Beni Ourain refers to rugs woven by a tribal group of the Berber peoples. They live nomadicly in the Atlas Mountains of North Africa, mainly Morocco.
The wool of these rugs is washed, but not dyed. It's hand-combed, hand-carded and loosely spun, creating a fluffy fibrous yarn.
The weavers then hand knot the rug and trim to a high pile that reminds us of mid-century shag.
Every year the Domotex trade show brings rug professionals to Hanover, Germany from all over the world.
Domotex chooses a panel of shelter professionals and these pick their favorite rugs from new designs from around the world. You might say it's the Academy Awards of rug design.
Rugs have a remarkable effect on a room. We see it everyday when we place rugs in spaces for designers to approve (or not).
Borrowing a fine setting from our friends at Market Place Interiors, we take a look at a couple of effects. Feel free to approve (or not).
Here is the grouping. It's attractive on its own, full of lots of eye-appealing furnishings. Let's lay out a couple of rugs and see how things change.
All hand-knotted rugs have a dark side and a light side. Sometimes it's so subtle it's hard to see. Other times it's hard not to see.
An element that really separates light from dark is banana silk.
The fibers from the banana plant have been used in yarn for centuries, especially in Japan and Nepal, have become known as banana silk.
The Light Side
People have created decorative patterns since time began. Perhaps a visual rendering of a pattern rhythms brings harmony to the mind like music does with sound.
There has been a growing trend in all-over patterns in hand-knotted rugs.
All-over patterns have as few as two colors and repeat the same pattern over and over again. Perhaps our brains enjoy some solace in that and rest from the constant chore of creating patterns from reality.
Designers have recently shown a preference for contemporary rug designs. One reason is the delightful selection of rugs that can be used as neutral elements, yet display incredibly interesting and entertaining patters to up-close viewers.
"They are subtle enough to to with brighter colors," said Janna Walker of JDW Interiors Inc. in Tampa. "You can modify the color scheme years from now and the rug will still work."