12 Exotic Moroccan-Inspired Rooms
Morocco's rich culture is reflected in its alluring interior design style, characterized by vibrant colors and exquisite furnishings. Browse rooms inspired by this North African country and learn how to add Moroccan flair to your own home.
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May 29, 2015
Jewel-tone fabrics draped loosely over the walls transform this game room into a lavish desert tent, while the distinctive metal lantern above the pool table casts soft, interesting shadows throughout the space. Lighting is an important component of Moroccan design; lanterns, sconces and lamps — often available at import stores — are typically handcrafted and inlaid with colorful pieces of glass. Design by Troy Beasley
Attention to Detail
From the light fixtures to the tilework, Moroccan design is all about the finishing touches. For this opulent bathroom and lounge designed by Chris Barrett, every 1" x 1" tile was hand-cut in Morocco and laid facedown onto panels, which were then secured to the walls. The fretwork panels for the canopy bathtub were custom-designed, as was the luxurious chaise. Even the plaster ceiling was addressed, embellished with Moorish symbols and an amber chandelier.
Intricate tilework is a hallmark feature of Moroccan design, found everywhere from floors to walls to tabletops. Traditional Moroccan tiling, known as zillij, consists of numerous small tiles grouped together to form vibrant geometric patterns, but larger patterned tiles inspired by Moroccan mosaics can achieve a similar look. For an exotic touch, try installing Moroccan-inspired tile as a kitchen backsplash or across an entire floor to make a dramatic statement. Morocco pattern tile from Filmore Clark's Patterson Encaustic Collection
Consider stencils for an inexpensive and DIY-friendly alternative to zillij-inspired tile. In this room, a simple white fireplace surround was transformed into a striking focal point with a graphic pattern stenciled in black. Inspired by a trip to Morocco's ancient capital of Marrakesh, the pattern resembles the dramatic arches prevalent in Moroccan architecture. Stencil by Royal Design Studio
Moroccan furnishings often draw from the country's captivating architecture. In this dramatic powder room, the hand-painted porcelain "Marrakesh" sink by Kohler was inspired by mosaics found in a quaint Moroccan courtyard. The arches and double doors on the mirror above evoke an entrance to an ornate Moroccan palace. Design by Tracy Murdock; photography by Alexander Vertikoff
A Bit of Glitz
Moroccan wedding blankets, traditionally woven from sheep's wool, cotton and linen by a bride's female relatives before a wedding, are often used as decorative accents in Moroccan homes. Typically neutral in color and embellished with hundreds of mirrored sequins, the blankets can be used as bedcovers, wall hangings or rugs to add sparkle to any room. In this bedroom, a soft, peach-colored wedding throw draped over the bed balances the bold green ceiling, stenciled in a basket weave pattern inspired by a Moroccan chest. Stencil by Royal Design Studio
Works of Art
Intricately carved and hand-painted in elaborate motifs, Morocco's distinctive furniture is known for its unparalleled artisanship and attention to detail. Browse import stores for an authentic Moroccan chest, table or armoire to instantly add character to your home. This colorful cabana features octagonal Moroccan side tables in various sizes and patterns, echoed overhead by an assortment of vibrant hanging lanterns.
Drawing From Nature
An antique rug was the inspiration for the color scheme in this entire master suite. Blue is a prevalent color in Moroccan interiors, evocative of the adjacent Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Shades of gold and yellow, found in the surrounding desert, are also frequently used. A custom-made bed, inspired by an iron Moroccan candle, and a luxurious chaise add a sense of grandeur to the bedroom. Design by Chris Barrett
The attention to detail found in Moroccan design doesn't stop at the walls; ceilings are often painted and stenciled with elaborate designs. In the African-inspired gallery of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu, the brilliantly painted ceiling is adorned with arabesque and geometric shapes commonly found in Moroccan architecture. Design by Marion Philpotts-Miller, Philpotts Interiors
Typically hand embroidered and available in a variety of colors and styles, Moroccan leather ottomans, or poufs, are an ideal addition to a comfortable, casual seating area. HGTV fan hrosario75 put a contemporary twist on Moroccan design with white poufs, a metallic silver table and patterned throw pillows in icy shades of blue.
Layered with plush rugs, draped fabrics and an abundance of pillows and cushions, Moroccan interiors exude comfort and luxury. In this Moroccan-inspired "smoking room" by designer Tracy Murdock, a custom-made corner bed scattered with pillows invites you to sit back and unwind. The brass chandelier and oversize inlaid mirror, both imported from Morocco, enhance the room's exotic ambiance. Photography by Alexander Vertikoff
A Fresh Take
While traditional Moroccan interiors are often extravagant and full of intricate detail, modern interpretations of Moroccan classics are a great fit for contemporary homes. Bold, geometric prints inspired by traditional Moroccan motifs are cropping up on pillows, rugs and upholstered pieces of furniture. Try pairing a chic, contemporary sofa with patterned throw pillows in vivid colors.