In a world of growing lookalikes and knockoffs, Beni Rugs has made authentic handwoven Moroccan floor coverings accessible to many. Since launching in 2018, the increasingly popular e-commerce brand has partnered with a collective of Berber artisans in the Atlas Mountains to make their offerings available to anyone with WiFi access.
For their latest collection, which expands the lineup with 19 striking new patterns, co-founders Robert Wright and Tiberio Lobo-Navia looked beyond the classic high-pile Beni Ourain by introducing flat weaves customizable by color and size. In line with Beni’s contemporary style, Wright and Lobo-Navia drew inspiration from Brazilian modernism and the Bauhaus to create designs that feel graphic and modern, from bold stripes to concentric squares. “Traditionally, flat-woven style rugs are quite busy visually, with lots of intricate detail and patterns,” says Wright, who explains that a more minimalist, contemporary look was missing from the market.
Normally, Beni Rugs would photograph each new offering in dreamy settings such as the inimitable Le Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech. This season, however, the brand needed to get creative due to stay-at-home orders resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. They enlisted the digital designer and Maison de Sable founder Charlotte Taylor, known for her otherworldly interior environments that range from mod sunken living rooms to pristine alfresco experiences, to dream up a series of photorealistic renderings.
Taylor and her partner, Victor Roussel, imagined several virtual, fantastical tableaus in which to showcase the new collection. “The architecture and landscapes were inspired by Latin American Modernism, particularly the work of Luis Barragán and Ricardo Legorreta,” Taylor explains. Set in a surreal desert landscape, the virtual home references a range of countries and climates. In one terracotta-hued room, clay vessels and accessories blend with the space’s curved walls. The eye immediately lands on two vibrant, geometric rugs, which contrast with the organic forms surrounding them while still feeling at home. In another, low-slung wood furniture on a covered terrace sits atop a rust-red and white flat weave.
What the range of interiors proves—no matter how utopian—is the versatility of each rug. Subtle and simple, yet commanding, their visual impact ties any space together. And, as Wright reminds us, “No two are ever the same, and that’s where we find the beauty.”