Vibrant colors, eclectic patterns, ornate furniture, and sumptuous fabrics; if you’re looking to add a little bohemian luxe to your house, taking some inspiration from Morocco is a great way to do it. As Parisian interior designer Loum-Martin told The Art of Bespoke “ Morocco has been a crossroads of cultures and styles for centuries and the Marrakech style offers the possibility of eclecticism. You can mix rugs, candles, and pillows, while in terms of furnishings you can have art deco, furniture inlaid with mother of pearl, or very simple pieces with oriental shapes. It’s extremely diverse, which is what I like about it’. Unlike some schools of interior design that demand blind obedience to a rigid stylistic philosophy, Moroccan interior design is a fluid, adaptable mish-mash of styles and influences- whether you want to introduce just a dash of Moroccan magic to your home or would rather the full-blown souk effect, there’s enough flexibility in the style to let you do both. That said, anyone looking to introduce some Moroccan chic into their homes would do well to bear in mind a few simple rules… here, we look at some of the key ways of introducing some souk soul into your dining room.
Go Bold with Color
Forget about a wimpy color palette of pastels and neutrals- if there’s one lesson to be learned today about Moroccan interior design, it’s “go big or go home”. Traffic stopping reds, canary yellows, vibrant blues, rich golds, and deep turquoises… this is a style that embraces color, rather than runs from it. If you can’t handle the full rainbow effect, be strategic about how you introduce color into your space. Use bold hues as accents only and keep to a neutral backdrop. Provided you keep the patterns, graphics, and shades of your fixtures and fittings on point, you can afford a gentler approach when it comes to the walls.
God is in the Detail
If there’s one thing Moroccan interior design can’t be accused of, it’s being boring. Forget the clean lines and simple furnishings of other popular design trends, and opt instead for the bold, the original, and most of all, the ornate. A large dining table laden with intricate carvings and delicate designs will make a great center point to your dining room; add some similarly ornate chairs to really ramp up the Moroccan “wow’ factor.
Much of what we think of as Moroccan design has its roots in Moorish architecture. Study the doorways and courtyards of any traditional Moroccan house and you’ll find traces of Moorish influence that dates back centuries. Recreate the look yourself by introducing some key architectural details; a horseshoe arch featuring a straight, narrow door or indentation topped with a large, round top is hugely popular in Morocco and can be recreated for cents in your own home with some paint, a paintbrush, and some judicious use of masking tape. Use the feature as a way of drawing attention to some beautiful art pieces or a particularly ornate piece of furniture.
Go with the Flow
If there’s one thing Moroccan style is not, it’s rigid. Go with the flow and keep things eclectic, flowing, and spontaneous. That said, don’t mistake bohemian chic for cheap tat: throw some cheap painted furniture into a room, add enough tatty trinkets to fill a marketplace, and no matter how many vibrant colors you throw on the walls, you’ll never get that luxe style that lies at the heart of Moroccan design. The Moroccan look as we know it today came to prominence in the late 1960s, when the streets of Marrakesh were flooded with an influx of rich hippies looking to enjoy the proceeds of their inheritances while simultaneously sticking it to the man. The resulting style was nothing short of opulent, combining high quality, expensive pieces with priceless antique rugs, sumptuous yards of the country’s finest silk’s, and exquisite pieces of metalwork. These days, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get the Moroccan style, and there are plenty of affordable options that will give you the look you want without breaking the bank. Just be careful to avoid the temptation to buy anything and everything that has a boho vibe- tat is still tat, however evocative it is.
Keep Lightning Low
Lightening is crucially important in a Moroccan style dining room- think plenty of low lamps accompanied by plenty of candles at nighttime. Last but not least, no Moroccan inspired room is complete without at least one Moroccan lantern- hang one in the corner to bring a true sense of the souk into your dining room.
Engage the Senses
If you’ve ever walked through a Moroccan medina, you’ll know what a feast for the senses it is. Look to recreate the same sensory experience in your dining room with some scented candles, butter-soft rugs, trays of fruit, and some music playing softly in the background.
As Houzz notes, no Moroccan home is complete without a few pieces of stylish, beautifully decorative metalwork. Usually, these will have been handed down through countless generations of the same family, but feel free to skip straight to the here and now by raiding your local antique market for some budget-friendly finds. A cluster of metal vases on the table, a decorative mirror (or two), or a handcrafted metal serving tray will add a decorative flourish guaranteed to bring some bohemian chic to your dining space.
Rugs and Tiles
No space, including dining areas, will feel truly, authentically Moroccan without at least a few tiles and rugs scattered around the place. Ceramic tiles are the bedrock of Moroccan design and one of the main features that spring to mind when you imagine a Moroccan home. Don’t feel you need to restrict them to the obvious places like the kitchen or bathroom: a tiled pillar, side table, dresser unit, or even shelving recess all work great in the dining room and will add the desired look with minimal effort. When it comes to rugs, stick to the best quality you can afford, and aim for big, bold, abstract or geometric patterns in similarly big, bold colors.