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The Latest Home Design Trend – Berber Rugs

While this modern version is an acceptable option in many cases, it’s a far cry from the beauty, intricacy and quality of an authentic hand-woven Berber rug.

Berber or Beni Ourain rugs are named for the indigenous people who first wove them, a tradition that began an estimated 10,000 years ago and continues today. The Beni Ourain is a large tribe that consists of over a dozen smaller Berber tribes in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco in Northern Africa. The sheep that are raised there produce the high quality wool used to hand weave these magnificent floor coverings. Fine craftsmanship combined with ancient tradition creates a rug that is unique and authentically one of a kind.

The weaving techniques have been passed down through generations, often from mother to daughter, and the geometric designs are generally symbolic in nature. The patterns sometimes tell a personal story from the woman who weaved the piece, while some are designed to pass down ancestral tales. The tradition of telling stories through textiles dates back to ancient times, before the use of written language among the tribes. To the untrained eye, a genuine Berber rug may appear simplistic and streamlined. With closer investigation and a little knowledge, the textile tells a story steeped in ancient culture. This juxtaposition of a perceived modern look to ancestral tradition adds an incredible level of interest, unmatched by any other decorative accent.

Authentic hand-woven Berber and Beni Ourain rugs offer a softer, more supple texture than their modern mass-produced counterparts. The material used for these hand-made masterpieces is usually produced by the individual weaver. The fine wool used in a genuine Berber rug is hand washed, spun and colored with natural dyes such as henna. This process creates beautifully rich yet muted tones. The color palette and the minimalist pattern lends itself to great versatility in interior decorating. A Berber rug pairs well with virtually any motif. From mid-century modern, to shabby chic, to traditional; a hand-woven floor covering from Morocco adds a warm and sophisticated touch.

These rugs are not just floor coverings, they are stunning works of art crafted by the finest artisans. Each piece tells its own incredible story. The high pile and supple quality of hand washed wool underfoot is nothing short of luxurious. A hand-woven Berber or Beni Ourain rug is truly a treasure and one of the finest rugs in the world

Home Design Trends 2010

What do I see as on trend for 2010? There are many trends but here are a few that I see going strong in 2010.

Techno Chic: A new beginning, showing optimism and progress with intelligent features that do all the thinking for you. Everything from faucets to fireplaces with high-tech traits that make it so stylishly simple in terms of looks and usability. Water faucets with streamlined features with sensitive-to-touch screen technology that will preset your ideal water temperature and control your water usage, making your bathroom environmentally responsible while stylishly chic.

Ode to Nature From staircases to shower stalls I am seeing nature-inspired decorative graphics abound. Concrete staircases sporting a meandering tree branch graphic motif. Incorporating all things natural, architectural and sustainably designed into one ultra-modern Zen package.
Ethnicity Craftsmanship is treasured. Folkloric patterns and intricate elaboration: embellishments, embroidery and details are embraced in this trend.

Color Futures Earth’s Elements: Natural colors drawn from plants, minerals and soil, such as under-ripe olives, yellow ochre, iron oxide and tarnished gold. Pale earth tones mixed in are used on shiny surfaces such as reflective lacquered white sand, patent pale avocado and burnished metals.

Illusion: The atmospheric light-enhanced tones of watery blue-grays such as the “Castle Walls” color used in the Encore penthouse. Translucent and fluid cloud colors of smoky steel grays grounding this palette are vermilion red and horizon brown.

Cityscape: A sharp modern palette made up of flesh, silver, deep purples, water aqua, navy blue and a very pale apple green. There is no doubt that the livability of our planet will continue to dictate a new design framework for us all.

Who are my design icons: My tastes are a wild mix! Warren Platner, Philippe Starck, Charles and Ray Ames, Andre Putman for their attention to detail and modern simplicity. Sister Parish and Jamey Drake for their use of color and putting things together that they love and not because they match. Barry Dixon, Barclay Butera and Ralph Lauren for their sophisticated yet relaxed blend of timeless design. Thomas O’Brien and Kelly Wearstler for their edgy luxurious design and Barbara Barry for her paired-down elegance.

Tip: Take your time and buy quality — you will love it forever! From area rugs to upholstered goods, relentlessly seek out quality. Remember, quality provides a richness and depth that cannot be duplicated.

Hiring an Architect – Great Value Begins With a Great Home Design

A good architect or residential designer can make your new or existing home unique. If you’re looking for a truly custom home for a new building project, a home designer has the experience and tools you need.

It’s an investment in quality and comfort.

Question: When should we hire an architect … and why?


The quick and easy answer to this question is; every time you build a new home or plan a home addition. Architects are creators, designers, and structural professionals. Many will also work with structural engineers and even interior designers.

Custom home building demands custom design. And, with a major remodel where additions are planned, you will most certainly require some form of home design professional. You cannot expect to get what you want or match the look and functionality of your home without a home designer.

Home Designing Exceptions That Work

Rarely are home building answers black and white and as simple as saying “do this … don’t do that.” And, when it comes to home plans, you definitely have other options besides hiring an architect.

Online and off, there are pre-drawn house plans for homes in nearly every size, style, and quality you can imagine. Some of them are quite good. You can find quality construction, good design, and very competitive pricing. But, the one thing you give up the most is having a true custom home. That’s something to consider before you purchase.

Why an Architect Could be Your Best Bet

Here are some popular reasons to hire an architect to design your home:

  • Local codes & restrictions  may require a local & licensed architect
  • You want a truly custom home designed to your specifications
  • You want a skilled designer to wow you!
  • You want ongoing design support during your construction

If you do use an architect, get clear on what you want early in the process to avoid lengthy and expensive re-works on the design.