Most people who visit Morocco are fascinated by the country’s incredible interior design. ‘Fairy’, ‘dreamy’ and ‘charming’ are some of the most used terms to describe Moroccan design style. Cherished and widely loved, it is copied internationally. From luxury hotels to celebrity homes, Moroccan interior design has become a staple to make homes warmer, cozier and perfect for intimate gatherings.
Reproducing Moroccan interior design is not very hard. You can either go for a full Moroccan style or a light Moroccan touch with a few well-chosen pieces here and there. It’s all a matter of mixing and matching different Moroccan decor items, following some basic guidelines and trusting your own creativeness.
Here are some tips to get you adding a touch of Moroccan interior design to your home:
The Use of Colors
That is probably the first thing that fascinates travelers when they visit Morocco. Moroccan interior design is tightly linked with the use of colors. If you enter any Moroccan home, there is a good chance that you will find a great dose of colors used in pillow covers, carpets, tiles, curtains and even the walls.
There is no singular rule in mixing colors in Moroccan design style. However, deep reds, oranges, pine greens and blues are the most used. They tend to add coziness and closeness.
Colors are also present in Moroccan exterior architecture, especially in old Moroccan medinas. Some cities like, Chefchaouen and Marrakech, have colored and flowery exterior walls, making visitor’s experience even dreamier and something well worth taking inspiration from.
The Importance of Lighting
If you take any interior design course, you will learn that lighting is one of the pillars of interior design. Lighting can change the style and ambiance of any room. This is why Moroccans love playing with lighting and often invest in high-quality lights that achieve a desired effect.
Moroccan people love using dim and soft lights with an undertone of red, orange and yellow. Traditional Moroccan glass chandeliers, colored lanterns, and leather candle holders are used the most to achieve that cozy Moroccan ambiance.
Soft lighting accompanied with the delicate geometric patterns and reflections on the walls work to make spaces cozy and intimate.
Quality Customized Handcrafts
Have you ever purchased a beautiful decorative item for your house and been proud of it… until, that is, you see the exact same bit of decor at your friend’s house? Well, this rarely happens in Morocco. Most decor here is handmade and customized. No two pieces are truly alike! Moroccan people are very involved in the process of designing their decor. They choose the materials, the style, the colors and the patterns which make each item unique and 100% personalized. Something to think about as you are perusing the souks.
Copper lanterns, wood tables, leather poofs, silk curtains, wool rugs — Moroccan people like to invest in good quality and durable decor items made with natural materials. It is even common to pass on some items through generations, like tea sets, rugs and chandeliers. Sure, these all cost a bit more than their IKEA counterparts, but the effect on your home with a few well-chosen pieces made of natural materials will have a transformative affect.
Plants, Plants & Plants
Riads are the best example of how plants are used in Moroccan design. Many decades ago, when Moroccan women used to spend most of their time in harems, plants were generously used in house interiors to create fresh green spaces. Now, even with most Moroccan women having a modern lifestyle and working outside the house, the tradition continues. The use of plants is still very common, making house interiors more welcoming and refreshing with their splashes of green. Not to mention the help plants give in making the air fresher and cleaner.
Decorative Geometric Patterns
Geometric patterns are part of Moroccan heritage. Many artisanal items, such as hand-painted wood tables, decorative zellij tiles, ornate stucco work plaster, and embroidered pillowcases range from simple to incredibly complex in their design. Moroccan craftsmen master the art of creating patterns, creating stunning pieces that can take weeks, months and even years to realize. The end result can add a truly artistic flair to any room in your house.
Moroccan people are famous worldwide for being outgoing and welcoming. They love inviting people over for a mint tea and Moroccan pastries, and they are nearly always ready to receive guests. That’s why in most Moroccan homes you will find a special salon that each family reserves to special gathering and surprise guests. This special salon is usually the best room in the house, combining the most beautiful design items to achieve a warm and intimate ambiance and to show the guest how much the hosts care about their wellbeing and comfort. Something to think about when creating your own greeting spaces.
About the Author
Safa is a Moroccan blogger, designer, and writer whose favorite thing to do is explore Moroccan Medinas and get lost in their labyrinthine streets. Visit her site moroccanzest where she connects you with her passions: Morocco, Moroccan food and Moroccan fashion and design.