Morocco has always conjured up magical images for me. It was a destination I longed to visit for as long as I can remember, but it always felt so far away and intimidating to me. A few years ago a friend of mine was working on a project there so it gave me the perfect excuse and opportunity to get an insider’s view of this majestic place. Morocco definitely lived up to my expectations, and then exceeded them, over and over again. Everywhere I looked, there was something beautiful and exotic with bright colors and patterns. It was at times overwhelming but never tiresome. There is always more to see you probably missed the first time around.
Traveling To Morocco For Design Inspiration
I just returned from my fourth trip in four years, but I am already planning new things to see on my next visit. On this most recent trip, I was fortunate enough to finally spend a couple nights in a desert camp, something I wanted to do from my first visit but never got to do. It is a day of travel each way, and I always found it difficult to pull myself away from the city of Marrakech, where I first fell in love with this culture.
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Sahara Design Style
The design style in the Sahara was a drastic change from the other African cities. The colors, although still bold, were more peaceful. Patterned rugs covered the ground, and traditional prints soared up to the tented ceilings while stacks of tufted poufs were stacked for lounging. It was all very Arabian Nights. Speaking of nights, the stars – wow! You can’t fathom the beauty of all the stars until you actually experience them.
The trek was definitely worth the time spent. First of all, the drive was completely entertaining with mountain vistas, kasbahs and the many Berber villages we passed through. The time just flew, and the next thing we knew, the sand dunes were rising up in front of us, and groups of camels were meandering by.
Some camps set up right when we entered the desert, but to get the real Sahara experience, our camp was about another hour in, surrounded by dunes. There were beautiful tents with actual beds, and each had an en suite bathroom. There was plenty of water for bathing, although none of it was running. When dinner was served on Juliska china the first night, I was pleasantly surprised. It was quite civilized, considering the historical image it conjured. The camp is popular for arts and music festivals and for yoga retreats, which I plan to put together for my next group trip.
For the past few years, Morocco has been on a lot of people’s radar, especially in the design world, including both fashion & interiors. It is fun to mix a touch of this exotic style into your home or wardrobe, and now, happily, it seems that every designer is including it with their own twist.
Moroccan Style Interior Design
To give your home the feel of a proper riad you can hang a pierced lantern in your foyer, replace your ottoman with Moroccan style furniture like an oversized pouf, drape the foot of your bed with a Moroccan wedding blanket, or layer exotic rugs throughout your living room.
The café lifestyle is alive and well in Marrakech. All year long, people spend hours a day visiting with friends, reading a book or soaking up the sun on the rooftops and in the gardens of the city. Every restaurant has some sort of outdoor space, and they are all beautiful. Bring some of this spirit into your home with decorative porcelain, delicate glassware and luxurious textiles.
Shop Moroccan Design Accents for Your Home
(pictured above, from left to right)
Moroccan Pendant Light Brass Antique Vintage, now $179.19
Kenzi Wool Beige/Brown Area Rug 10’ x 14’, $1,958
Bottega Pouf, $737.50
Euro Ceramica Zanzibar 16 Piece Dinnerware Set, Service for 4, now $59.99
Houzz 17.5″ Punched Metal Indoor/Outdoor Cordless LED Moroccan Style Lantern, Silver, now $75.99
Moroccan Tea Glasses Set of 6, $35.94
Round Tribal Carved Wood Coffee Table, $329.99
The Moroccan style is always a mood lifter!
Sahara Dessert Photo: Madeleine Donovan for Fountain Of 30
You may also like to read more home design expert tips from Madeleine like 5 Foolproof Spring Home Decor Ideas and How To Make Your Nest With Feather Home Decor.
Madeleine is an Interior Designer and founder of Madeleine Donovan Interiors. Visit madeleinechicago.com and on Facebook @mdichicago.
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