March 15th, 2012

Hello new rug.

Goodbye old rug.

There are those few rarities that habitual Craigslist trollers like myself don’t expect to bump into on the c’list, one biggie being the legendarily elusive vintage Moroccan Beni Ourain rug. Finding one of these for a bargain feels about as possible as a unicorn farting out Kofod Larsen chairs while throwing wadded up hundred dollar bills at your face. So, when a post for a ‘white wool rug’ with a ‘subtle abstract design’ popped up, I hurriedly emailed the seller as well as a few friends and then sought out the wisdom of the internets to confirm if I was crazy or if a unicorn just knocked on the door.


I went. I saw. I bought for $150.

Not quite the perfect unicorn, but maybe this rug is like a Llama with a carrot strapped to it’s head showed up and was like, ‘hey, here’s a coupon book for all that stuff you like and a nice sandwich.’ I’m not really sure what exactly this rug is, but I like it like I like sandwiches. A bunch.

This puppy sits about 8′ x 12′ and is in great vintage condition – super thick, softly wooly and nicely hand woven. The pattern coloration of umber, ochers and black was an unexpected surprise, but luckily I’m a big fan of browntown. Considering all the uneasiness and anxiety the other colorful antique rug stirred up in me, this hot piece of minimalist tribal action slid into the room so easily that it’s almost like it’s always been here.

On an unrelated note, I finally hung up and slammed a pencil cactus in this giant geodesic planter I grabbed at the flea over a year ago. No big deal really, this huge planter has just been sitting awkwardly on the bedroom floor for most of that year…so…great job me.

*Slow design.

I also switched out the leather butterfly chairs for my black rocker.

The Eames rocker is a better fit for sure, but the coffee table is still is waiting to be exchanged and the fireplace is still calmly waiting to redone. Why? Because I’m a lazy jerk who buys rugs.

The seventies are exploding up in here. Hey now.

Time’s come to reign in this 70’s textured wackiness and bring out the industrial modernist shiny minimal bits. Plants would help as well, but I gotta start doing some real renovation projects instead of slapping a rug band-aid on everything. There’s just no willpower or energy in my body to start some big messy time consuming projects right now. I’m pooped.

Bring it on, longer days and more sunshine! Let’s do this. Let’s rip stuff out and renovate! Or maybe go source stuff on Craigslist? Shut up, lazy part of me.

What’s strange is that Craigslist has really been a wasteland of nothing but beat up Ikea chairs and gross stained mattresses for months now and then suddenly it was like, oh hey, good stuff and BOOM-rug and then BOOM-rug again and oh, what now? BOOM-rug in your face. I’ve been some kind of rug magnet and for whatever inane reason, I can’t manage to seal the deal on anything else.

At. All.

Besides rugs.

The big rug experiment has gotten pretty stupid at this point and now I’m feeling officially burnt-out on fibers and rugs and textiles in general, despite the fact that I just picked up another rug like some kind of goddamn hypocrite rug addict.

No more rugs. I’m done. This one’s a keeper.

I swear.

And this time I mean it, possibly.

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  1. Marije on 03/15/2012:

    Fabulous. I love how it makes everything else look like it was born for this room. Love it.

  2. Caroline, No on 03/15/2012:

    Wow. That is my absolute dream rug. Fair play, for your craiglist scrutiny. Enjoy!

  3. kim on 03/15/2012:

    i was one who was all for your faded vintage red rug, but THIS, this is the cat’s jammies. it is pure perfection.

  4. nickarmadillo on 03/15/2012:

    Man, I can’t seem to find ANY good rugs and I’ve been looking for one forever. Send some rug love my way!

  5. madeline k on 03/15/2012:

    Can we talk about your other rug that you just bought..its photo is on insta gram. I can totally relieve you of your guilt by buying it from you. Which ultimately makes room for a replacement rug in your life…tell me its not a win-win. Seriously though I will buy.

