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.