Those of you who know us well know we LOVE ancient Moorish influences in furniture and homeware design. From our quatrefoil patterned rugs to shimmering orb lighting that creates a thousand sparkles, we think everyone should have a little piece of ancient Arabia in their home.
One of the places that inspires our founders the most is Marrakech. Beguiling and exciting, the city fuses ancient charm with continental cool and provides an overdose for the senses. Known as the red city, Morocco’s capital must have been in the minds of the folk at Pantone when they decreed the colour of 2019 to be living coral – it features, like, everywhere… from the sandstone of the ancient city walls to the polished plaster of the city’s glamorous riads and hotels.
From bartering for eclectic treasures to swooning over rainbow-coloured spices piled to impossible perfection, see the interior inspo we encountered this July in magical Marrakech.
Walking into one of the many lantern stalls is like a dream! Crammed to the brim like Aladdin's cave the booths feature hundreds of Moorish lights and lanterns, which are usually fashioned out of hammered bronze or brass and have thousands of little holes where the light escapes. The result? An ethereal effect that, while won't floodlight a space, will introduce drama and atmosphere to a room - perfect for dining rooms, snugs and bedrooms.
Love these? Recreate the look with our range of similar styles:
- Amman Star Ceiling Light
- Rasul Hanging Basket Light
- The Cinderella Crystal Coach Pendant Light
- Gold Moroccan Ceiling Light
- Arabesque Orb Ceiling Light: Small or Large
Subtlety is - gloriously - in short supply in the many rug souks in Marrakech's Medina. Bright colours and ancient Berber and Amazigh (North African tribal) geometric patterns, which also resemble the styles of the Aztecs and Incas, are an inspiring change from ubiquitous European and Asian designs and are really on trend in 2019.
The white woollen Berber rug with black criss-cross pattern is now a classic in the UK. Check out our Moroccan-inspired rugs and pouffes of more muted colour:
- Istanbul Pouffe in Black, Blue and Living Coral
- Male Muse Velvet Rug (with geometric reverse)
- Salaza Cowhide Rug
- Marlborough Black Cowhide Rug
- Montana Quatrefoil Cowhide Rug
- Paloma Cowhide Rug
Pattern and colour
We end our journey with our favourite snaps of the colour, texture and exquisite detail that makes a trip to Marrakech so inspiring. Blending boho, colonial, arabesque, desert and African design - there are so many interior trends you can import into your home. There's something about the red sandstone city walls and blue skies that makes colour pop in Marrakech - from the sacks of spices and flower buds to the hundreds of brightly painted doors. Drop some colour into your scheme: electric blue, living coral, burnt orange, lavender purple and mustard yellow will all evoke the feelings of care-free travels to ancient North Africa.
Have a look at our favourite Shropshire Design pieces to inject just a little bit of Marrakech magic into your home...
- Kasbah Mosaic Bone Inlay Black Chest: although handmade in India, this camel bone inlaid chest uses the same technique and features a bold monochrome geometric pattern so typical of Moorish design. Our Irenie Inlaid Bedside Table is another option.
- Kipling Black Ash & Leather Desk: this leans towards a more French colonial influence so much a part of Moroccan interior design.
- Manuel Monkey Table: we're not really keen on the monkey tamers and snake charmers who fill the ancient market square (we'd much rather see these in their natural environment) so Manuel makes a much lovelier option.
- Quatrefoil: this is an original Moorish design style, which uses geometric shapes in place of motifs of living figures because of the prohibition of idolatry within Islam. As it happens, such shapes have become incredibly popular in modern times - I guess that makes it truly timeless.
More inspiration - three of our favs
We hope our trip to Marrakech has inspired you to introduce some eclecticism into your home. If you're planning to visit, we can highly recommend the following for some serious interior design inspo!
- Riad de Tarabel: a gorgeous French colonial-designed riad, formed around a central courtyard. Reminded us of the officers' quarters in Lawrence of Arabia.
- Nomad: a stunning, boho retreat from the chaos of the Medina below. This rooftop cafe features stripped-back Moroccan design, a little like the supercool seagrass-covered beachside restaurants found in Ibiza or Mykonos.
- Le Jardin Majorelle: gifted the the city by French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, this two-and-a-half acre botanical garden is the most inspiring fusion of boho design and bold use of colour. A visit to this world-class garden destination is a must!
Have any questions about our recent trip or looking for some more inspiration? Leave us a comment below!
Continue your travels with some of our favourite snaps from Pinterest: