Last year I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit Morocco. Not knowing much about the country before I departed, I had no real expectations of what I was about to see. Upon stepping off the plane in Marrakech, I immediately fell in love with the culture and their love for design.
Moroccan homes are designed for the intimacy of the family and visitors. To eye of a passerby a home may seem plain, but upon entering you would find the interior to be ornately decorated with bright colors and intricate patterns.
The layout of the homes generally wrap around a center courtyard filled with plants, fountains, or sofas.
Almost every surface is covered in colorful ceramic tiles or zellige (terra cotta tile work covered with enamel in the form of chips set into plaster).
The tiles (and most colored decorations) use bright earth tones. Red, yellow, and blue are most frequently used. These ornate zellige works are commonly bordered with intricate carving into wood or stone.
Walls not covered in zellige are usually painted using tadelakt; a method that has been used by Moroccans for centuries, which involves using a colored limestone and black soap paste to create smooth, waxed surfaces on walls or floors.
Furniture styles typically include seating low to the ground, made of wood, and decorated with bright accent pillows.
Lighting almost always comes from hand crafted hanging lanterns dangled throughout the house and courtyard.
A particular blind, arch, cove, etc. is typically accented as a main feature in the home. It represents the direction in which Mecca lies, and indicates Muslims which way to face during prayer.
Finally, a Moroccan home’s décor is never finished without a scent. Commonly infused with floral and spices, scented oils, powders, and potpourri are an essential part of the home’s atmosphere.
Seeing the love that Moroccan’s have for design was inspiring. Their passion for color and detail brightens up every street, creating a warm and bright atmosphere in every corner of the city.
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