered in a dizzying 342 colourways and in sizes up to 12-by-15 feet. Collabs with hot talents Colin King and Athena Calderone – think sharp colour-field designs –up the cool factor, as do chic showrooms in New York and Marrakesh.
Closer to home, at “modern souk”-style boutiques in Montreal and Toronto, The Boho Lab mixes it up with statement-making handwoven rugs. Grid and checkerboard patterns are on trend, but it’s diamonds for the win: the pattern is such a hit that a more affordable machine-made version is now available, ready to add that instant snap of cool, softening a hard-edged modern space or spicing up a trad interior.
Visit the Beni Rugs showroom in Marrakesh (as one does!) to see the rugs being woven on traditional looms.
Range wool rug, from $982, Beni Rugs, benirugs.com.
Chris Loves Julia x Loloi Alice 8’ x 10’ polyester rug woven in Turkey, $889, LD Shoppe, ldshoppe.com.
Get in Line 6’6” x 9’6” organic wool rug handwoven in Morocco, $1,699, The Boho Lab, theboholab.com.