Our den really needed an uplift. The caveat being that the red leather furniture needed to stay. It is 20 years old, and so ultra soft and cozy perfect that we can’t bear to let it go. But, you’ll probably agree that it’s like a sea of warm red. Especially before when the original rug had a black background with large, colorful flowers.
A couple of years ago, hubby and I removed the old 1970s-style beams, and plastered over the dark and dated paneling. The soft white Venetian plaster made this room, situated in the dark side of our home, so much lighter and brighter. Painting the fireplace brick and the bookcase white was another positive step. However, I still needed to tackle the floor issue that was bugging me.
My solution, while shopping in Marrakech in February, was to find the perfect traditional Moroccan 100% sheep wool beni ourain rug. Just a touch of design on a field of warm white. I had been in Marrakech for 10 days. I saw a zillion rugs while shopping with the Magical Morocco Girl Trip ladies for their homes in California and Tennessee. On the final day I jetted over to a favorite souk, or shop, and bought this rug in about 10 minutes. No measuring, just a gut size judgement. Whew, I was so relieved when it arrived a week later that it fit!
I added a white and black mudcloth throw on top of a glass table, along with a snake plant in a basket from Laos, a sgraffito pot, and a little Moroccan bowl. The antique shoe last, fitted with an Edison bulb is a fave piece from The French Farmer’s Wife nearby.
Can you tell I am a nut about decorating with old ladders? They are the best solution around our home for displaying Moroccan wedding blankets from former trips. Most wedding blankets feature some bling, some are covered in the silvery spangles.
While waiting to pay for the beni ourain rug, I spied the very simple wedding blanket that I purchased to throw over the loveseat. It further softens the sea of red leather, and the kitties love to perch on it for a snooze. The corner cabinet is an heirloom from my parents’ home. It’s cherry, and not a style or finish that I normally gravitate to. But it represents Mom and Dad, their wonderful loving home, and lots of great memories of Sunday dinners. I couldn’t let it go during the estate sale, but it seems to fit in just fine in this room.
The narrow wooden table behind the loveseat is my spot for concrete yard pieces, a santos, and the enormous rustic clock face someone made using an old table top.
Our mantel styling is very simple. I used gold leaf on the chunky round mirror, then aged it with a neutral brown stain. More chunkiness is added by using the silvered glass candle sticks. I will admit that the garlands of pinecones and rusty metal stars are leftovers from the holidays. They remain in place all year.
Another common styling feature all over our home is the use of old doors. They are everywhere. I originally used them, all hinged together, as space dividers in my large former decorative painting studio. This pretty one extends the use of black. Hubby was gifted with this artsy University of South Carolina team emblem by our daughter’s fiancé, and the door seemed a great place to display it.
This cat print makes me smile while serving as a backdrop for the Zulu African basket and more shoe lasts. Hubby’s grandfather was a veterinarian, and the long metal piece on the right is a tool for giving horses a pill. Who knew?
What do you think? Did the beni ourain rug lighten up this room filled with old red leather? How do you solve design problems in your home when you want to use older pieces that are a bit dated, but loved?
Learn more about shopping for Moroccan rugs in a recent post here.