  6. Julie T on 03/15/2012:

    I, too, will gladly buy your red kazak rug. Pretty, pretty please?

  7. erin@designcrisis on 03/15/2012:

    I was prepared to get all angry and indignant over your fickle abandonment of old rug, but damn if new rug ain’t the bees knees.

    Now, let me know how it holds up. White rugs scare the jeebus out of me.

  8. Jill on 03/15/2012:

    I have rug envy!

  9. Dan @ Manhattan Nest on 03/15/2012:

    RUGGGGGGGGGGG. Oh yeah. It’s good.

  10. Suzy8track on 03/15/2012:

    Loving the total groovy 70s vibe you have going on. New rug looks fantastic! I am missing the butterfly chairs though.

  11. THIS IS IT! YES! You did it. I love this new lr configuration, and the minimal design on the rug looks way better with your stuff than those typical all-over Beni designs.
    I’m mostly happy for you. Although I might smile inwardly a little if it ends up having bed bugs or something.

  12. audrey on 03/15/2012:

    Goddamn you and your unicorn luck.
    The living room looks amazing.

  13. The living room looks amazing! Light, airy, and packed with great design. Loving the rug, totally want to lay on it πŸ™‚

    I just posted on my blog yesterday about a living room rug that I found at a yard sale, if you’d like to hop on over for a peek…

  14. Coutch on 03/15/2012:

    Hi!. I do like your look here. I have been following the page for a while now & I see the slight beginnings of crowding a bit too much ‘stuff’ into your interiors… Yes, I know it’s your home, but so far, all your pieces are very worthy to stand alone and they need room to be just that!. Too many things, even great design, still becomes clutter. I know, when one finds something great, especially when working within a budget, it’s difficult to refuse…… Just a thought from one who scaled back clutter a few ago and am so much the better for it… Thanks, Larry

  15. Minga Mars on 03/15/2012:

    much better than the other rug IMHO. i love it! the LR is looking great these days!

  16. Heela on 03/15/2012:

    Yes I like the too, good job!! Miss the B-fly chairs though.

    Ditto on the Kofod Larsen chairs. Those suckers really are elusive πŸ™

  17. Vittorio Parmanini on 03/15/2012:

    – I still think the barcelona daybed is visually too heavy to be in front of the fireplace.
    – Maybe leave just one footstool? Two is a matchy-matchy crowd.
    – The rug looks boring on photo.
    – Too much crowding of good stuff in the center while the walls look blindingly white and empty. Maybe needs to have more balance? Hang the Commodore somewhere in the LR? Or one of your characters.

    I’m not saying I don’t like it. I LOVE YOUR STYLE. But the more I stare at the photos the more the observations above become apparent to me.

    And you have to answer to us why you’re not featuring your amazing —f—a—u—x—d—e—n—z—a—. Seriously I will file a federal case against you if you don’t write about it within 1 month of this notice.

  18. kurt @ design furnace on 03/15/2012:

    what find. you find all the best stuff! looks great in the room. love the rug, but drooling all over the place with that mies-erable chaise you have blocking the fireplace! πŸ™‚ i think you need to get rid of it. i have an fugly fireplace that needs obscuring!

  19. Christina on 03/15/2012:

    But most of all… what did you do with the old one?! Because… I like.

  20. Jennie on 03/15/2012:

    wow…150 clams…you rock but i also kind of hate you right now. enjoy your farting unicorn – it looks amazing!

  21. Erin | Holtwood Hipster on 03/15/2012:

    That’s it. That’s The One.

  22. Christine on 03/15/2012:

    Damn you, Morgan. I blame you for my obsessive compulsive Craigslist checking in the hopes I will find something half this awesome. You’ve given me false hope! Argggg!!

    Seriously though, that rug is p.e.r.f.e.c.t.

  23. katie on 03/15/2012:

    hey morgan! when you’re ready to get rid of that coffee table, IT IS EXACTLY WHAT I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR! can i buy it from you? i’m in l.a. and am totes willing to come pick it up… let me know!

  24. Chelsea on 03/15/2012:

    Morgan, you give me such rug envy. πŸ™‚ It’s amazing!

  25. stef on 03/15/2012:

    uuuugh you are the coolest. I know that makes me sound like a creep, but *seriously*

    As for your “other” rug – I just found a ton of those babies via Blue Teddy on Etsy and wanted to buy, oh, pretty much all of them until my guy said it would literally kill him, so now I mourn their loss and just ooogle your purchases. sigh.

  26. Bernadette @ B3HD on 03/15/2012:

    Possibly. I LOVE it. “It” being the rug indecision which comes with rug eye candy. And unicorn llamas.


  27. Suhl on 03/15/2012:

    Just my 2 cents:

    – Mies between the dining room & living room (unblock the fireplace)
    – sofa in front of the windows
    – 2 chairs where couch was (increase flow from entry into living room)
    – Albini’s in front of fireplace (nice perch/portable footrests)

    The rug looks perfect in you home

  28. onehsancare on 03/15/2012:

    How’s your yard?

  29. THE BRICK HOUSE on 03/15/2012:

    Yard looks like crap.

    I’m fine with the layout for now, Im waiting on a couple things to happen and it will change. It’s kind of transitional.

    Also, there is BARELY anything in my house and the clutter comments are so confusing…I guess you have to see it in person. It’s very spare and open and the room is very narrow with lots of window and door openings, so there’s not much wall space or places for furniture which doesn’t block a doorway.

  30. Mike on 03/16/2012:

    Good on you for the change in your Craig’s List Karma The rug is cool but c’mon, nothing beats having the head of snuffleupagus mounted on your wall… Plus the comment about farting unicorns made me laugh so hard that coffee came out of my nose.

  31. l on 03/16/2012:

    Your Unicorn fart is fabulous. Makes it look (to me) like you don’t NEED to do anything to the fireplace — the LR is officially awesome.

    And yeah, agree that the clutter comments are confusing. I think it’s the angle of some of the pictures that make things look closer together than they actually are.

    You go, girl!

  32. Kevin on 03/16/2012:

    I like this rug. I also liked the one that stressed you out. What happened to it? does homegirl want to send to me?

  33. Keren V. on 03/16/2012:

    I troll Craigslist often and have never come across a unique find like this! Bravo! Also, I am loving your use of macramΓ©! It is truly a talent to be able to channel the 1970’s in a non-kitschy way. Gorgeous.

  34. Jen on 03/16/2012:

    Hmmmmmm…Have to agree with some comments here. Somehow it all just looks very random. All gorgeous pieces on their own but all together in that space? Not feelin it. Needs a redo. Rug is great where it is. That can stay πŸ˜‰

  35. Christa on 03/16/2012:

    I TOLD YOU SO! Wow, so satisfying when you get to say that. Remember what I said about the last rug? Allow me to quote “…the one you got is too much red for you and not enough variations in the shapes. You want a rug that is mostly darks and lights.” And BOOYAH. I only wish I had found that rug because I LOVE IT SO. Congratulations on the score!

  36. Katrina on 03/16/2012:


    This is the exact rug I’ve had my eyes on for a while. It says me all over it. I’d flip a lid if I ever found one of these in Kentucky.

    I know how you like to switch things around…so…if you ever decided to get rid of this rug, you can get in touch with me.

  37. Momo on 03/16/2012:

    love lovevand also happy to take “old rug” off your hands if it hasn’t found a home yet. i’m in california!

  38. Mary on 03/16/2012:

    I think your home looks beautifully serene. I also think that you know exactly what you want to do to make it look perfect…until you change it again. You mentioned your fireplace and plants..yes, I agree. I loved your photos of your plan with the wood mantle and my husby and I did just that to ours and it looks great-so thanks for the idea/inspiration! I think when people say “cluttered” it may be that the grayish tone of the fireplace is almost acting as a hockey goal net against the gray couch opposite hockey goal net. I think painting the fireplace white with the added wood mantle would expand the space. But really what do I know-I am an elementary art teacher with a turquoise solair chair in my livingroom. What-it has a sheepskin on it- don’t judge.

