From a farm in Colorado to a treehouse in Australia, the living spaces in this book are united by the essential presence of cowhide rugs.

Animal skins have been used in dwellings for heating and decoration for thousands of years. More recently, cowhide rugs – which have spread to America – have become a common sight in interiors around the world, thanks to their distinctive pattern, bold lines and durability.

Each hide has unique colors and patterns, with variations in texture depending on the breed of animal. One side features hair, while the other side features regular skin – the result of the tanning process.

Cowhide creates a cozy, cabin-like feel, and can blend into country homes and add a timeless contrast to simpler interior schemes.

This is the latest in our lookbook series, providing visual inspiration from the Dezeen archives. For more inspiration, check out previous design brochures featuring subterranean bedrooms, kitchens combining stone and wood, and interiors with bright yellow accents.

Photography by Brad Feinnopf

Polly Hill House, USA, by MM Studio

A brown and white cowhide rug adds warmth to this lofty living space in an upstate New York country house.

A sloped floor covering adds a rustic edge to the living space, supported by saloon-style bar stools and a Corten steel-topped fireplace with a place to store chopped firewood.

Find out more about Bully Hill House ›

A seating area with a cowhide rug and bookshelves
Photography by Fernando Marroquin, Jaime Navarro and Beto Lanz

Mexican House, Mexico, designed by Amezcua

A speckled cowhide rug adorns the volcanic stone floor of the living room of this typical vacation home in Mexico.

A brown and white rug covers the seating area, which consists of two chairs and a side table made of wood and leather surrounded by a simple bookshelf in matching colours.

Find out more about Mexican House ›

Open plan living and dining room in a timber farmhouse with open walls
Photography by Christopher Stark

Sonoma ranch house, USA, designed by Tyreus Design Studio

Nature is always present in this California home, thanks to its wide sliding doors as well as the earthy elements of the interior scheme, including a light cowhide rug.

The slightly speckled coat seems to glow in the sunlight and echoes the white striped marble kitchen table on the other side of the interior.

Find out more about Sonoma Ranch House ›

A seating area in front of a large window overlooking the trees
Photography by Matthew Millman

Paintbrush Residence, USA, designed by CLB Architects

A large window and a cylindrical wood stove surround the cowhide floor covering in this contemplative seating area in a Wyoming home.

The curved scheme of the gray and white skin provides textural contrast to the regular linear shapes in the timber walls and roof cladding that surround the area.

Find out more about Paintbrush Residence ›

Photo showing an attic room with a skylight and a chair
Photo by BoysPlayNice

Czech House, Czech Republic, designed by Atelier SAD and Iveta Zachariašová

This gabled living space in the roof of a house in the Czech Republic is dominated by a large gray cowhide.

The rug’s naturally irregular textures are offset by the geometric floor lamp and ribbed bench covered in black and white herringbone upholstery.

Find out more about Czech home ›

Interior of Pepper Tree Passive House by Alexander Sims
Photography by Barton Taylor

Pepper Tree Passive House, Australia, by Alexander Sims

Cream cowhide with a clear brown stripe running down its middle spans two types of flooring in this unique home in New South Wales, Australia.

Built around a 60-year-old pepper tree, the interior features a mainly neutral color palette interspersed with plants.

Find out more about Pepper Tree Passive House ›

Living room and kitchen with brown cowhide rug
Photography by Cristobal Palma

LBS House, Chile, designed by Umberto Bonomo and Felipe Alarcón

Overlooking a V-shaped wall made of cinder blocks, the industrial-style living space in this Chilean home is softened by the presence of shiny brown cowhide.

The use of concrete and metal throughout the interior is offset by the organic feel of the rug.

Find out more about LBS House ›

Renovation of the wings by OMCM Arquitectos
Photography by Leo Mendez

Reform wings, by OMCM Architects

Black and white spotted cowhide lines the floor of the open-plan living room in this Paraguay home.

The rug provides a focal point in the simply decorated space, which is defined by the use of gray and white tones on the walls and floors.

Find out more about Reforma Alas ›

Rockham House is a house in Devon designed by Studio Fuse
Image courtesy of Studio Views

Rockham House, UK, by Studio Views

The cozy living room in this Devon home is centered around pale cowhide stretching across the concrete floor.

The room’s wide windows provide views of the countryside, with the skin retaining the coziness of the space with the help of a suspended fireplace.

Find out more about Rockham House ›

Goatbarn Lane by Rene del Gaudio
Photography by David Lauer

Goatbarn Lane, USA, designed by Rene Del Gaudio Architects

An orange leather sofa, a knotty wood side table and a light gray cowhide rug gather around a fireplace in the corner of the living room in this Rocky Mountain home.

Despite the rugged setting, warmth and comfort are instilled inside through the use of soft furnishings and warm-coloured wooden floors.

Find out more about Goatbarn Lane ›

This is the latest in our lookbook series, providing visual inspiration from the Dezeen archives. For more inspiration, check out previous design brochures featuring subterranean bedrooms, kitchens combining stone and wood, and interiors with bright yellow accents.

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