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Blog - Berber Rugs

How Designers Use Beni Ourain Rugs

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The Beni Ourain people of Morocco are famous for their rugs, which are among the most popular and prominent of the Berber rugs. They weave their rugs from live wool using traditional techniques that lead to thick, comfortable rugs that are excellent for adding a touch of insulation to a cold room. The Beni Ourain rugs are decorated primarily with traditional, tribal patterns that rely on accentuating the natural qualities of the wool. The end result is a beautiful and functional rug, which is why the style has become so popular among interior designers in recent years.

Traditional Uses

One of the best ways to use Berber rugs is to follow the example of the Beni Ourain themselves. The rugs began as practical tools to help them survive in a harsh environment. While they aren't necessary for survival at this point, they are still excellent tools for making a home more comfortable when used in the traditional way.

Ancient Berbers often used their rugs as cushions on top of furniture. Bedding was a common choice, but they can also make rough chairs or benches more comfortable and more attractive. This is a particularly good technique for colder areas, since the rug will provide a layer of insulation on top of a cold surface.

The modern equivalent is to use the rug as a throw on top of any piece of furniture. The rugs are quite durable, so they offer great protection from wear and tear. It is even possible to remove the throw when the furniture is in use and put it on the floor to serve as a rug until it is needed once again.


These rugs are a perfect example of decorative art, in that they both make a room more beautiful and serve a practical function. Since the natural colours of the wool tend to dominate in their designs, it's easy to put a rug near the centre of a floor to break up the monotony of it without overwhelming on the rest of the room. If a centrepiece is desired, it is possible to use one of the more vivid designs to get an eye-catching effect.

Similar techniques work to decorate walls. The rugs make excellent hanging decorations. Using them in that way will generally make them more prominent than putting them on floor, so it's a great option for people who want to make sure that people notice their rug. This is especially true if the rug is suspended in such a way that it can sway in the breeze, since the movement will help to draw attention to it.


Berber rugs come from a folk weaving tradition, so they tend to look more natural and rustic than most rugs that come from furniture stores. That makes them ideal for offering contrast to a set of minimalistic or industrial furniture. That contrast will make the room look much more inviting and comfortable to most people, but it also accentuates the modernity of the other designs to heighten the impact of both styles.

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