In Part 3 of 23 Styles of Designer Rugs we look at cowhide rugs and flat weave rugs. Both styles of rugs have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years, but recent innovations in materials and designs have awakened the interest of interior designers and architects and opened up new possibilities as you will see from the 19 chic interiors in this post. We will learn the history of these rugs, where to use them, the most desirable colors and patterns, decorating ideas and buying tips.
A dark blue custom cowhide rug on a pale gray floor creates a vivid contrast with the garden outdoors and creates a stunning contemporary living room in Los Angeles designed by Commune.
Two cream cowhide rugs in the natural shape of the hides create a dramatic interplay of light and dark on the polished wood floors and pull together contemporary and traditional furniture in a stunning living room designed by Nate Berkus and Anne Coyle.
A gray, black, silver and white custom cowhide rug provides a spectacular backdrop for a brilliant blue wall, yellow and orange painting and white and dark brown furniture in a David Kleinberg designed Manhattan dining room.
In the dressing area of a master suite designed by Jan Showers a custom cowhide rug compliments a ’40s French armchair and a vanity chair from the designer’s own Collection.
A cowhide rug in natural black, brown, and silver anchors an stunning safari style living room in a thatched bungalow designed by Chris Browne in Mpumalanga, South Africa. The cowhide rug was made by the Nguni people.
Two white, silver and pale gray custom cowhide rugs anchor two seating areas in a large Manhattan living room designed by Ingrao Inc. Ruby red velvet upholstery, a blue coffee table and zebra chair add pattern and pops of color.
A natural brown, black and white cowhide rug adds energy and contrast to the brilliant blue painting and red accents in the dining room of Robert Triefus and Caleb Negron’s Milan home.
History of Cowhide Rugs: A cowhide rug and a garment of animal skins were probably the most precious possessions of early human cave dwellers keeping them warm during the harsh northern winters. Today cowhide rugs are highly desired by interior designers and architects who like them in a wide range of natural from neutrals to bold and in a breathtaking variety of patterns.
Where to use: A cowhide rugs are used on the floor as well as on the wall and will help you design a stunning living room, foyer, library, media room, dining room, bedroom and bathroom. In commercial settings cowhide rugs create a statement in an office, reception and sitting areas and in a boardroom.
Desirable Colors and Designs: A cowhide rug can be in the natural shape of the hide or the hide can be cut in pieces of different shapes and stitched together to form any kind of pattern one can imagine. Colors range from the natural color of the hide such as white, gray, black, dark brown, tan and beige. Hides can also be dyed in a wide range of colors from dark and moody to bold and bright colors. If you prefer a cowhide rug in its natural shape, you should look for a hide that is large, free of scars, blemishes and damage. If the hide is clean and blemish free it can be left in its natural state. The more natural a hide is the more beautiful it looks. However, since hides are a product of nature, one must be willing to embrace natural markings such as neck lines and variations in the grain. In fact natural variations add character and are sought after by connoisseurs. The more damage and blemish free a hide is the higher its cost with highest grade hides fetching four times as much. Hides with areas of blemishes have these areas cut out and the remaining pieces is cut into shaped pieces that are stitched together to make a patterned cowhide rug.
Buying Tips: If you love stylish design and quality you should consider having a cowhide rug custom made. Not only will the quality be better, you will have a far better selection of colors, designs and textures. On top of this you will be able to order the exact size you need. Always seek out a reputable dealer who will stand behind their products and will guide you in choosing the right rug for your room.
A custom flat weave rug with gray and white strié adds energy and texture and orange accents add warmth and move the eye across the room in the living room of actors David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris’s newly renovated Harlem townhouse decorated by Trace Lehnhoff.
A custom plaid flat weave rug adds structure and pattern to a handsome rose and yellow traditional library in Southampton, New York designed by Carrier & Company.
A cream custom flat weave rug with a ribbed texture adds energy and gold silk pillows create pop in a gorgeous traditional master bedroom designed by Stephen Sills.
A custom blue and white striped flat weave rug echoes the ocean waves in a spectacular beach side living room designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard in Punta Mita, Mexico.
A cream, yellow and blue custom flat weave rug creates a sophisticated anchor for modern dining room by Robert Couturier in a house by architect Edwin Lutyens in Hampshire, England.
A beige custom flat weave rug with a ribbed texture complements 19th-century Russian chairs with blue silk seats and a red artwork by Anish Kapoor in an Upper East Side, New York dining room by Stephen Sills.
A cream and blue flat weave rug adds style to a TV room designed by Sawyer Berson in Southampton, New York.