Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Design Under the Influence: Beni Ourain Rugs

It's Erika from small shop again, and today I'd like to talk about this HUGE Moroccan rug trend we've been experiencing! I certainly love mine (above!), and I'm thrilled to see its popularity steadily growing. You've probably read that these lush criss-cross black/ivory berber rugs are hand-woven by the Beni Ourain tribe in the Middle Atlas mountains of Morocco. But you probably didn't know that historically, the Beni Ourain didn't actually use them as rugs — instead, as bedding! Fun fact.

The classic beni ourain rug is pile woven of natural wool with a black diamond pattern, typically borderless. You'll often find that the weave is asymmetrical and broken. They can run anywhere from $500-$5000, but luckily, there are a lot of great "inspired-by" options out there from our favorite retailers.

Nate Berkus

Maryam Montague* in Elle Decor

April Tidey


Jackie Astier

Jenna Lyons

West Elm


Trina Turk in Matchbook

Jenna Lyons via Vogue UK

Jonathan Adler for Nanette Lepore in Elle Decor

Tom Delavan in Trad Home

*My source is Maryam Montague, who lives in Morocco and is featured in this month's Elle Decor. It was an easy buying process - just pick out which you'd like from her flickr page, inquire about pricing and shipping (I found it much cheaper than other options), and in 4-6 weeks, you'll have your very own! Another great source for an authentic vintage piece: West Elm's The Found Shop. Keep a lookout!

VINTAGE: Moroccan Maryam 1stdibs / Flair

INSPIRED: West Elm / Rugs USA Anthropologie / eBay Ben Soleimani for Restoration Hardware

I don't know about you, but I can't get enough of them. Whether vintage or inspired, they seem to make any style of decor cozier and globally chic. Will you give in too?

As always, view more photos on my "Design Under the Influence" Pinterest board!


Bethany said...

Love these educational tidbits! Thanks Erika!


ps- dont forget to check out our latest GIVEAWAY!

Design is... All in the Detail said...

WOW - Gorgeous. Obviously you put a lot of love and time into this post... and I just love the rugs. Thank you for the introduction! Thanks for sharing. Enjoy the rest of your day. Jalon

Melissa @ Veranda Interiors said...

Beautiful images, love the one on the left from Moroccan Maryam.

Luciane at said...

I loved the one from RH the moment I saw it... Great post!!!

Have a wonderful day!


Luciane at

PS: If you a minute, please drop by to enter my Giveaway! :-)

Viviana said...

I love this tidbit of history about these rugs! I absolutely love them!

Elizabeth said...

You know I love these - am regretting getting rid of mine from Maryam - but I highly recommend her and Benis! Love this post!
xoxo -e (modern24seven)

Julie Khuu said...

That Rugs USA option is a steal! Such a modern update on the traditional shag of the 60's! I'm shoppin your look as we speak...thanks E!

Peace. Love. LOL!


Neda said...

Erika, I think I'm definitely getting one this year...these are great examples of how beautiful they are in any room. I'm having trouble taking my eyes of that Nate Berkus room!! xx

A Casa da Vá said...

What a great inspiration, I have been looking for the perfect rug for my living room!

Hugs & kisses from South Florida,

Alexa said...

Erika always has the best eye. I'm really loving the look of these rugs and feel like they would look good in a lot of rooms!

Miya @ Design Indulgences said...

I love so much Moroccan designed and inspired items and rooms so of course I take a liking to these. Great post.

emnn said...

I love that glass table in the first picture. Where is it from?


Rebecca said...

Beautiful rugs and a fantastic job of providing a variety of sources (vintage or otherwise)!

Lonely Wife Project said...

I really need to invest in a vintage one. I've been coveting for way too long now.

Gaby [The Vault Files] said...

I love them so so MUCH!! I've seen the West Elm one (online), that's one that I'm considering, going to check the other ones you've found ;)

Haus and Home said...

Great post Erika! I have seen these around, but I love how you provided lots of sources for the various styles! You have been a busy bee today having 2 guest features :)

The Moroccan Room said...

Another great post…The tribal graphics of Moroccan Beni Ourain rugs and Berber pillows pair well with contemporary or traditional designs. Our Beni Ourain shags have a simple harlequin pattern, a 1960s vibe and a price that’s half the cost in major rug dealers.

Please check our Beni Ourain Collection at

Feel free to contact us:
(646) 369-8480

chris said...

Splendid Sass said...

Love, Love! Love the first one, and the last image is amazing.
Happy Thursday.

Jessica {The Aestate} said...

Gorgeous pictures, Erika! Love yours (and your coffee table!...) They definitely have that rare combination of cozy + chic.

Casa Très Chic said...

I have to put my hands on one of these beauties, and it has to be soon.
Congratulations on your selection, it's perfect.
Have a nice day.

designchic said...

Love these rugs and the 5th image is the large diamonds and the stunning room!! said...

Love to see some shots of benis mixed with other more wildly-coloured Moroccan tribal pieces. Maroc Tribal

Koco Boutique said...

I love Beni Ouraine rugs and all Moroccan house decor. Great post with great selection of photos! It really insires any interior designer with ideas!
I have a great selection of Vintage Beni Ouraine rugs, Leather poufs and Suzanis.
Email me for more information ( or check my blog:

Imports from Marrakesh said...

Just discovered this beautiful post!
We have an excellent collection of vintage
and new Beni Ourain carpets.
We specialize in hand-weaving custom Beni Ourain carpets., perfect for interior designers who need extra large sizes or special widths.

Imports from Marrakesh Ltd.
Marrakesh ~ New York
Phone 212-675-9700

The Moroccan Room said...

Please take a look at our collection of Beni Ourain rugs and i would love to hear you comment:
"Hand-woven Moroccan Beni Ourain Rugs from Pure organic soft Wool among the softest in the world, gives extra plushness to our rug’s lush, unsheared pile. The simple lattice pattern, a traditional Berber motif, lends it graphic punch and style-spanning versatility. Beautifully handmade, feels great under foot and very inviting."

Jesse Orion said...

These Moroccan rugs are awesome, Thanks for sharing with us.

yan min said...

Beautiful interiors – thank you for sharing! I absolutely love Moroccan Rugs – they make the room so cozy!