Get Schooled: How to cowhide with confidence

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Incredibly versatile, the right hide can be a design staple in nearly any space

If you’re wary of using cowhides in your home for fear of making your space into a “cowboy chic” or “country casual” cliche, let me give you some tips and facts about my most beloved floor covering.

Incredibly versatile, the right hide can be a design staple in nearly any space, from a modern black-floored, white-bricked Soho loft to mountain-side log cabin with hand-scraped hardwood floors. Besides their ability to transcend style preference,  cowhides are incredibly durable and practical. Just like your leather shoes, these rugs can withstand quite a bit of traffic, as well as accidental spills. Unlike porous, plush rugs or sensitive loomed carpets, hides are as easy to clean as the bare floor itself.

A well decorated space relies on texture and contrast as well as comfort and livability. Since cowhides are a natural product, they are organically shaped and colored and contrast nicely against rigid furniture lines and help create a comfortable, easy-going flow. Layering them up, on top of a jute or seagrass rug, along with their natural tonal variation help make any space a bit less formal.

  1. Black hides can add drama if your floors are light colored, however unlike a whole or loomed carpet cow hides won’t show as much dust or fallen crumbs.32da278370916255cc58759ca8d77318
  2. A modern dyed or patterned cowhide, such as zebra, can instantly create the feeling of an eclectic but well curated home, especially if your style is global, or bohemian.d9b3d8b65f29
  3. White hides are my personal favorite. This clean, simple block of neutral helps add texture without any distraction. Layer it on top with a jute or sea grass rug for a perfect combination0f7420f046b7
  4. If you’re not a cowboy, but kind of wish you were, the black and white can bridge that gap. Still modern and simple, this most classic of hides can work under a worn brown leather sofa in a warm-toned log home just as easily as under a white mid-century tulip table.Cowhide-rug-for-small-living-room-with-wooden-floors-and-white-sofa
  5. If your home tends to run a bit cold, with white and grey being your most prominent tones, a warm brown hide can help create a more cozy spaceclassic-eclectic-living-room-large-chess-pieces-cow-hide-rug-orange-pillows
  6. One of the newest editions to the hide family and arguably the most bold and brave are the brights. A true contrast of the rustic and the modern make these one of the most fun choices for the brave at heart. If you’re lucky enough to have one you will never tire of it and it will stay looking fresh for years.6a00d83539e9ed69e20120a6a58bb4970c-500wi

 

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Ben Leavitt
2014-11-03
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