This new collaboration with Karèle, the local macrame artist behind Boho Montreal, really resonates with our mission. Shining the spotlight on talented artists and creating exclusive products with them is something that’s very dear to my heart and it’s really at the core of Baba Souk. I remember creating Baba Souk for this specific reason back in 2012! I’ve always had so much respect and admiration for artists and artisans. I hope you’ll love this macrame wall hanging collection we’ve created just for you. We had our clients in mind while creating these pieces, big-hearted ladies with a soft side for everything handmade, pretty textures and beautiful colors.
As I am always so interested in the story behind an artist’s journey, I’ve prepared a little interview with Karèle. I hope you’ll love it. Scroll down to read everything!
1. What’s the story behind your becoming a Macrame artist?
I remember during my teen years being frustrated by the fact that I wasn’t allowed to personalize my bedroom decor, my mother was very conservative. When I left my parents’ house, I was looking forward to decorating my entire apartment. And of course I was really inspired by Pinterest. I would restore antiques and go thrifting to find the best vintage pieces, I was looking for objects that spoke to my style and had a story.
As far as I can remember, I was always drawn to a picture perfect decor and about 4 years ago, while scrolling through Pinterest, my heart skipped a beat when for the first time I saw a California style wall hanging appear on my screen. As much as I wanted one, I couldn’t find macrame wall hangings here in Montreal and so I thought I should try to make some. I had a feeling it would be a huge trend. My goal was to develop my own aesthetic and create the wall hangings that I would love to see in my own decor.
I always knew I would be a leader, I felt like I had the entrepreneurial vibe under my skin and I thought I would be rich! Ha! I’m far from being rich, I’m juggling with my own business and managing a restaurant at the same time. I’ve studied Visaul Arts and Fashion Design, I’m very crafty. I’m all about the DIY lifestyle. However, I love the adrenaline that comes with working at the restaurant and I love the contrast with the very meditative art of making macrame and wall hangings.
(This large macrame Karèle created for our collab is just stunning! Shop it right here)
3. What do you love most about doing what you do?
I love that I don’t have to do the same job full time. I work on my business from Monday to Wednesday and I give macrame workshops sometimes on weekends. I’m not the kind of person who likes to do the same thing every day. I love to hop from one task to the other, I really enjoy working hard. I get bored when I have nothing to do, I’m a bit of a workaholic.
(My personal fave! I’m in love with the color combination and the merge of macrame techniques and weaving makes them so pretty. Shop it right here!)
4. What piece of work are you most proud of?
I made a 12’x10′ macrame for a restaurant called Soup Soup here in Montreal. My biggest piece so far, 45 hours of making knots, blistered hands and a lot of tears.
5. What is your remedy for lack of inspiration?
That happens to me frequently. When I have a creative block, I go do something completely different, like accounting, let’s say.
6. Do you have a personal motto?
Take it one day at a time.
7. What is your biggest challenge as a business owner?
Giving myself a break once in a while. I’m not good at relaxing but sometimes, your body speaks for itself. I always stretch myself a bit too much.
8. Who is your favorite artist?
I really admire Montreal artist Allyson Rousseau, she makes beautiful weavings. I also really love Jessica Grenon, she’s a photographer I worked with for my professional pictures. Their styles really inspire me.
9. What do you love the most and the least about working from home?
I love getting up early and going through emails, getting my paperwork done and even creating a few macrame hangings before my boyfriend gets up! Although I have to say, sometimes it can be hard to focus with my two dogs, the dishes to do, it’s tempting to tackle some domestic chores when I’m supposed to be working but I try to stay focused. I need to be very disciplined, to say the least.
10. What important lessons have you learned in your entrepreneurial journey?
It’s not easy and you need to always keep working on your craft. Create your business at your own pace and with your own cash flow.
These handmade baskets were the result of a chat I had with our florist loft neighbor and favorite plant lady, Laurie Anne Atelier Fleur. We both thought that cute planter options for our medium houseplants were hard or impossible to find at a decent price. And so, I suggested we should have baskets made to hide the medium size 6″ pots that are usually used for medium sized plants. We decided to add cute pompoms and golden yellow and vintage purple that made me think of Laurie Anne. (She has the cutest workshop, you’ve probably seen it in our Instagram feed)
Here are our 3 Easy Care Houseplants to keep in our cute tassel baskets:
Zamioculcas (Or The ZZ plant) – Direct light or mid-shade
– Let the soil completely dry in between waterings.
