The French designer Yves Saint Laurent remarked of Marrakech that “This city leads me to color.” Morocco has fascinated many designers with its wealth of color and diversity of islamic design for the last century. The color in Morocco’s bright zellij tiles, woodwork, silver jewelry and cedar hand-crafted ceilings blend effortlessly with modern interior design. Morocco’s winding medina street scenes, colorful souks, majestic gardens and palaces provide the perfect inspiration to adorn a home.
There are many fine coffee table books that reveal the hidden beauty of Moroccan décor and the various ways in which the novice can create their own interiors using Moroccan products and motifs. Some of the best books on Moroccan decor are:
Moroccan Interiors by Lisa Lovatt-Smith – This book explores the diversity of contemporary modern design in Morocco, contrasting the simplicity of the rural environment with the ornamental Andalusian style of Morocco’s Imperial Cities. The variety of styles and the immediacy of colors of modern Moroccan design has won it its place in international interior design.
Marrakesh by Design by Maryam Montague – Marayam Montague writes an award winning blog “ My Marrakesh” and has her own magnificent home and guest house Peacock Pavilions, in Marrakesh. In Marrakesh by Design she advises the reader about how to create their own Moroccan inspired interiors blending elements of decorated tiles, colored walls and sculptured ceilings and the Andalusian ideals of ornamental gardens and fountains. The well illustrated book, Marrakesh by Design, shows the reader how villas and riads in Marrakech have created their own modern day interiors. Montague discusses ideas and projects that people can use while decorating their homes.
Montague also advises her readers on how treasures bought in the souks of Marrakesh can be incorporated into the modern home and used to inspire distinct Moroccan character. Moreover she explains why certain design features have predominated in Moroccan homes. The book is also an introduction into Morocco’s diverse culture and history and its impact on style. The book has splendid photographs making it a stylish coffee table book for the home.
Morocco Modern-World Design by Herbert Ypma – This is an innovative visual resource book for all interested in interior design for the home. Herbert Ypma follows the origins of Morocco’s greatest creative traditions and craftsmanship. She conveys has contemporary designers continue to us these ancient skills fusing the traditional and the modern. The book is lavishly illustrated with 171 color photographs .
The Villas and Riads of Morocco by Corinne Verner – The Villas and Riads of Morocco showcases palatial residences in Fes and Eassouira, riads in Marrakesh and converted kasbahs. With more than 200 photographs, this book reveals the treasures of Moroccan design. It features the fusion of new concepts with the highest quality materials including luxurious Berber carpets, Rabati textiles, marble, along with intricate carvings and mosaics. The book offers an overview of the cultural history of Moroccan riads and palaces with their centrally placed courtyard gardens.
Morocco Design Decor by Philippe Saharoff & Francesca Torre – This is a small coffee table book is packed with authentic Moroccan interiors many of them typical of modern designs widely used in Marrakesh. There is excellent detail on commonly used features such as zellij tiles, painted wood and lanterns. This is the perfect practical guide for Moroccan home decor.
Morocco – Mark Luscombe & Dominic Bradbury – Published by Conran this is a good all round introduction to contemporary and traditional elements in Moroccan architecture and design from country houses to modern restored medina houses.
Living in Morocco: Design from Casablanca to Marrakesh by Lisl Dennis and Landt Dennis – Living in Morocco covers the work of ancient Moroccan craftsmenship which has been adapted to modern designs with exciting images of ceilings, courtyards and tiled walls. The authors include information about the blue and white painted walls of Chefchaouen in the north and the Kasbah’s and souk’s of the South. They also cover the history of Marrakesh’s iconic La Mamounia hotel and the deep blue of Yves Saint Laurent’s walls in the Majorelle Gardens. The book is lavishly illustrated with photos of the interiors of houses and Moroccan arts and crafts.
Written by Colin Kilkelly