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Ikea’s real cowhide rugs … or … monster skin?

February 18, 2010

I went to IKEA earlier this week for only a couple things… a daunting task. It’s near impossible for me to get through the maze without ooohing and aaaahing and dashing off in a moment of distraction. But, I’m proud to report that I did quite well this time around.

There was, however, one thing that caught my eye and took me by surprise so much that I paused: real cowhide rugs. At first I thought, wow those are some pricey faux rugs at $250 a pop but when I got closer I realized that huge pile was actually . . . ewww. Okay, so I know real cowhides are nothing new and have been around the design world for awhile, namely under mid-century furniture or starring in a Design Within Reach inspired home. But I hadn’t expected them at IKEA in such quantities.

I do eat meat and I do wear leather shoes so I’m not completely against using animals. I do, however, think there are some great animal-free design alternatives out there. I’ve got a new type of skin for you: monster skin. Joshua Ben Longo, artist and designer, came up with this brilliant concept for his cashmere and wool products. Check out his monster skin rug and monster skin chair:

photos via Longoland

I’m particularly in love with the chair… it’s just so playful and has so much texture. It’s upholstered in felted cashmere and wool . . . sounds soft . . . and as far as monster skin goes, not too scary.

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