We have one at the Baba loft and it’s a survivor! Very tough! So it’s the perfect plant for beginners like me 😉
Aglaonema (or Chinese Evergreen)
– Indirect light or mid-shade. Will survive without direct sunshine.
– Let the soil dry partially in between waterings.
– Spray the leaves 3 times a week during summer.
This plant has more than 60 varieties and we just love it’s luscious green leaves. And it’s resistant! Bonus point: It’s perfect if your place isn’t very sunny.
Aechmea (Also know as Bromeliads Urn Plant or Silver Vase Plant) – Indirect light, no direct sun.
– Always leave water inside the flower
– It loves humidity so ideally spray its leaves 3 times a week
– Water when the soil is dry
Of course, this gorgeous tropical pink beauty is our favorite of these 3 Easy Care Houseplants! Isn’t it just gorgeous? And, did I mention the pink flower lasts really long. In love!
Vanessa Béland is a home stylist, decorator & founder of her own brand Fleur Maison. Her house is filled with pretty details, it’s a modest suburb home but it feels very special, stylish and loved. Her mindset is inspiring, “Play with the home you have” Vanessa has brilliant DIY skills, tons of ideas and most importantly, she’s got the “Pinterest-Eye”. She’s sharing with us her top 5 styling tips to add a luxe feel to a home – Even if you’re on a budget. Scroll down to learn all about these 5 tips.
Top 5 Styling Tips:
1. Paint Your Doors
A simple detail you might say, but it adds a ton of style! Look at these gorgeous pink doors! That pink shade is just perfect, not too bright, not to pale. Vanessa used Santa Fee Pebble #6073-41 by Sico. Her best advice on painting doors: “Take them off and remove the handles, the result is way better when you paint them flat”.
Painting your doors is a fun, inexpensive way to add style to your home decor.
“Shop for vintage furniture on Kijiji or your local charity store. You can find true gems, especially in the suburbs where people throw away vintage treasures!” I love to use 4 identical chairs and then spice up both ends of the table with another chair style. It creates interest and will add some personality to your dining room.
Tip no 3. Hack an inexpensive piece of IKEA furniture.
Vanessa and her boyfriend are pretty handy, I have to say, but this IKEA hack is pretty easy. They simply added a wood panel on an IKEA SEKTION cabinet. You can’t see this on the pic but her boyfriend made a small round hole through the top so they can hide electrical cord inside the cabinet. Pretty neat, right? They usually keep their coffee machine on this cabinet, it’s a clever way to hide ugly cords. Vanessa wrote an entire blog post on how to make one, have a look at her blog right here.
There’s nothing like texture for an instant luxe effect in your home. Make sure to add texture to your bed, on your couch and even on your walls. Pillows are the easiest way to add texture to your decor. If you’re looking to add texture and color, our Boucherouite pillows are texture heaven!
Tip no 5. Decorate With Plants
One of the best styling tips ever! I’m sure you’ve heard me repeat this tip many times before but it’s SO true that I really don’t mind repeating it! Plants are the best to create a beautiful decor on a budget. They not only add LIFE to a room but in my opinion, they tie a house together. And, I’m pretty sure they give a boost to your mood. (Especially during endless winter days) Oh and while we’re at it, we LOVE to use baskets as cache pots, it’s easier (no need to replant) and affordable. Shop our handmade baskets right here.
So many of us are looking for little girl room ideas that are let’s say “more sophisticated” than the typical pink Barbie room and maybe closer to our own grown-up aesthetic but still fun and girly. Our friend Kassandra was kind enough to let us play around with her daughter’s bedroom and create two different looks in Olivia’s room – yet keep the same furniture and wallpaper. It was so fun to create a completely different ambiance just with two sets of accessories. You’ll see it’s quite easy to change things up while keeping the same furniture.
