marrakesh by design book coverMorocco’s souks are known for their bold colors and traditional handicrafts, but how can visitors to Morocco turn these treasures into something special? Maryam Montague of the well-known Morocco blog,, recently published Marrakesh By Design, which provides do-it-yourself solutions for people who would like to incorporate their souk purchases and a distinct Moroccan atmosphere into their own homes.

Marrakesh By Design completely covers design elements from floor coverings to ceilings and light fixtures, touching on all aspects in between, but it doesn’t do this in a void. It would be easy simply to fill the pages of this book with information on how to design using Moroccan concepts as a vehicle, but Montague incorporates elements of Moroccan culture, language and history within the pages of the book. She provides a comprehensive background on why certain design components are prevalent in the country and what cultural influences have played a part in creating the modern Moroccan home.

The book is broken into three sections: Discovering Moroccan Style, Living Moroccan Style and Sourcing Moroccan Style. These three sections guide readers from the very basic level of learning to appreciate and recognize certain design elements to implementing such suggestions with information on how to shop for baskets, pottery, rugs, mirrors and other items. Within each section are chapters that detail specific aspects of the design process.

The front third of Marrakesh By Design offers a comprehensive explanation about Moroccan architecture, finishes, color and patterns. It explains how each of these elements came to be a part of the Moroccan culture and what they symbolize, if anything at all. In the color section, Montague provides information on why particular colors are popular, and how readers can create and use the colors in their own homes. The middle section of the book is steeped in information on how to integrate the concepts explored in the first section throughout specific rooms. This is where readers learn about the significance of certain rooms and how best to use Moroccan designs, colors and patterns in each of these spaces. Finally, in the final third of Marrakesh By Design, Montague offers detailed information on how to navigate souks to find the right pieces for a home. Sprinkled throughout the book are do-it-yourself projects and explanations on how to replicate certain design elements so that anyone can take home a small piece of Morocco.

One of the biggest strengths of the book is that it isn’t just a directory of do-it-yourself projects or a text for people who are already versed in design. Rather, it is written in a friendly, conversational style that welcomes in everyone, whether they’re familiar with the Moroccan look or not. It is a helpful resource for those who want to learn more about the country’s design elements but also an interesting book to flip through and read if you just want to learn a little more about this North African nation. In that way, there is a little something in Marrakesh By Design that appeals to everyone. And even if you aren’t interested in outfitting your home with a Moroccan style, Montague’s book is lovely in and of itself with its bright, bold photographs, making it a beautiful coffee table book or conversation piece.

Written by JoAnna Haugen.

Photo provided by publisher.

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