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If the name Beni Ouarain or rather "Ait Ouarain" probably tells you nothing, you have certainly already crossed one of these beautiful Moroccan wool carpets. Hand knotted, they are all unique pieces, highly sought after by the most beautiful decoration shops around the world (Scandinavians and Americans are crazy!). The old pieces, the 50s, are the object of the greatest craze on the part of purists, the Beni Ouarain has indeed become a true collector's item over time. The newer carpets are, in my opinion, just as beautiful, because they are less ethnic, and fit better into our contemporary interiors.
What is the story of this fabulous rug and what are its characteristics?
The Beni Ouarain are a confederation of seventeen Berber tribes living in the mountainous regions of the Middle Atlas. Traditionally, village women make these wool carpets for home use. The carpets are used both as a mattress and as a blanket, and on holiday days, they are used for interior and exterior decoration of the home. The usual Beni Ouarain design consists of a network of thin black or brown lines on a white background. The diamond is the most common motif, but some rugs have a more minimalist pattern. One can also find the use of yellow, red and orange in secondary elements. This thick carpet is always pure wool (be careful with newer versions including cotton) and its dominant color remains white. Over time, this white can take golden reflections, peculiarity to the wool from this region.
Named "white giants" by Henri Matisse who had discovered them, they also inspired many Le Corbusier who said: "To do as the Berbers: to combine geometry with the most notorious fantasy" ...
Let's follow these prestigious references and discover six good reasons to have a Beni Ouarain at home, and some shopping tips.
1. It's a rug that has a history
It is the result of a long tradition, transmitted within each family by women. Coming from a region long isolated from the world, the Atlas, the Beni Ouarain has not suffered foreign influences and retains all its originality. It is always made by hand on wooden looms and the geometry of the weaving follows the inspiration of the hand. We must therefore consider it a privilege to have one at home.
2. It is simply beautiful and its design is very current
Simplicity is its key word, and that's what seduces us. Far from the intricate patterns of Persian rugs, Beni Ouarain always presents an abstract, vaguely messy pattern. That's what we recognize. Current designers just have to stand and floor on an equally universal design. The challenge is launched ...
3 . For its softness and comfort
Your little toes will love ...
This carpet of high wool is soft and warm, and its direct contact provides an immediate well-being. The proof ? Children returning from school love to lie down (or could we say wallow?), And the cat has prolonged naps. Our family Beni Ouarain has become a great place to relax.
4. Beni Ouarain is the perfect companion
With a colorful decor due to its neutral tones, this carpet is particularly highlighted by bold colors, whether on the wall or accessories. The more adventurous can try a blue duck, like the Los Angeles lounge, or warm colors, such as orange or marsala (the Pantone 2015 color), all choices are allowed.
And for the most classic, gray and black remain safe values to associate.Tip: recall the colors of the carpet, black and white, on the cushions of the sofa or even better with the fabric of an armchair, choosing geometric patterns.
5.It loves the contact of wood, which he sublimates
The Beni Ouarain, with its thick woolen mattress, magnifies all wood species, with a predilection however for light woods such as oak, beech or poplar. Whether parquet, antique furniture or design, everything takes a particular brilliance to his touch.
6. Beni Ouarain and Scandinavian vintage, a winning association ...
If it is easy to associate this style of carpet with almost any interior, it is still associations privileged, I would even say natural. The Scandinavian vintage is the choice to remember to accessorize your carpet, teak coffee table and Danish buffet. A fun and successful proximity for two very distant universe.
Morocco is a country known for its beautiful Berber crafts, and Beni Ouarain is the spearhead. With diamonds marked on the carpet and a golden wool, your carpet is more traditional and can lend itself to interesting mixtures of sorts. What I prefer ? The mix and match with antique Chinese furniture, a bit rustic, like these beautiful armchairs called "literary hats". When the furniture has a story, they bring extra soul to your little nest socket.
In timeless universes, this wonderful rug is just as comfortable. It paradoxically brings a very pleasant contemporary side.
And one thing is certain, whatever the changes of scenery and the moves during your life, the Beni Ouarain will follow you faithfully and will always adapt to your desires. You will not get tired of it ...
Beware of imitations!
If you embark on the adventure and fall for an authentic Beni Ouarain, some important details should be checked before the purchase. Like all design icons, this carpet is a victim of its success, so massively copied. A too regular design or a background too white will have to attract your attention. Like a carpet with short hair, which does not exist among the Beni Ouarain. For more safety, turn the rug over to see the knots on the back. A marvel of patience and creativity.
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