  39. KeLLy Ann on 03/16/2012:

    What? No Big Lebowski? He just wants a rug, man.

  40. Adam Bouvier on 03/16/2012:

    The Barcelona chaise is beautiful BUT it just doesn’t work in front of the fireplace. Wrong scale – it dwarfs the fireplace and makes the other furniture look odd. Sorry, it’s true. Why put anything in front of it? Let it breathe, right now it’s like an awkward stepchild.

    Remember when you had Emily’s chairs in the living room? Those looked amazing. On that side of the room as well.

  41. The brick house on 03/17/2012:

    Emily’s chairs made it impossible to walk into the dining room. Trust that I’ve tried all the configurations.

    The daybed is so comfy and nice in person. It’s fine for now, but stuffs changing and it’ll be gone so don’t keep trying to convince me it’s a problem. I get it. I know. Jeez. Let me just enjoy my house for a little bit.

  42. Gah, when did this turn into a reverse advice column? She’s a designer, folks. She doesn’t need our bad ideas.
    MCRIA (Most Controversial Room in America)

  43. Laura on 03/17/2012:

    My CL story (because you will appreciate the magic): For years I’ve had the exact same dining table as you. Loved it, but when a piano and a buffet were added to the room there just wasn’t space for it. I needed a round table, but where do you get a round, vintage, teak table with two leaves in good shape for less than a zillion dollars? From a crazy drunk women on CL for $300, that’s where! The NEXT DAY I sold my old table (on CL) to a local theater prop house at a nice profit.
    So now I’m like one of those guys playing Keno at the convenience store, drunk with my CL powers, even though I’m pretty sure I’ve used up all my good CL karma for at least like a year. I feel your rug situation.

  44. Paul on 03/17/2012:

    I wasn’t convinced by the red rug. This one is much, much better.

  45. Simone on 03/19/2012:

    Hi Morgan;
    I have loved and followed your blog for a long long time. This morning I all of a sudden had ad’s when visiting you blog. Could you tell us more about that?

    I have to say I agree about the things said about the daybed in relation to your room. I told you these things before you bought it. But maybe you’re right and it is just the pictures and different in real life. We live and learn.

    Have a wonderful day!!!

  46. Simone on 03/19/2012:

    Hi Morgan;
    I have loved and followed your blog for a long long time. This morning I all of a sudden had ad’s when visiting you blog. Could you tell us more about that?

    Love the rug, very tranquil. I have to say I agree about the things said about the daybed in relation to your room. I told you these things before you bought it. But maybe you’re right and it is just the pictures and different in real life. We live and learn.

    Have a wonderful day!!!

  47. The brick house on 03/19/2012:

    I’m currently redesigning the site and have been testing out some ad stuff. It’s all in a bit of an awkward phase – so please bear with me.

  48. Florian on 03/19/2012:

    This is a response to Modernhaus MCRIA. Sort of. Or a random rant, or whatever.

    Hi there. This is a blog, innit? The comment function is enabled, innit? It’s all about sharing and feedback and shit, innit?


    Seriously? We all – well, let’s say most of us – love Morgan’s shit all of the time – well, let’s say most of the time. We have been there, when the boy painted and caulked the front steps; when the weeds conquered the gravel and when the vinegar conquered the weeds; we have been there through the couch swaps and the coffee table exchanges, through the needlepoint and the doggy pictures and the fibre extravaganza – even though it looked fine before!

    Well, we haven’t really BEEN there, you know like in an pass-the-hammer capacity, but we’ve sort of been there, you know, as much as possible, in this amazing interwebed brave new world. We CARED. We still do. And so we comment, because we care. Because we have opinions on shit. Like you do. And sometimes those opinions coincide, and sometimes they don’t. Well tough shit. You don’t want opinions? Don’t fucking blog! Write a book instead and laugh all the way to the bank about the stupid suckers buying your crap.

