Interior Inspo: How to introduce Moroccan style into your home decor
Last year, my husband Steve and I visited Marrakech for the first time. I was so excited to visit to take in the architecture and interiors and soak up the general buzz of the souks that I’d heard so much about. And I have to say, for me it didn’t disappoint. Marrakech really is an assault on the senses – everywhere you look is a visual feast for the eyes and the smells of the spices and fresh orange juice throughout the souks hit your nose whilst the chatter and call for prayer is heard throughout.
El Fenn, Marrakech
Prior to our arrival, it was seeing the interiors, especially those wonderful tiled floors, and visiting the souks, to see what treasures I could find, that I was most excited about. Whilst I fully expected to get my haggle on and bring back as many items as I could from the souks (yep, I took an extra bag just for that purpose) what I didn’t expect was to come back with so much interior inspiration for our own home.
In one of the Riads we stayed in, Riad Farnatchi, the owner there James said something interesting to me which really struck a chord. We were discussing the incredible Moroccan interiors and he said to me that often people come to Marrakech and ask him where they can buy items from his Riad for their own home. Everything in his Riad was made bespoke and he can of course source items/have items made, however, he told me that where a lot of people go wrong is thinking that they can recreate the look back home and that the whole Moroccan look doesn’t tend to work outside of Morocco. I could instantly see what he meant as it is quite a full on style. Filled with gold, bright colours and bold patterns, the Moroccan style sits so well within the ornate architecture of Morocco but in my 1930’s house in Manchester, it probably wouldn’t look quite right.
Riad Farnatchi, Marrakech
However, this doesn’t mean that inspiration from Marrakech and elements of Moroccan design can’t be incorporated into your current interior style, and that’s exactly how I left Marrakech, with ideas of how to do exactly that in our home. Without it looking like I tried to create my own Riad in a 1930’s house!
Here are six Moroccan interior design ideas I was inspired by from my trip to Marrakech and how you can incorporate them into your own home:
This is of course one of the most obvious interiors that you think of when you think of Morocco. Patterned tiles are everywhere – on the floor, walls and ceilings and both inside and outside in Marrakech and they are gorgeous. The colours and patterns are an inspiration and there never seems to be too bright a colour or too many a pattern in succession.
A tiled floor at Kasbah Tamadot in the Atlas Mountains
This is a look that can very easily be incorporated into your own home to suit the style or period of your interiors and there are endless amazing tile companies to source tiles from including the likes of Topps Tiles and Tile Mountain. If you want to keep with a Moroccan look then try Marrakech Design as they have some fantastic Moroccan designs.
Tiled floor and gorgeous little corner in the stylish El Fenn, Marrakech
In our house, it’s largely original floorboards so we don’t need tiles in our home currently but I have my sights set on some amazing tiles to create a terrace area in our garden when we renovate our outside space in a couple of years time.
El Badi Palace, Marrakech
The pool area at L'Amandier in the Atlas Mountains
BRIGHT COLOURS & BOLD PATTERN:
This is another Moroccan interiors trait that they do so well in Marrakech. Everywhere we stayed was filled with pattern and colour and one of my absolute favourite colours, that I am still trying to fit into our house somewhere (currently we are thinking of painting the shed in it), is the Moroccan blue that was made famous by the Jardin Majorelle, a wonderful bold cobalt blue named Majorelle Blue. The richness and brightness of the blue is just wonderful and we kept seeing it pop up around Marrakech and I fell in love with it more and more each time.
The roof terrace at Riad Farnatchi, Marrakech and that gorgeous Majorelle Blue
Valspar and especially their Pantone inspired colour range is a great place to look if you want to bring some bright bold colour into your home in Moroccan style.
El Badi Palace, Marrakech
The Boutique at El Fenn, Marrakech
I loved seeing endless pattern designs in Marrakech, and whether in the tiled floors, cushions, seating, lanterns, tables or mirrors, pattern was everywhere. It’s something I most definitely took away with me and anyone who has seen my pattern-clashing pineapple print and snow leopard patterned hallway (below), can see I’ve definitely incorporated this bold look into our home!
The main thing I took away from Marrakech was not to be afraid to use colour and pattern in our own home and to mix things up, as different colours and patterns that you might think would clash, can actually compliment one another well.