This bedroom look is the one we love to call “Bohemian Princess” and it’s definitely girly. Here’s Olivia, sitting proudly on her cute gold bed. I’d say that the bed Kassandra picked is the main focus point of the room. It’s from Pottery Barn and it’s the cutest thing. We’re not sure if it’s still available here in Canada but we found this cute gold bed from Souris Mini that has a similar vintage gold look. We styled Olivia’s room with one of our cute pink Boucherouite rugs – which are incredibly cute for a girl’s bedroom –
Of course, we had to incorporate our must-have Moroccan Leather Pouf in the room because it’s THE best accessory in any kid’s room. Kids love to sit and play with them and mommy loves to kick her feet up while rocking her little one to sleep or reading a bedtime story. We picked the white leather pouf for this sweet decor. (The gold vegan pouf is also a great pick for a girl’s room) We decorated with touches of pink and whimsical accessories, like this sweet Peace & Love Poster on Olivia’s dresser. One of my faves for a little girl’s room because I just love the message.
Here you can see all the cute details. It doesn’t take much to add a bit of magic to a girl’s dresser.
I love her dark wood antique dressers, they look so grown-up and are not a typical choice for a girl’s room but her mom made magic by adding beautiful flower knobs that add some feminity. You can find lots of beautiful knob options at Anthropologie or Zara Home and it’s a great way to update a piece of furniture. We also added a beautiful gold tassel to make it even more magical. Look at the giant tassel on her door knob, its a pretty cute detail for a girl’s room. We love our Ophelia Pang art print with it’s beautiful pink and red flowers. This art print is so pretty and we love to use it in both adult and girly decors.
Little Girl Room Ideas – Shop the Boho Princess Look:
In the second decor, we wanted something a little more gender neutral and we were inspired by the “California desert” style to create the look. It’s a little less pink and a little more grown-up. This Boucherouite rug is the perfect rug for a kid’s room. It’s super colorful so it’s easier to take care of, it’s made of recycled fabric and the texture is really fun. We also love the warm color of our tan leather Moroccan pouf.
This look could easily be interpreted for a boy’s room (I’d change the bed, pink pillows, and the poster). The antique dressers and rocking chair are so perfect for this California bedroom. We love these Moroccan Kilim Pillows combined with our African Mudcloth Pillows on Olivia’s bed. It’s the perfect California mix!
The cute dresser details have been changed, and we’ve added some plants, a few baskets and this super cute Yes M’a’am screenprint poster which is a great addition to any girl’s room, it has the most beautiful coral background. We don’t usually think of adding plants in a kid’s room but they make such a great (and inexpensive) decor addition.
Little Girl Room Ideas – Shop the California Girl Look:
We are very curious to hear which of these looks you prefer! I can’t even decide myself, as much as I would typically pick the pink Boho Princess look (I know, I know, pink is an obsession over here) I also REALLY love the California Girl style. As for Olivia, she was really into her Boho princess room! Nevertheless, this exercise was so fun and it made me realise how switching accessories can really change the look in a room. I need to try this in other rooms! I hope these Little Girl Room Ideas inspired you!
We get so many questions about our custom Beni Ourain rugs that we just had to write an entire blog post about them and hopefully answer all your questions! Also, as you know, we LOVE Beni Ourain rugs and consider them a classic that will never go out of style – I’ll show you why.
This is a classic Beni Ourain rug with thick black lines.
Let’s start with some frequenty asked questions:
Why can’t I find a Beni Ourain rug in American standard size?
They are very hard to find in American standard size because Moroccans work with centimeters and follow European sizings. We can have a custom Beni Ourain rug made in American standard sizes for you. They can be made in 4’x6′, 5’x8′, 8’x10′ or any other size you need. (Maximum width is 9’8″, maximum lenght is 13′)
How can I order my custom Rug?
If you’re interested in our custom Beni Ourain rugs, please get in touch with us via email with the rug size you’d like to order, and if you have a picture of a rug you like (you can pick from our site or send any picture you might have) We’ll get back to you with more information on pricing. We ask for a 50% deposit to start making the rug, then when the rug is ready, we send a picture for our client’s approval. We ask for the final payment prior to shipping the rug.
What can be customizable?
– The rug size – The background color – The line color – The diamond pattern style and size – The pile (or thickness of the rug)
The Rug Size
The maximum width of our custom Beni Ourain rugs is 9’8″ and a maximum length is 13′. Anything below that is doable. The pricing for different sizing changes from time to time so if you’d like a quote on a specific size, just contact us via email with your request. We’ll get back to you promptly. Note: We can have square rugs made but we can’t have round rugs made.
