2018 is the year of Moroccan inspired interior – from what I have observed. We bought our apartment and are in the madness of looking for an exotic inspiration that would underline our love and passion for travelling.
There is no doubt Morocco is at the top of this year’s travel destinations list, including ours. Our adventure began when we arrived at the traditional riad El Cadi, in the very heart of Medina. Formally, a riad was a home of Moroccan aristocracy. The opulent interior could not be detected from the exterior and many examples show, even the entrances were hidden – in some cases I almost had to bend to cross the door. The buildings of Marrakech are red – unless the building is a mosque. Islamic architecture features a modest exterior in order to detract the jealousy from the neighbours. Inside these riads, however, the aristocracy had the freedom to decorate as they wanted – mostly in the so-called bohemian chic style, which is exactly as we see Morocco today. It is incredible how these not-so-matchy interior elements create the whole colourful world!
Here are some of the tips I gathered while visiting the red city last week.
Floors in Moroccan Interiors
Who would not agree? It is probably the most pricey way of making your dream house to look like a Moroccan riad, but also the most effective. Long before our trip to Marrakech got confirmed, I picked the bathroom tiles – mosaic, Moroccan-style small 20/20cm tiles. It is now on trend and you can get it from every major home improvement tools and supplies store, such as Castorama and Leroy Merlin. The price for a square meter is around €20 while in Marrakech it is around €10 and the choice is waaaay wider. I also had a feeling the quality is better. I picked the tiles to be placed on the floor, but they could also serve as a wall decoration. Don’t forget to make sure with a sales assistant – some of the tiles are only applicable to serve as a decor element.
I would recommend looking at ETSY (here), Castorama or eBay. Moroccan interior shops ship to Europe and States and the cost per square meter is lower, so you might also want to contact them for some details.
Lighting for an Arabic Interior
It is hard to not fall for this sort of iconic element. I imagine this lamp would hang in the corridor – inviting guests to our lovely moody home. Lighting is an important element of Moroccan décor. Moroccan lighting focuses on dim lighting created by the clay lamps and pendants made from coloured glass, cut metal, and carved wood. Using candles in traditional lamps will add the romantic element of moving the light to your décor and exotic scents.
There is no interior design without plants. They make the space to be lively and add a character. Whether it is Hygge, Bali or Morocco style you are going for – you won’t be able to achieve the effect without some plants in your space. As for Morocco, plants will help you to create an oasis-like feel in a Marrakech style home. You could go for exotic plants, such as cactus, banana tree, papyrus – definitely in a clay or colourful mosaic pot. I saw the plants in every riad we stayed at and I really loved how such an evident detail can change the atmosphere of the place.
Moroccan Style Elements – Kitchen or Bathroom
Sometimes it’s the detail whats important – especially while decorating a large house or a spacious flat. We decided to purchase some of the lovely Moroccan ceramic bowls, egg bowls and the little spice vessels. It is definitely going to make our not-so-large kitchen a bit more exotic. We bought 11 different patterns, but together they create the sort of a story. I didn’t want to just purchase one kind as I wanted the dressed table to look like Marrakech itself. I am also considering to purchase the large plates next time I’m there – they will either be hanging on the wall or be served to our guests.
Where to buy? Either in Morocco for 10 dirhams each (around 1euro) or HERE.
Rugs are probably one of the most recognizable Arabic features. In Morocco, they were either hanging on the walls or adding splendour to the mosaic floors. Both ways the rugs looked really effective, Arabic and made of a great interior element. Fabrics in rich colours with intricate textures and designs are typical of Moroccan décor, so a colourful or black and white geometric patterned rug would do a great job. An average price for a rug in Marrakech is between 300-400 dirhams and I think it is really worth to take it home. Alternatively, you could shop them here.
Moroccan architecture is exceptionally beautiful on the outside as well. The doors of Marrakech could make the whole separate story. They really look effective! It is definitely an option for a large apartment or a big house – I don’t think it would look great within a small space. Would I imagine a wide double door to the livingroom or perhaps Moroccan-style entrance?
Alternatively, it could also be a plant, or two. A large plant in a clay pot would definitely suggest your guests what they should expect once they enter. I also saw a lovely arcade-styled entrance.
The importance of metalwork is seen everywhere in Moroccan architecture and furnishings. To me, there is no ‘Moroccan style’ without a metal accent. Whether it is a golden lantern or a lovely tea pot it will spice your space up and make it sort of rich, and distinctive. The lanterns cost up from 400 dirhams for a small one and the price depend on a size. I will definitely dedicate some space in my luggage next time I am there. You could score a real bargain <3 Tea pots are also a great idea – especially for the mint tea lovers!
The right fragrances can instantly link the mind to the busy Moroccan souk and can give your new Moroccan styling the perfect finishing touch. I am thinking of candles, incenses and fragrance oils that are earthy, spicy and sensual. I would definitely go for Moroccan mint, tobacco, amber, a combination of spices, ginger. I am really impressed by the Candle Delirium and their collection (here). You can also get loads of aromatic oils of unknown scents for as little as 10/20 dirhams per candle/oil.
Interior spaces are busy in the pattern but simple in furniture. Bed, wardrobe and a drawler are only there to make a background! They usually are of a sof colour. I like how the angular beds are covered with dozens of pillows!
Colour is the focal point of Moroccan decorating. Drawing inspiration from Morocco’s landscape, look for shades of blue and green from the Atlantic and Mediterranean, shimmering gold and silver invoking the Sahara sands, and rich reds and oranges that conjure images of African sunsets. You definitely have the whole variety of choice, but I would keep the overall space white/beige with only the pop of elements. This is the sort of riad that inspired me the most!