MOROCCAN BASKETS & RATTAN:
This is a look that has hit the UK high street in a big way. The rise of the basket as a home accessory in 2016 is continuing well into 2017 and it’s a look that has it’s roots in Morocco. Believe me, how I wish I could have brought ALL of the Moroccan baskets from the souks home with me!
Pom pom basket from Griege and small star print basket purchased in Marrakech
There were some incredible circular baskets with pom poms around the top that would have made a perfect stylish bin or basket for wrapping paper or wallpaper and as much as wanted to bring one home with me, with a heavy heart I had to face up to the fact it just wouldn’t fit in my bag!
The souks in Morocco are full of baskets big and small, plain or adorned with pom poms or tassels and are such reasonable prices. A little tip if you are visiting Marrakech, don’t accept the first price you are quoted and make sure you haggle as you should generally pay a 1/3 of the original price!
I did manage to bring back a lovely pom pom basket style handbag back with me, which I am still in love with. Here I am enjoying an afternoon Mojito at El Fenn with it!
Rattan is a material that fits so well with Moroccan design and it is a style that just works next to patterned cushions, seating and throws, tropical plants and placed on top of bright tiled floors. It is also a big interiors trend this year, with products available in shops like La Redoute, Ikea and Zara Home, and is a look that is very easy to work into your home. Have a look at my post about incorporating the rattan look into your interiors here.
An area at El Fenn, Marrakech
Rattan pendants at Cafe Des Epices, Marrakech
Isle Crawford for Ikea rattan pendant light on our landing
Obviously I can’t write a Moroccan interiors post and not include berber rugs as they are one of the most sought after pieces to add the Moroccan look to your home. I did read up on some of the best places to find an authentic berber rug before we travelled to Morocco but to be honest, it just felt too much of a challenge to find the rug and then get it shipped back to the UK. I did however manage to gaze longingly at some beautiful berber rugs and when I visited the Beldi Country Club, they had a fantastic rug shop there on the premises and every one looked divine.
A stunning berber rug at Royal Palm Marrakech
I have since managed to fit a couple of berber style rugs into our home from the fantastic La Redoute and whilst not original, I think they give a subtle Moroccan boho feel to our interiors and fit with our modern vintage style. Check out some other great berber style rugs here -
Berber style rug in our bedroom from La Redoute
I did manage to bring back a lovely grey and white striped Moroccan tassel throw during our visit which we bought off the most lovely and funny man in the souks and seeing him roll it into such a tiny parcel to fit into my hand luggage was pretty impressive!
This is something that is done in quite a subtle way in Marrakech but it really work next to all the colour and pattern. The gold and brass lanterns and stars that you see everywhere in the city are something you will really want to bring home with you. Of course my eyes were bigger than my suitcase and I wanted the biggest ones I could find with no hope of those fitting in my luggage! I also spotted some lovely circular silver ceiling lights in one place we stayed in, L’Amandier in the Atlas Mountains, which brought a really modern feel to the Moroccan look (below).
Another hotel we stayed in, Royal Palm Marrakech, had these fantastic brass pineapple cocktail glasses (below), which I was of course in love with. Perhaps it was these that encouraged my pineapple interior obsession?!
Copper and brass accessories in our dining room
Brass pineapple bookends for our travel guides in our guest bedroom
RUSTIC TABLEWARE & COLOURED GLASSWARE
Before we visited Morocco, I told myself that I had to bring back some Moroccan tableware. The bowls, plates and tagines in Morocco have a really rustic look that are sturdy and great for using as sharing bowls. The glassware is bright in colour and ornate with intricate patterns often etched in metallic.
Moroccan tableware and a delicious lamb tagine at Beldi Country Club
In the souks there is so much lovely looking pottery and glassware that it’s hard to choose what to buy and I actually left my tableware shopping to the last day and found a gorgeous set with a bird style print on (below).
The tableware and glassware is really easy to incorporate into your kitchen and it’s perfect to use for a party when you have a mixture of styles for your food and drinks. Lots of supermarkets and high street stores do crockery and glassware in a Moroccan style and you can find great items at the likes of Amara and Dotcom Gift Shop.
However, if you get chance to visit Marrakech (surely you are desperate to after seeing all the interior delights above, right?!), whatever restaurant or café you eat in, you’ll be served food in some lovely dishes and famous Moroccan mint tea in some pretty glasses, and believe me, you’ll want to find authentic similar ones to take home with you!