Though designer Mark Sudermann has been incorporating this classic, rugged look for years, it’s reigning again in popularity.
“As a designer, you are always looking for ways to add texture and layers,” he says. “I have personally used cowhide rugs throughout my entire design career, pushing 20 years. But I do think it has gained popularity in the last few years, shedding the stigma of cowboy or country-cabin interiors.”
Cowhide works well with just about any style; throw it down in an industrial loft or drape it inside a traditional Georgian. If you’re interested in adding cowhide to your home, keep it minimal, with a few pillows on the sofa or reupholster the side chairs in your dining room. Good interior design, he says, is all about taking risks.
“I personally love mixing anything with cowhide: a Persian rug with a cowhide on top, and neutral colors and bold colors alike work well,” he says. “Abstract art and fabrics look amazing balanced with cowhide, and you can never go wrong with historical Old-World heavy fabrics with cowhide.”
If you’re out shopping for a cowhide gem, Sudermann’s showroom at 45th and State Line is dotted with accent chairs; a long, vintage bench; a new line of handbags and full-size cowhide rugs from Brazil in many colors that also can be used as upholstery.