The background color
– What’s the difference between natural white & cream? This is the most frequently asked question for sure!
Here’s a picture showing both, a Natural white rug beside a cream rug. They are lighter shades of cream rugs but this will give you an idea.
Natural white: It’s a beautiful creamy white color that is not pure white because the wool is natural and will never be as white as a synthetic white. Natural white is the palest shade of wool on the market, it’s a beautiful rich natural white and it’s our personal fave here at Baba Souk.
Cream: It’s a creamier off-white with more yellow in it. It’s great if you’re looking fro a warmer look and is great with dark wood and brown leather.
The diamond line color
They are most typically black or dark brown which are natural wool colors but you can have them made in almost any color you’d like. We LOVE the classic black lines but we have already had Beni Ourain rugs with pink lines, blue lines and even turquoise lines made! Send us your special request by email, we’ll do our best to make it happen for you.
Here’s a custom Beni Ourain rug with hot pink lines. It looks pretty cute in a girl’s room!
Here’s a more classic look, the background of this Beni Ourain rug is cream and the lines are dark brown. Notice the contour line, which is also an option.
The Diamond pattern and style
There you can have fun! Pick the size of your diamonds. Do you prefer small argyles or large ones? Thick lines or thin lines? We even have custom Beni Ourain rugs with Berber symbols, we love this design. It’s super design and the minimalist symbols give it a really cool modern look. See the pictures below for different types of patterns and lines. We even make dotted beni rugs! Have a look right below.
Here you have a natural white Beni Ourain rug with thin lines and large diamonds.
This Beni Ourain rug has small argyles and is low pile.
This Moroccan rug has a natural white background, black dots and is medium pile, which is very cozy!
The pile (or the thickness of the wool)
Walking on a Beni Ourain rug might be the comfiest feeling ever! It feels so wonderful. We have three custom Beni Ourain pile options: Low pile: (about 0.25″) Medium Pile: (about 1″) High Pile (More than 1″)
We always recommend medium pile because we think they look at their best and are the coziest without being too much trouble to take care of. Higher pile requires more maintenance but they sure are cozy! (See the picture below for an example of higher pile). The medium rug pile is a great compromise, it has a more uniform look and is still amazingly cozy.
The picture shows a natural white rug in medium pile and thick lines. Fringes are usually only on one side of a Beni Ourain rug, at the end. They can also be removed or we can ask the maker to add fringes on both ends if you prefer.
This is a high pile rug with double diamond lines, which is also an option for custom Beni Ourain rugs.
Why are they so popular?
The reason why everybody loves them so much is certainly their versatility and the fact that their minimalist design will never go out of style. They look amazing in so many décor styles, from Bohemian to minimalist, girly to masculine, classic to eclectic. Check all the different decor styles we have in this blog post!
How long does it take to make a custom Beni Ourain rug?
Depending on the size of the rug you order, it can take 6-8 weeks to complete a rug. Weaving a handmade Beni Ourain is a long process! We have several women working on the same rug at the same time, depending on their workload, the lead time may vary a little. When the rug is finished, we send you a picture so you can see the rug and make sure you love it before we ship it to you. Then, it takes about 15 days to be shipped (via standard shipping to Canada or the USA). We can also ship it faster if you’re willing to pay extra to get it in 5-7 days once it’s ready.
We love the California style where modern meets quirky and traditional.
We do ship Internationally! Get in touch with us via email to get a shipping quote for your location.
Can Custom Beni Ourain Rugs Be returned?
Unfortunately not! As you can now imagine, making a custom rug is a long process and it takes lots of effort. From communication, to ordering, to making, to wrapping, to shipping, – it’s a lot of work. We also do send a picture of the rug prior to shipping, so we make sure you’re satisfied before sending it to you. If ever there were a defect or a problem with the measurements, we would, of course, do our best to accommodate our customers as we strive to offer the best customer service and truly value our customers.However, anything like this very rarely happens.
