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What is it about cow hides in decor and design? Can you think of another design element with such staying power?
Cave paintings that are thousands of years old showcase them as both garment and dwelling feature. Today, it is, of course, the must-have element for Western decor.
The unlimited color variations and one-of-a-kind patterns, however, need not be limited to a room with antlers, horseshoes, and heavy wood.
The warmth and durability of hides are as perfect for chrome and glass as for oak and brass. They transform any space they occupy, no matter how they’re used.
Crazy Innovative idea: Let’s take cow hides where few have gone before. Let’s take them to the office — and wherever else we might conduct business!
Cow Hides, the World, and You
For the sake of being thorough, what we’re talking about are hair-on hides. This is the tanned — and yes, fuzzy — hide that displays the pattern, not the leather of your favorite jacket.
As with any other item you purchase, it’s important to be sure your vendor has ethically and humanely sourced their products.
Production plants collect hides as a matter of course during the overall processing operation, so there’s no reason for any animal to suffer.
I’ll just say it: If you have to choose only one area to be suspicious of a too-good-to-be-true bargain, let it involve kindness and compassion for living things.
When earlier peoples hunted to survive, they didn’t allow a single part of the animal to go to waste. They even routinely gave thanks to the animal’s spirit for providing sustenance and protection for their families.
This practice has fallen out of favor with most of us, but being responsible about where we acquire animal hides carries much of the same good karma.
So, now that you have one, what do you do with it?
Don’t Hide the Hide
Any room will do, but living rooms seem to get the most attention when it comes to cowhide rugs. And why not?
- They are, in fact, beautiful — spread them out wide.
- They’re soft under tired feet.
- They’re durable in high-traffic areas.
- They hide dirt well and are generally low maintenance.
- They’re moisture resistant. (Ever see a cow run for cover at the first raindrop?)
Why, though? Why is hide such a classic design element?
Probably because it exudes a sense of warmth and home. Tell me, where exactly is that feeling of safety and ease verboten?
This can be exuded to powerful effect at your trade show.
A trend that’s gaining popularity is to juxtapose contemporary decor with classic animal hide. This contrast redefines each aesthetic and, it’s easy to set up at your trade show.
Search not for “What can I use hides for?” Instead, search for “Where can I buy the best cowhides?” Let no one tell you what they can and can’t be used for.
In fact, who says hides — custom or otherwise — are restricted to the living room/den/family room?
Who, for that matter, says they can only be used in the home? Exactly so. No one.
Let’s consider, then, using animal hides in a classroom, office, trade show space, job fair booth, warehouse, mechanic’s shop.
In other words, the last places you’d expect to see them. Hides can do more than cover your floors.
“More than upholstery and rugs?” you ask.
Why, yes indeed.
Sing it loud and proud to your customers!
Bold is Beautiful
The same features that make cow hides so well-suited for use as floor covering, make them equally appropriate as upholstery material.
At your trade show, you can show this off.
Just as you can requisition custom cowhide rugs, you can also buy cowhide custom-upholstered furniture. You can ask for a footstool or a 9-piece sectional or anything in between.
You pick the color (or colors), the pattern (or patterns), and the style.
Mount your animal hide to a wall, frame optional. Or bunch several at one end and create one-of-a-kind hanging art.
Warm up and soften that kitchen floor. Keep damp feet cozy when you step out of the shower.
Drape it over a handrail or a balustrade. Or a stainless steel table?
Introduce the venerable cow hide into any environment you like.
For Official Use Only?
Oh, heaven forfend.
Remember way up there in the first section, the chrome-and-glass idea? What’s the first thing those words bring to mind? Modernity, yes?
At your trade show, you can inspire a softening of the traditional high-tech environment by displaying custom cowhide upholstered chairs.
Create a sitting area anchored around hides — thrown over chairs, stuffed with fluff in pillows, even, yes, as a rug.
We’re less productive in a sterile, uninviting environment, yet we ask students and workers to work surrounded by hard edges and industrial beige.
Break area, reading corner, library, small-group area — There are no limits to the perfect fit of animal hides in the academic setting.
Caring For Your Cow(hide)
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And, having your cow hides look beautiful and clean is imperative.
Of course, this also offers you an opportunity to educate your potential customers on how to clean their rugs.
Don’t scrimp on this! First impressions matter.
Great! How Do I Start?
Given the almost endless permutations of cow hides in texture, color, pattern, and customizing options, maybe it seems like too much trouble.
Have no fear.
Professional hide distributors will be happy to answer any questions you have. And reputable ones will have no qualms answering queries as to their source.
If you’re not sure where to start or haven’t quite reached the hanging-from-the-ceiling stage, take a browse at some cow hide rugs. You’ll be truly inspired.
Blaze new trails with your hides. Use them where no one thinks they should be used. And, be sure to sign up to excellent marketing events like the Las Vegas Market.
The homey feeling your hide-rich space radiates will naturally draw passersby, visitors, guests, potential customers, and curious strangers.
The bit of prehistoric jelly left in our brain from those cave painters will prevent anyone from just walking on by. They may not even know why they stop to visit.
But when they do, you’ll be ready.