I clearly have a passion for Moroccan rugs, I always have. Ever since design school I have thought the colors and styles of rugs added so much to interiors. This is really what prompted my first trip to Morocco with my husband, Matt (in addition to the AMAZING architecture). When I was there, I knew I wanted to buy a rug... well, we returned home with 5! We had no place to put them in our tiny little apartment, but I loved them when I saw them and had to find a home for them. After several months I thought, how fun would it be to go back, buy more and show them to my design clients! Well fast forward a couple years and here we are, loving the rugs more than ever! That brings me to the actual point of this blog which is how to style them. Moroccan rugs by nature are generally strangely sized. They were not originally made for western architecture, which is part of the reason they give such an exotic and traveled look to a room (unlike than that old IKEA rug!). Most vintage Moroccan rugs are less than 7 feed wide which can create a challenging design situation depending on the size of the room. Below are 5 tips on how to succeed with styling a vintage rug of your own.
1) Layer it!
This is the most simple but often overlooked tip, and works so well for tons of different styles of homes. Layering rugs is one of the hottest design trends and works PERFECTLY with Moroccan rugs. These vintage rugs are generally only 7 feet wide at most, so providing a large base layer can help frame the room, and make the rug stand out on a perfect stage. The images below are some examples:
To layer, I would recommend a neutral jute rug from either Pottery Barn or West Elm for many spaces. You can actually find some really well priced jute rugs on Amazon, but you may have to dig a big. Below is an example of a good one: https://www.potterybarn.com/products/chunky-wool-jute-rug/?pkey=cnatural-fiber-rugs&isx=0.0.0
For a more exotic look like the second two images, you can consider using a Tuareg mat. These are handwoven mats from Mauritania, Africa and can be very expensive! That being said, the result can be simply stunning! Email me if you are interested in sourcing one.
2) Allow the rug to be smaller and design around it.
This way is sometimes really hard for people to imagine, but the below images show how easily it can actually be done while looking amazing! Folks here in the US cant imagine how to style a room without an 8x10 rug, but I promise its possible, and your design-centric friends will applaud you! This style can be done by putting the couch legs on OR off of the rug. See below for examples:
I love how this vintage rug was styled in a completely unique way:
The below image shows the couch legs on the rug, as the previous ones showed with the legs off:
3) Use more than one rug, or offset them!
Now here is where you're going to get really creative! Sometimes the most spectacular rooms means taking a bold chance, as just following the rules sometimes just results in boring spaces. I know the below ideas are way harder to incorporate, but they can truly provide unique results:
Using two similar rugs can look so unique:
Multiple different rugs and seating areas in the same room:
4) Use Moroccan rugs in different and unique rooms - not just the living room
This one is a less obvious but very important point when it comes to Moroccan rug styling. People will often see the rugs and only think living room, but due to their size they can work in a variety of spaces, and truly give life to rooms that need a pop! Below are some of my favorite examples:
Think entry way if you have a large room:
Or in the perfect office setting:
The bedroom of course:
Perfect for a dining space:
5) Get a larger, new Moroccan rug or order custom from me.
There are still rugs being made by Berber tribes in Morocco. We work with some of the tribes to create larger rugs that fit more traditional western spaces. These rugs are very beautiful, but can also be fairly pricey due to the size and the time it take to weave them. Email me for details on how to have a custom handwoven rug created. Below are some images of the new larger rugs: