The Key Characteristics of a Moroccan Style Kitchen

Think Morocco, and what comes to mind? Intricate mosaics, vibrant markets, mysterious spices, stunning textiles, mesmerizing medinas… whatever you’re imagining, it’s guaranteed to be undercut with the exotic, the sumptuous, and the colorful. As you’d expect, Moroccan interior design embodies all the vibrancy, dynamism, and intrigue of the country itself… and fortunately, recreating it in your own home is as easy as pie. If you’re looking to add some Moroccan magic into your home, the kitchen is a great place to start, not least because it’s one of the best places in the house to introduce one of the greatest of all Moroccan traditions, the mosaic tile.

It’s All About Tiles

Get yourself the right tiles and you’ll be halfway to creating a little slice of Morocco in your home in no time. Beautifully glazed, stunningly patterned tiles have been a hallmark of Moroccan design for centuries, and for good reason. Ceramic tiles manage to combine excellent practicality (strong, durable, water-resistant) with stunning aesthetics. They are also incredibly versatile: whether you prefer a contemporary finish over a rustic one or an eclectic vibe over a traditional look, there are more than enough options for you to choose a tile that matches your style, without losing any of that authentic Moroccan flair. Whatever type of tile you ultimately choose, you’ll not be short of places to showcase them in your new Moroccan kitchen- whether it’s a mosaic backsplash, an entire wall tiled in arabesque-inspired ceramic tiles, a hand-painted tiled floor, a checkered tile countertop or a tiled recessed shelving unit, there’s no end to the possibilities.

A Mish-Mash of Styles

If you want to turn your kitchen into a Moroccan paradise, forget about sticking to a liner, rigid style. At its heart, Moroccan interior design is a glorious mish-mash of many different styles and influences. If budget is an issue, don’t feel obliged to renovate the entire room into an exact replica of a Marrakesh parlor; a few Moroccan lanterns will give an instant touch of souk chic without requiring a complete revamp of the existing space. Similarly, don’t worry if your kitchen currently veers more towards the contemporary than the rustic; as Decoist notes, a handful of colorful tiles, a few shabby-chic pieces, and a room divider in an authentic pattern will be enough to transform your room into a Moroccan masterpiece, regardless of its current style.

Go Bold

Bold, vibrant colors are at the heart of Moroccan interior design- if you prefer minimalistic lines and a clean, neutral color palette, then perhaps the Scandinavian style may be a better fit. If you want to create a truly authentic Moroccan space, however, you’ll need to think big, think vibrant and think primary. Hot reds, cheerful yellows, vivacious blues, and even the odd splash of violent purple, mellow orange or passionate pink should be your go-to’s when it comes to color. Mix and match as much as possible- this is one design trend that takes that old adage of “less is more” and throws it out the window. Whether it’s on tiles, walls, floors, or plant pots, color is king.

Architectural Details

As Houzz notes, Moroccan interiors (and indeed, exteriors), have been styled and shaped by centuries of cultural, societal and religious influences. Central to this is the concept of curves: whether it’s a stunning shaped archway or a curved doorway in a traditional keyhole design, curves are key to creating that slice of authenticity. That said, if restructuring your walls seems too big a task, recreate the look with some clever trickery by taping off your design of choice on a wall, canvas or piece of furniture, and then painting it in your preferred color.

Keep Things Ornate

Clean, simple lines may be the order of the day in minimalistic households, but for those looking to recreate the Moroccan look, ornately carved furniture and plush upholstery are king. A wooden kitchen table topped with a pounded metal tray and some wooden appliques added to your existing furniture is a great way of creating the look on a budget, while those with cash to splash could try investing in new pieces with intricately carved woodwork and fabulously embellished inlays.

Introduce Some Rugs

If you’ve just spent a fortune on ripping out your old floor and replacing it with some beautifully detailed floor tiles, don’t despair: there’s no hard and fast rule to say you have to cover up your hard work with dozens of vintage Moroccan rugs. That said, for those looking to refresh their kitchen without starting from scratch, a few Moroccan rugs scatted across your existing floorwork will go a long way to achieving the look. Moroccan rugs tend to feature abstract or geometric patterns in either a neutral palette or a bold color scheme, but feel free to follow the advice of Houzz by mixing things up with a sisal rug, a pot of outdoor paint, a roll of tape and limitless imagination.

Mix and Match Textiles

Room dividers, drapes, furniture protectors, rugs… the opportunities to introduce some traditional Moroccan fabrics into your kitchen are unlimited. Silks and other light, gauzy fabrics in colorful, intricately designed patterns are cornerstones of the Moroccan look and can create a great, exotic flourish to your interior for very little money. Keep things eclectic by opting for a wide variety of fabrics in every color combination and pattern under the sun, or opt for a simpler, more contemporary vibe with a more judicious selection of styles.

Add Some Metalwork

No traditional Moroccan house is complete without at least a few pieces of lovingly polished metalwork that have been carefully passed through generations of hands. If you don’t have the luxury of heirlooms, don’t hesitate to plunder your local thrift stores and flea markets for handcrafted metal kettles, trays, and lanterns. A handful of metal vases centered on your kitchen table will also go down a treat.


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