    I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be rude (oh hell, what atrocity will follow now?). You guys do nice shit. That’s why we keep reading. But if you think that being a “designer” insulates you from making bad choices, you are deluding yourself. If you think, there should be no comment/advice in reaction to your posts, why do you post? If you don’t care what other people think, why do you read the commentary?

    As a matter of fact, I also don’t think, this isn’t the best incarnation of the living room. In my opinion something is a bit off, out of balance, wrong. I think, it should be either the chaise or the couch, but not both. But hey – it’s not my room and I’m not voting on it. I’m just offering my opinion, for whatever it’s worth.

  49. Simone on 03/19/2012:

    Hi Florian;
    I think you are right and wrong at the same time.
    I see myself as a guest here. (Maybe at a certain point a guest might become a friend, but I think very few do). But I do feel that there is such an aspect of anonimity from our side as viewers that renders the blogger pretty vulnerable. Therefore I think we should be polite and kind. Speak your truth but sooth your words with peace.

    Ofcourse we have an opinion and a view, but so does Morgan (and it is her house and vision we are invited to) and we live and learn through our succeses and our failures.

    I sometimes don’t tell people how I feel about what they’re doing because if I tell them my view they will never be able to “unsee” what you put into their head (like Steve Jobs and the original design for the apple-offices that his son said kind of looked like a penis).
    However I also feel that an earnest sincere knowledgeable opinion with no double agenda will not break someones heart.

  50. The brick house on 03/19/2012:

    I’m so depressed.

  51. So much rancor in that there diatribe, Florian. Oh, I don’t mean you should approve of everything you see, else hold your tongue. This isn’t a flowers and sunbeams blog, of course, and I’m sure Morgan has long since gotten over the fact that all comments are not supportive.
    But, if someone shows me something and does not ask for my advice or help, I generally would never, ever proceed to tell them the many ways in which whatever it is (fashion choice, child’s name, or living room configuration) misses the mark and should be changed. Maybe, if I had a good relationship with that person, I might say that it’s not my favorite, but that they should have what they like. That’s what most people usually do here.
    There’s a critical difference between constructive commentary and nasty criticism. I don’t think anyone is nasty here. Maybe a little presumptuous.
    You’re making some rather shaky presumptions (that probably belong in a debate about public modes of communication, not here) about the public nature of blogging. To say, “You blog, therefore I’ll tear you a new ***hole if I wish, and it’s your fault if I do, too!” or “A comment box exists, therefore I fill with anything I wish” ignores the most basic codes of conduct that any community is built on. It also denies that there is a human being behind the blog. Just because you have a mouth doesn’t mean it has to be used, and the same restraint/self-control goes for our keyboards.

  52. Ryan on 03/19/2012:

    I love the rug and the whole look of your house! Such great taste.. Can’t wait to see more!

  53. Ryan on 03/19/2012:

    And totally agree with mooodernhaus.. It’s a freaking blog.. Lighten up:) we are lucky to have the opportunity to get inspired from others…Relax & Enjoy!

  54. Julie on 03/19/2012:

    I’ll change the subject here…on a lighter note I actually SCORED a Kofod Larsen chair for $20 a few years back. For once I have the smug satisfaction of a deal to your 1,000 other ridiculous jealous-inducing deals.

    In any event, the rug rules. So do you. Some of these commenters need to get lives and STFU.

  55. TX Sarah on 03/19/2012:

    It’s all gold.

    Also, so jealous of your dealings with Marc Maron. He’s a favorite of mine.

  56. cottageofstone on 03/19/2012:

    Love the new rug! sending some happy blog love your way. πŸ™‚

  57. Florian on 03/19/2012:

    Ugh, look. I’m sorry. I don’t know what got into me. (Beer probably). I totally love the black rocker there, by the way. And shutting up right now.

