Saturday, 15 November 2014

Our new home part II: Decorating a house in Africa

It was early November 2012 and we had finally received the keys to our new home in the medina, now it was time to make it ours.

The house and swimming pool were in good conditions when we bought it (except some urgent paint job). When you buy houses in Morocco you normally buy it with the previous owners furniture and lets just say we had a bit different tastes in interior design. We wanted a traditional Moroccan feeling but with a modern twist.

So we sat out to meet local carpenters and artists to design the furniture, decor and textiles we needed. We chose a quite tight color plate: red/grey/white and copper, with the exception of the library/pool side salon that became the "Gold Lounge".

Mood Board, Color Plate for the interior:





Expressed by Moroccan pictures:




The result...

One of the salons after re-decoration and featuring the new color plate.
Antique copper tray table, grey kelim carpet, brass lamps and red/grey sofa. 
White walls, antique entry doors. Painting by well known local artist

The entire Riad was painted, outside as well as inside, a job you have to re-do every year due to the climate. Wooden doors and furniture were custom made by our fantastic carpenter Aziz and textiles to all rooms by his brother Si-Mohammed. We roomed the souks and antique stores for rugs, antiquities that fit our taste and had a lot of lamps special made (traditional Moroccan style with red/white glass to match our interiors)

The first floor gallery

During the first year of renovations and decorations we kept coming back, always discovering something new about our house and the medina, learning more and more about Marrakech and the people of Morocco. We actually made a quite good business renting out the house when we were not in town. But once everything was ready we were so happy with the results that we felt reluctant to have strangers stay there, after all they could break our carefully selected wine glasses or stain the precious fabrics! We decided to make it our second home, where friends and family would be welcome but no strangers, and the guesthouse business was put on hold, perhaps to be resumed in the future.

Below are some additional pictures of details from our Riad. This is quite a different style compared to our very minimalistic and strict Stockholm home that is all about black, white, chrome, glass and design icons. Its great to be able to have two so very different homes with different styles In two different continents.

    Antique Arabic door from the 18th century (left), Moroccan copper lamp (right)

Traditional Moroccan chairs and table in the upstairs hallway

The entrance hall

Lounge upstairs

One of the three bedrooms, this one with brown/beige colors

Another bedroom, here in grey/white colors
Cosy log fire in winter time

Moroccan lamp in one of the salons

 "The Gold Lounge" and library, with pink tadelkat walls.
The marks/moist that you find on tadelakt walls are called "Jinnes" 
and are considered the spirits of the house and not to be removed...

Lounge area upstairs, grey/red/white

Special made lamps with red/white glass 

Roof terrace

For more inspiration from Morocco, check out the informative and clever blog and shop of our neighbor Maryam Montague. She also wrote a very good book on Moroccan design, Marrakech by Design, available on Amazon. We suggest you buy it and bring some Marrakech magic into your homes!

Do you love or hate this kind of interiors?

Moroccan love,