Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mad Cow Disease

Ever since we returned from Rio, I've had cowhide rugs on the brain in a big way. Remember, I saw this vendor at the Ipanema Hippie Fair?

You know when you pass on buying something you really like and want, and it haunts you? That's me.
In my defense, I wasn't sure where I'd put a cowhide rug, nor could I decide what color to go with. As soon as we got home, though, I was stalking the house, looking for a perfect spot.
I think I've got it, now...

Our main living room is long and narrow, and lends itself to two distinct areas - a TV/sitting area with couch, coffee table, etc in the back, and the front area that consists of the piano and a side chair.
from the adjacent dining room
from the back, sitting area
We rarely use this space. I bought the chair on a whim because I loved the lines and the nailhead trim. I originally envisioned it as part of a sitting area in a master bedroom. As it is, the chair, with its sea foam velvet fabric, is much more formal than anything else we own.

I'm thinking this small area is just the spot for a cowhide. The organic nature of it will tone down the formality of the chair, and it will create an interesting mix with the Oriental lines of the small side table.

As for the cowhide color choice: a pale, palomino or "latte" color would look nice, and since there isn't much foot traffic to worry about, the light color should be OK.

Some inspirational pics of pale or blonde cowhides...
Side Note: The Matters of Style gals put together a great post awhile back on the use of cowhides. They note the seemingly ubiquitous combo of cowhides and Barcelona chairs. True, you do see the two quite a bit: it makes for a nice, if unsurprising mix.
They also cite (but don't necessarily agree with) a New York Times article that declares cowhides one of several "overused" design elements.
I see it this way: I live in Brazil, where some of the finest cowhides are found, I find their design appealing, and I'm from Texas and married to a man who grew up on a farm working cattle - my sense of legitimacy on this borders on the cliché!
Doesn't it kinda bug when someone or something arbitrarily declares something "out?" Pffft!
I know my chair isn't quite as formal as this set, but I'm loving how this rug bridges the opulence of the gilded chairs, with the sleek lines of the sofa. Nice.

And another clever combo I'll call " elegant cowboy bling."
When I originally envisioned owning a cowhide or zebra rug, it was with dreams of a large seagrass underneath....
Next casa, I suppose...

A couple great online resources for quality hides:
Cowhides International
Picked by Hand

Photos: Cowhides International, Design Around Denver, Decorpad, Canadian House and Home,Laura Casey Interiors, Domino, PureStyle Home, Decorpad.

16 comments:

benson said...

I tend to go through rationalizing with each animal hide purchase I make. I just won a vintage zebra rug on ebay. I had to make sure that it didn't have a tail or the ears or any other hints that it was a zebra (it does have the mane..but hoping I can live with that) but I'm feeling I can justify by saying it's from the 1930's.
I also have a FABULOUS bag from Stash Couture which is made from Brazilian cowhide--and that is how I justify that--it's from a Brazilian cow and they use every part and don't waste things...geesh. good luck with your selection!

my favorite and my best said...

cowhides rock! i have one. and it is almost impervious to stain. shit wipe off b/c of all the oils in the hide. i love mine.

Simply Mel said...

Love your sitting room/living area - the chair is divine! And I believe a cow hide will completely kick-butt in there!

I miss our cowhide corbusier chaise we used to have - my McDreamy got tired of it, but I loved it so! sigh...

Anonymous said...

I love it and would have one if I weren't so allergic. They ha really neat ones at IKEA these days.

Katie said...

YES! I love that blue/yellow room with the blonde cowhide! I posted about it a few weeks ago.

Carolyn said...

Great rooms...esp. yours. It will look fab. Do it!

Averill said...

I think a cowhide rug would be perfect in your living room (and love the idea of a lighter tone against those dark floors!).

And I wouldn't worry about whether or not it's "done" or "out". After all, trends come and go but you've got some real connection with a cowhide rug that makes it personal and meaningful. And personal and meaningful is ALWAYS "in".

The Matters of Style Girls said...

Well, you obviously know how we feel about cowhides- love them! I'm still mad I didn't get one when I was in Argentina, though truth be told you can get them just as inexpensively on ebay. Go for it and post pix! And thanks for the shout out!

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Nothing like a great cowhide...we have one...they are all so unique...like a fingerprint!

You are in the right place to get one, too!

No.35style said...

i am wanting one!! I love how fran keenan from cottage living used hers in the dining room and her bedroom and then fell in love again with the idea when i saw it in that great guest room redo in nov. southern living ;) go for it!

katiedid said...

Just found your blog via Garvinweasel blog! And as you can see from the photo with the bookshelves behind the sofa, I do love a cowhide!(That's my office space. I am so happy you like it too!) Great to find a new blog to explore. :)
Katiedid
www.katie-d-i-d.blogspot.com

Melanie said...

I have to say that it isn't my style but I think that it would have looked great in that area by the piano. Really would have added to the space. I love all different styles and love seeing all of the photos you posted.

LindsB said...

I hate that feeling, I totally know what you are talking about. It sucks even more when you are traveling and cant go back to get that item. I hope you find something even better and more fab so you dont feel bad anymore :)

Style Redux 2 said...

I too am a fan of cowhide and have one in my family room. The pale color would be perfect in your living room.

paula said...

I have been eying one of these for some time now. I would love to layer mine over our sea grass rug in the living room. I am sure I will be dreaming of it all day now that I saw these images.

Cottage Dreamers said...

Now I want a cowhide for my new carpetless house!