7 tips for styling a classic Moroccan rug, from a designer

Whenever I rummage through the pages of Architectural Notice, I always spot a vintage Moroccan rug in a certain wonderful home. Often it boasts splashes of hot pink, ocean blue or fiery orange. Other times, it’s more solid with linen tones and bold blacks. A feat of artisan talent, these rugs are statement pieces that grab attention while allowing the rest of the room to shine. This chameleon-like quality is one reason why a vintage Moroccan rug is such a coveted design.

Other reasons are based on culture and heritage — all of which are stunning in their breadth and history. Moroccan weaving dates back to 600 BC. Each authentic rug differs in technique and aesthetics based on the tribe, region or village where it was made. These are the facts that Mallory Solomon, founder and CEO of Salam Hello, a collection of one-of-a-kind handwoven fabrics and rugs, holds the most important place. Many generations of tradition, art and symbolism are instilled in these works, says Solomon.

“Differences are visible in every textile choice – from the animals from which the wool is harvested, to the dye ingredients used to create the colors and the local symbols and traditions woven into the surface. the side of the rug.”

Knowing the rich traditions that lie behind the Moroccan rug adds to its integrity and appeal. Too often, however, imitations flood the design space, as does little respect for the artisans behind the craft. Solomon, whose company works directly with more than 70 female weavers, is aiming to change this. Every rug sold on Hello Salam is authentic and credited to its maker, who receives a fair wage in exchange for their work.

“We believe that the stories behind each of these pieces, including the artist behind it and the techniques, symbols and traditions used to make them, should be preserved and shared.” Solomon added.

So how do you know if a vintage Moroccan rug is real? And what’s the best way to style one of these historically revered designs? I asked Solomon to share her insights.

How do you know a vintage Moroccan rug is the real thing?

Solomon admits that buying a Moroccan rug can be difficult. A lot of sellers claim to sell authentic handmade products when that is not true. “If you are lucky enough to buy in person, turn the rug over or ask to take a photo of the back of the rug,” she suggests. “The back of the rug holds the technical key to the quality of a rug. You’ll want to see uniformity in every knot, as well as the spacing between each knot. “

Next, Solomon suggested asking the seller the following: What materials did they use? Do they know the tribe or the artist who created the work? Do they know what design means?

Solomon says each rug sold at Salam Hello is made from 100% raw wool, meaning the wool is obtained from live sheep, lambs or camels without harming the animals. “Our artisans often comb, spin and dye the wool themselves using different blends of spices, resulting in a higher quality work.”

She adds that “Moroccan rugs represent generations of tradition, artistry and symbolism. While these rugs are still as beloved as ever, much of their history and symbolism has been lost in translation and trading over time. ”

What is the best room for a Moroccan rug?

Solomon believes that there is no limit to a Moroccan rug. Find the perfect one in terms of size and style depending on the room. To make this easier, Solomon and her team created a size guide for finding the right fit. Some key points include:

For the bedroom

Find a rug that stretches beyond your bed frame. You can extend it on the front or find a section to place all your furniture from the bed frame to the side tables. You can also mix and match by lining the sides of the bed with an accent piece and/or lines.

For the living room

Smaller to medium sized rooms look best with a rug in the center of the room under the coffee table. For a larger living room, Solomon suggests using a larger rug that fits all the furniture.

For the hallway

Solomon believes that a runner is the best added value. “It can be used as a transition to the hallway or by adding color and warmth to the kitchen floor.”

For the dining room

Complete the table by choosing the size as the chair base, even when the chair is pushed back.

For the bathroom

“This room can be tough on rugs, as you will need to make sure the material can withstand a humid environment,” says Solomon. The best bet is that a long runner is placed near the vanity.

How else can you decorate with a Moroccan rug?

Solomon says think of the floor “as your fifth wall.” A Moroccan craft is a work of art and the floor is another place to display a great piece. Also don’t be afraid to treat it like a painting. “Hanging tapestries on the wall can be a fun way to highlight the wonderful handcrafted designs that many of these artisans bring to life,” she adds.

How do you care for a Moroccan rug?

An authentic Moroccan rug made to last a lifetime. So when it comes to caring for it, don’t overthink it, says Solomon. That said, she suggests doing a few things to extend its vibrations:

Take it outside and shake it vigorously every two weeks. If the rug is too large or lacks space, you can vacuum it once a week. Do not use a vacuum with a brush, a rotating motor head, or anything that can pull natural fibers. Vacuum at low power and with flat nozzle attachment. For carpets with high piles, vacuum in the direction of the pile and lift the hose after each move. Don’t forget to turn the rug over and vacuum the reverse side to get anything deep in the pile.

Finally, Solomon suggests rotating the rug every three to six months. This will help avoid any bacteria from forming in furniture areas or where there is limited access or sunlight. (But be aware that direct sunlight will fade the color over time, she warns.)

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