15 Easy Ways to Rock Moroccan Decor in Your Home
This timeless desert aesthetic mingles a mélange of global styles.
Morocco has always fascinated and intrigued me,” says interior designer Monica Sullivan. “There’s a romantic and exotic feeling to the style that indulges your senses.” Bordering the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, Morocco has served as a trade mecca for thousands of years, attracting cultures from all across the globe. Arabic, Islamic, Spanish, French and the Orient have blended styles to influence Moroccan decor. “Since the style has been influenced by so many cultures, Moroccan interiors can work in almost any space,” Sullivan observes. “The aesthetic brings a warm, lived-in and inviting feel to the home.”
Here, we offer a glimpse into the diverse, exotic, mystical and refined world of Moroccan decor.
Interior designer Monica Sullivan created this horseshoe arch cutout fireplace with blue marble and Arabesque limestone floor tiles for a Moroccan-themed Phoenix residence. Stenciled walls emulate an ancient technique called tadelakt. “Any space in a home can be transformed to have some Moroccan ambiance,” she says. “It’s all about color, textures, decorative surfaces and materials that complement each other.”
Deep jewel tones, found in these color-rich indoor-outdoor accent pillows, define the region’s decor. Each measures 20″H by 20″W. From top to bottom: Tavarua Bordeaux, $329 Mandala Lapis, $320; Serape Jewel, $145. (shopboxhill.com)
“Color is possibly the most common and important element of Moroccan style,” Sullivan says. “Rich colors with intense pigments such as cobalt blue, turquoise, emerald green, orange and red are typically displayed throughout interiors as well as exteriors. Organic and neutral colors from nature are also heavily used.”
A celebration of traditional Rajasthani patterns meticulously inlaid with mother of pearl, the Bhawana Chest has one drawer and double bottom doors perched upon delicately tapered legs with spade foot detail. 30″H by 24″W by 15″D. $2,847 (feathersdesign.com)
Hand-painted in the sparkling hues of the Mediterranean Sea, this dishware calls out for traditional fare such as couscous, tagine and green sparkling mint tea. Dessert plate: 9″ in diameter. $20; bowl: 3.5″H by 7.35″ in diameter. $24; cup: 4.25″H by 2.75″ in diameter. $12 (tierradellagarto.com)
“Moroccans embrace their surroundings and celebrate the nature that surrounds them,” Sullivan says. Here are some characteristics that embody the aesthetic.
- Neutral-color walls, such as white and beige
- Bold color accents
- Elegant decorative silks and gauze fabrics
- Rich, textured surfaces
- Colored glass and punched metal
- Inlaid wooden furniture or upholstered pieces
- Colorful geometric-patterned tiles
The exquisite artistry of L’Objet Tabriz tableware evokes the centuries-old tradition of hand-loomed rugs. Gilded with 24-karat-gold accents, each earthenware piece offers a tapestry of texture and hues. Dessert plates, 9″ in diameter. Set of four: $295; tray, 16″L by 8″W. $250 (maindishaz.com)
Whether adorning a wall or floor, Arabesco terra cotta tiles shown in gray, antique green, black and off-white will transform a ho-hum bath into a luxury hammam. 8.75″W by 10.75″H. Inquire for pricing. (tabarkastudio.com)
Shown in nudo-blush lacquer and polished rose gold ostrich metal, the SPILA Coffee Table is composed of five components that can be grouped or are available separately. Centerpiece: 18″H by 17″W by 17″D; other pieces: 15.5″H by 17″W by 17″D. To the trade (johnbrooksinc.com)
Intricate plasterwork and tiles with geometric patterns on arches and walls are important elements in Moroccan design. “The mixture of luxury and refinement, bold colors and Old-World traditional techniques integrate and give off somewhat of a mystical feel to the space,” Sullivan says. “It can be luxurious and elegant or dramatic and bold, which is why the style can blend so easily with others.”
Taking its inspiration from traditional regional architecture, the Fez Console in bleached oak with ebony feet and Calacatta Nuvo features graceful arches and an unforgettable silhouette. 32″H by 69″W by 14″D. Inquire for pricing (bakerhesseldenz.com)
Intricately detailed and distressed by hand for an aged appeal, the hand-knotted, pure New Zealand wool Pascala Moroccan area rug is one magic carpet. Available in six sizes ranging from 8’L by 2.5’W to 14’L by 10’W. $349-$2,499 (cb2.com)
Interior designer: Monica Sullivan, Allied ASID, Monica Sullivan Design, Phoenix, monicasullivandesign.com.
Plasterwork and fireplace paint design: Marilyn Swanner, Soliedo, Dewey, email@example.com.
KITCHEN— Kitchen remodel and cabinetry: Dave Gustafson, Gus Brothers Construction, Phoenix, gusbrothersconstruction.com. Plaster archway detailing: Marilyn Swanner. Backsplash tile: Vellagio Tile & Stone, Scottsdale, villagiotile.com. Hood detailing: Leann Fernald, Ornamentation LLC, Chandler, ornamentationaz.com.