  58. Jen on 03/20/2012:

    I didn’t get the impression that anyone was trying to hurt feelings or be mean. I think Morgan’s personality and blogging style has cultivated a certain amount of openness and candor with her followers and personally I think that a good thing. She spoke up and said back-off and that’s totally fine. Nuff said-move on. Besides, $10 bucks says Morgan finds a new piece to replace the daybed, places it, LOVES it and tells us all we were right. πŸ™‚ Either way it’s all good stuff. Nobody’s gonna bail on this blog just because of a wonky room set-up. But they will bail if it all becomes a fake-stepford follower-lovefest of crap like so many other blogs are.

  59. Christian on 03/20/2012:

    I miss your burl coffee tables! You need to bring back the burl πŸ™‚

  60. The brick house on 03/20/2012:

    Funny enough, there is a ton of burl on the horizon. SO MUCH BURL.

  61. Christian on 03/21/2012:


  62. Samma on 03/22/2012:

    I heard something on NPR today that’s gonna be my new Mantra.
    If offered the choice between being right or being kind, choose to be kind.

    (and I love the new rug! so much better! pencil cactus, geo globular death star also super amazing)
    PS Florian, nicely re-stated/retracted. Next beer on me.

  63. Kelli Ahern on 03/22/2012:

    LOVE that picture wall! That is AMAZING!!!!!! LOVE your site!!!!

  64. Jean on 03/24/2012:

    Gorgeous! And wow what a deal. But… please pretty please… Take the rocker off the rug. Rocker no good for rug!

  65. Denny Robert on 04/05/2012:

    Ya goddam rug hipocrite! lol

  66. Rick on 04/09/2012:

    Well I visit for the entertainment-I love perusing the photos-dogs a plus. You’re energy is amazing. I have opinions but they are mine.
    I think I have 3 ceramic planters with the original macrame ropes boxed up somewhere that my mom would hang in my empty apt way back when.You make me want to break them out of storage.

  67. laura on 04/15/2012:

    Oh, so in love with the rug. I’ll just let out some bitterness that I have been looking for a rug EXACTLY that size,color, texture etc for well, it seems like forever. I thought I was close on a few – one was actually purchased, rejected by the room, and then returned. Then BAM I see your rug and, while on one hand I am overwhelmingly envious, you have given me hope that perhaps there is a twin of your rug (even an evil twin would be okay) lurking somewhere out there in the universe. So hey, rug of perfection, if you are out there – get in touch!

    Should you ever decide your rug is no longer a fit for you, you know who to contact. Me and my fickle room are standing by.

  68. Christine on 06/21/2012:

    Wow, you really miss all the drama with RSS! I came back here to beg you…please tell more about the macrame! Did you buy it? Did you make it? It’s so perfect with that planter.

  69. Miguel on 08/23/2012:

    Thrifted a rug just like that one but 3’x5’… same colouring, braided ends, ochre/brown zigzags (mine has a fish on it as well) it had a tag on the back in arabic and french. The persian rug expert I had clean it confirmed that it is Moroccan, 1960s/70s Nice find!

  70. Ellen on 05/14/2013:

    So yea, I’m a bit late to this party, but am considering/fantasizing buying a beni ourain rug online. Which I’m pretty sure is a bad idea, but I’ve got the bug, and can’t shake it.

    Is yours a Berber Mrirt? Is it high pile? I’m just wondering how easy it is to keep these rugs clean (a vacuum seems too harsh?)

  71. Andrea on 07/06/2013:

    Hi! Fantastic blog! I have been sitting here for hours, and I just subscribed. I just got to say that be a little carefull with that plant. It is called Firestick (Euphorbia tirucalli), also goes by the name Pencil plant and Naked Lady πŸ™‚ I bought one myself, but returned it after learning that it can cause blindness and it hurts like hell if you get the plantjuice in your eye by accident. Google it and you will find many horror stories. So just be carefull to wash your hands well if you handle it.

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