We’re Into: Cowhide Rugs

Ballard Designs cowhide rugs

Natural cowhide rug from Ballard Designs in living room

If you’ve always thought a cowhide rug just isn’t for you, think again. These chic, one-of-a-kind layering pieces have proven to be a natural fit in a surprisingly wide variety of interiors. The organic shape and texture of a cowhide rug can soften the lines in a room, yet there’s a certain rugged quality to it as well. And since the hide’s natural oils resist staining, it’s a great choice for high-traffic areas or homes with small children or even pets. So put aside your doubts and take a look at some of the ways you can decorate with a cowhide rug in your home.

Cowhide rug from Ballard Designs in office

The stenciled zebra pattern on our cowhide rug lends edge to the high-contrast black and white scheme in this room. Our rug buyer, Page, recommends placing cowhide rugs at an angle from the vantage point of how the room is most viewed.

Cowhide rug from Ballard Designs in living room

A neutral cowhide rug can be an unexpected touch in a dressy living space like this one. Layering it over a solid colored, natural fiber rug is a great way to show it off in a large room. And don’t cover it up! Choose a glass-topped coffee table or a pair of small side tables to really let it shine.

Cowhide rug from Ballard Designs in office

We also love them in small spaces on a bare floor. The contrast of the dark floors and furniture highlight the rich natural color of the hide. And it plays well with other animal prints, too. Here, we paired it with our spotted Dodie Fabric by the Yard.

For more design inspiration, visit our Pinterest Boards, or find more gorgeous rooms in our Photo Gallery

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Reply

    Joanne B.

    December 26, 2014

    oh dear me…how I LOVE the look of a cow hide rug! But I am torn- I also absolutely love real, live moo-ing cows and I always have. So i am torn- between loving them alive and grazing in a green pasture knowing they are beautiful gentle animals and knowing that one’s life has ended and I have its remains on my floor as if it was a prized possession. Can you please please please look into a really good looking imitation cowhide rug? I would be oh so happy because I could have the look I love and know my conscious is intact as well. For now, I cannot, in good conscious, have this thing of beauty for my frivolous pleasure. Killing cows for food and shoes is somehow different, or how I see it anyway. Thanks for listening- I mean no insult- I truly am torn.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      January 23, 2015

      Thank you for your honest feedback.
      The How to Decorate Team