What is the difference between “Ready-Made” Beni Ourain rugs and “Custom Beni Ourain Rugs
We have a few rug sizes that we keep in stock in Morocco because they are European standard sizes, They are just as beautiful and their selling price is great! It’s a great option if you are able to play around with sizing in your room. They’re ready to ship so it’s a faster option if you’re in a rush to get a beautiful Beni Ourain rug in your home. We ship them directly from Morocco and here are the sizes and prices we have available right now:
7’x10” (200cm x 300cm), CAN$1300 including shipping from Morocco 8’x11.5’ (250 cm x 350 cm) CAN $2400 including shipping from Morocco 13’ x 10’ (300cm x 400 cm) CAN $3300 + shipping costs to be confirmed depending on your location.
Most of the rugs we have in stock are natural white with black lines and the pile is medium. (which is what we prefer and the most popular option too!) We can send you a picture of a ready-made Beni Ourain rug prior to your buying it, just get in touch by email if you’d like more information or if you’d like to see some rug pictures prior to making your purchase. You can buy your ready-made Beni Ourain rug directly online, right here!
Where are your custom Beni Ourain rugs made, are they authentic?
First of all, all our rugs are authentic and handmade in Morocco out of 100% wool. They are entirely made by hand by a group of traditional women artisan weavers just outside Marrakech. Antique Beni Ourain rugs used to be made by the eponym Berber tribe but nowadays, let’s be honest, you’ll rarely find an Antique Beni Ourain rug, and if you find one, it will be very pricey and will look antique. So don’t get yourself fooled by vendors. The new ones are still made by hand in Morocco, following the Berber weaving tradition and they are just as delightful. They come in whiter shades of wool (which we love) and can be made in different sizes and patterns.
Watch it if you think you’re buying a Beni Ourain rug and the price is particularly low, it’s a bad sign! These rugs are being knocked off by Turkish and Chinese factories a lot lately. If you want to make sure your rug is the real deal, look at the reverse side of the rug. If it’s a real Beni Ourain, the knotting should be irregular. Authentic Beni Ourain rugs are pricey because they are weaved by hand and are made to last a lifetime.
What I like the most about Moroccan rugs is the contrast between their handmade traditional nature and their super modern look in our contemporary homes.
Care Instructions for Custom Beni Ourain Rugs
And, last but not least! We get many emails regarding the care instructions of our custom Beni Ourain rugs. While it’s true that a white rug is a daring choice, especially if you have young kids or animals with dark fur, Beni Ourain rugs are made with natural fibers so the stains do come off, they’re much easier to take care of than synthetic white rugs.
Moroccan rugs are made to be super resistant and last a lifetime. Please follow these simple guidelines:
For regular care
-You can vacuum your rug
-If an accident happens you can spot clean your rug using a white towel, cold water and clothing detergent. Make sure your rug doesn’t stay humid.
-To eliminate odors and humidity, let it dry in the sun for a day.
-Make sure it does not stay wet or humid. If you store it, we do not recommend storing it in a bag.
Shedding: A new rug might shed more but the secret is to brush it frequently. You can use a plastic brush like a hand broom brush. It will remove the excess wool. Then vacuum. You can repeat this once every two weeks in the beginning until all the excess wool is gone. Then the shedding will stop.
Cleaning your rug: Have it cleaned by a professional rug cleaner once a year to keep the wool color white and to refresh it. It should cost about $2 per square foot. Make sure you mention your rug is 100% wool. It should come out like new!
We love this modern bohemian look! A Beni ourain rug is ja great option to balance out a colorful wallpaper.
A bit of History
Characterized by thick luxurious white wool and minimalist black lines, the story behind Beni Ourain rugs is quite interesting. These rugs were used to cover the floors of the nomadic Beni Ourain tribes living in tents in the snow-capped Atlas Mountains where winter is particularly rough. These thick pile wool rugs were typically used as floor insulation, bedding, and blankets to keep warm during harsh winters. These tribes lived in remote mountainous locations in the northern Middle Atlas region, therefore, their art was not influenced by the Arab-eastern world, which explains why their style is so particular. Now you understand why Beni Ourain rugs are so comfy and dense!
FUN FACT 🙂
Apparently, Frank Lloyd Wright himself was a big fan, I’ve read he made frequent trips to find rugs for his clients and had a Beni Ourain rug in almost every room of his Falling Water house. These black & white rugs might be trendy right now but they have the type of classic beauty that never goes out of style. In fact, they might seem to be increasingly popular in Canada and the US lately, but they’ve been praised by the French for quite some time. A Beni Ourain rug makes a room, no questions asked!