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Fall in Love: Rabari Rug from Nanimarquina

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  • Spring Furniture Event

Some start designing a room by selecting the paint color or choosing the sofa. But I prefer starting at the bottom, with a great modern rug, and work my way up. Let’s take a look at Nanimarquina.

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Nipa Doshi with her Rabari 1 Rug by Nanimarquina

A rug is literally the foundation you build your design on, so why not find something that really speaks to you? Rugs add warmth, sophistication, and visual interest to your space. My latest rug obsessions are these Rabari Rugs from Nanimarquina.

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The Rabari 3 as a wall hanging. Better on the floor, if you ask me.

Nani Marquina paired up with Nipa Doshi of the London design firm Doshi Levien to bring these exotic works of floor art to life. Inspired by her personal history with the traditional embroidery of the nomadic Rabari tribes of the Kutch (in the western state of Gujarat, India), Doshi brought the same spirit of joy and celebration that the Rabari bring to their embroidery work, incorporating color, metallics and playful composition.


In the video above, Doshi uses the words “beauty” to describe her baseline inspiration. “Beauty” is a concept that now carries a lot of judgmental weight in western culture – about the attainable or unattainable beauty standards of our culture and the hypercritical gaze that our society places on physical perception.

Rabari 4 Rug yliving nanimarquina nani marquina nipa doshi levien

The Rabari 4

But Doshi’s explanation covers a sense of beauty that uses a different filter from western ideas; “I think it’s important in India to be beautiful. . . . People are not afraid to say, ‘Look at me,’” but notes that in India, “There isn’t that obsession to look young for example.” Nani Marquina observes, as a European woman, “Beauty is something we have as reference depends (sic) on where we live and how we are. And in India I could say it’s another kind of beauty concept.”

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The painstaking work to hand knot and weave the Rabari 1. Unusually, the weft is the longer side of the rug.

The beauty of the Rabari collection is obvious and the rug was recognized this year with the Elle Décor International Design Award for floor covering, and Doshi Levien as Designer of the Year. The Rabari brings together the idea of color, the glint of metallic, and the mixing of beautiful shapes and patterns, all combined through the use of traditional rug techniques. So they’re engaging, balanced, tactile and referential – the perfect bold start for an engaging modern room.

rabari 1 2 yliving nanimarquina nani marquina nipa doshi levien

The Rabari 1 and 2 in use.

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Darren Falls

Darren is one of the Merchandise Managers for YLiving, and has had a long career in the Home Furnishings industry with companies like RH, Gumps and ABC Carpet & Home. He has a passion for art and design inspired by his time at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He spends his free time in his garden picking lemons and avoiding mowing the lawn, while playing with his long-haired dachshund.