When it comes to choosing an interior decor scheme for your home, there are countless places to draw inspiration from.
Many interior design styles are influenced by different locations and cultures from around the world, resulting in endless options for creating a visually dynamic, unique living space. In this article, we’re focusing on the simple yet opulent style that is Moroccan interior design.
What Is Moroccan Interior Design?
The Moroccan look became popular in the Western world during the 1970s, when the country became a popular vacation spot for well-to-do hippies who then brought elements of Moroccan-inspired style back to the states. Morocco’s eclectic style is best described as exotic, dramatic, luxurious, and elegant—all style pillars that have recently re-emerged in modern, bohemian-inspired homes.
Elements of Moroccan Interior Design
Nestled between Europe and North Africa, Moroccan interior design is a result of blending elements of culture from France, Portugal, and Spain to the northwest and Mediterranean, North African, Persian, and Islamic influences from the south and east.
Between the coastline along the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the striking North African desert, Moroccan interiors focus on colors, patterns, and textures found in nature to create stunning spaces with intricate features and unique, culturally-specific elements.
1. Architectural features
Classic Moroccan design features are heavily influenced by Moorish architecture, a style developed in the western Islamic world around the 11th century. Defined by soft shapes such as u-shaped entryways and arched doors, Moroccan architectural features rarely use harsh lines or edges, resulting in a natural, organic feel.
2. Colors & patterns
Moroccan interiors are known for rich, warm, deeply saturated jewel tones. Heavily influenced by the natural world, classic Moroccan color palettes blend the rich orange and red tones of African sunsets with deep blues and greens that mirror the Mediterranean seascape. These bold colors create a brilliant backdrop for the intricate accents Moroccan design is known for.
3. Details & accessories
Moroccan decor has no limits when it comes to playing with textures, patterns, and tiling—all easy ways to add dynamic visual appeal to your space. Experimenting with some or all of these elements can be a simple and impactful way to create an eye-catching interior.
Seamlessly incorporate exciting textures into your home by opting for fibrous blankets, pillows, or wall hangings.
The ability to boldly blend a myriad of contrasting patterns without clashing is something unique to Moroccan interior design. Don’t shy away from layering bold prints and large, intricate geometric patterns. You can always create a sense of groundedness by choosing one unifying color to bring some cohesion to the space.
Patterned tiling in sharp, contrasting hues is a common fixture of authentically Moroccan interiors. The use of tiles can be particularly well suited as flooring in bathrooms, or as a backsplash in a kitchen. Interestingly enough, the reason behind tiling in Moroccan design is based on practicality. The tiles have a cooling effect, making it easy to find a temperate refuge during times of intense heat, and ideal for homes in warmer climates.
No Moroccan-inspired home is complete without a traditional rug. Layering rugs with different contrasting patterns is also a common benchmark of Moroccan decor, and an easy way to add detailed visual appeal to your space.
Moroccan furniture revolves around casual comfort, providing a cozy space to lounge and relax. Large floor cushions, ottomans and throw pillows are commonly featured in living spaces, often adorned with bold colors, patterns, and textured fabrics. Perhaps most authentically Moroccan, is the pouf. This simple piece has been a Moroccan tradition for hundreds of years, often used as a footstool or makeshift seat. They’re often embroidered with intricate patterns, so they can just as easily be used simply as a decorative accent.
Tips for Decorating Your Home in the Moroccan Style
Whether you’re starting from scratch, doing a complete design overhaul, or just looking to add a few eye-catching details to your space, incorporating Moroccan-inspired decor can be a really accessible way to create a home you love.
Here are some simple tips to get you started:
When adding elements of Moroccan design to your space, don’t be afraid to adopt the mindset “more is more”. Adding layered rugs can easily add an air of coziness and exciting allure to any living area.
2. Mix & Match
Oftentimes, people shy away from incorporating multiple patterns into one space for fear of creating an unflattering effect. However, you can easily avoid clashing by choosing one grounding color, texture, or pattern to sprinkle throughout for cohesiveness.
3. Pick & Choose
Remember that you have the freedom to pick and choose Moroccan-inspired elements depending on what works for your specific space and preferences. If you don’t want to go all out, opt to incorporate a splash of Moroccan-inspired color, a pouf or two, or even just some fun textures. When it comes to designing your home, there is no “right” way to go about it, and culturally-specific decor can either act as a blueprint or just light inspiration.
More Design Inspiration
There are tons of great podcasts and other resources to help inspire your interior design journey. With the right amount of patience and background knowledge, you’ll quickly find what does and does not work for you, so you can create a space that feels authentic to you.
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