Having always been romanced by Moroccan style, last year I visited for the first time and was able to experience it myself. The beautiful architecture and interior accessories at the local markets did not disappoint. Since then, Moroccan design influences seem to be everywhere and will form the theme for my new living space. Join me as I explore the origins of Moroccan style and it’s key elements.
How has Moroccan style evolved?
Morocco has a rich cultural heritage with many different influences. It is a style that is exotic, elegant and mysterious. Morocco’s early influences come from the Islamic and Berber eras and in more recent history from it’s French and Spanish occupiers. This fusion of different cultures has lead to a style based upon dramatic contrasts. With cool tiled floors layered with soft rugs, fresh white walls draped with luxurious fabrics and metallic lanterns emitting soft, warm light. This is often complimented with beautifully carved wood, plush, inviting seating areas and bold, geometric patterns. Another source of design inspiration comes from Morocco’s landscape. From the rocky mountains to the azure coastlines, from the dusty sahara to the lush oases, an eclectic mix of colours and textures can be found. The combination of Ancient Moorish, Modern Mediterranean and environmental influences has created the Moroccan style as we know it.
What are the different elements of Moroccan style?
Colours found in Moroccan interiors are often bright and warm, reflecting the climate and landscape in which they are found. Vibrant tangerine, sunshine yellow, exotic fuchsia, deep red, rich purple and brilliant turquoise. Alongside a cooler palette of brilliant white, cool metallics and dark wood. One of my favourite colour combinations is pink and turquoise and I am currently toying with the idea of a coral pink and aqua colour scheme for my own Moroccan themed living space.
Moroccan style is full of vivid patterns, both bold and intricate. A variety of tessellating shapes can be seen, often reflecting the architecture it’s contained within. I love the symmetry and intricacy of these patterns and how they breathe life into a room when combined with the warm Moroccan colours. Different patterns can be combined together, still remaining cohesive with the overall scheme. A popular design is the lattice pattern, which can be seen on many Moroccan-inspired fabrics.
Combining a variety of textures is a defining element of Moroccan style. Drapes and canopies are often used to create a tent-like feel and soften a room. Silver metal lanterns produce soft lighting and piles of odd numbered cushions in a variety of colourful designs, make rooms inviting. Floors are often tiled and covered with exotic, hand woven rugs, as well as leather poufs.
Seating and furniture
Moroccan seating is usually low to the ground and designed to create a calm oasis to escape the heat. Long communal seating areas filled with soft cushions and a variety of poufs make for a relaxing hub. Moroccan style furniture is often ornate and intricate, with beautifully carved wood, imprinted metal trays or a a combination of iron scroll, wood and glass. White washed wood also creates a cool, clean look against bright colours.
Creating a soft warm light through the use of lanterns, candles and lamps is essential to create the right ambience for Moroccan style. I absolutely adore lanterns and I have a wide growing collection, which fits in well with this theme. You can also produce a romantic Moroccan feel with paper lanterns, cut out lamps and carved scroll bases.
Create a Moroccan-inspired interior with these 5 easy steps:
– Choose a palette of bright contrasting colours
– Mix a variety of textures
– Include repeating geometric prints
– Use well-made furniture with intricate detail
– Create soft lighting through the use of lanterns
I am looking forward to creating a Moroccan feel in our new Australian living space. And once our furniture arrives from the UK, I can start putting my plans into practise. Inevitably there will be elements that in reality don’t work, so I’m sure there will be some compromises. Still, I am positive it will look great and will be back with an update once my vision is underway! In the meantime, do you have a favourite element of Moroccan style? Feel free to share, I’d love to know!