Following a recent trip to Morocco, Cat shares her favourite interior features and tips to recreate the fabulous exotic style in your own home…
Following my wonderful trip to Oualidia and the Atlas foothills over the Christmas break, I find myself hugely inspired by the contrast between simple materials and shapes and amazing decorative detail.
Moroccan design draws heavily on natural materials – but that doesn’t mean colours are muted – vibrant reds, oranges and yellows are widespread, as well as intense blues, pinks and greens.
- Add colour by painting a wall – or a whole room – in a rich, deep colour; perhaps surprisingly, doing so can often make a room seems larger
- Apply polished concrete or, to be really authentic, Tadelakt – again in a bright colour – to walls
- Use Moroccan tiles in cement or my favourite, zellige – rough glazed tiles available in numerous shapes and sizes – the imperfections in the tiles and the glazing produce really beautiful texture and reflection
In soft furnishings, again, natural materials are everywhere – cotton, linen and wool. Texture and detail are incorporated using traditional techniques – weaving (for rugs and blankets/ towels) and embroidery (cushions, bed linens).
- Use throws, blankets and rugs
- Include texture underfoot with natural stone (sandstone, limestone and marble are all produced locally) tiles, warmed up by fluffy rugs
- Incorporate opulence with such a huge array of silks and velvets- these can be really striking used alone but also layered or draped for added richness.
Moroccan design often uses really detailed decorative elements – geometric and more or less abstract depictions of leaves and flowers. (This stems from the widely-observed Islamic principle that humans and animals shouldn’t be depicted.)
The current popularity of geometric and related patterns, and especially the trend for mid-Century style with its use of abstract shapes means there are numerous products around. Try using:
- Fabrics – curtains/ rugs/ furniture coverings
- Kitchen tiles
- Beading/ tassels
- Metalwork – stunningly used in lighting and combining functionality in trays
- Finally, introduce some authentic Moroccan scents – specially rose and jasmine – with candles and diffusers.
Choose to keep it simple by using one or two accents or immerse yourself and recreate the souk experience at home…