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Decorating in the Moroccan Style

Create an Exotic Home with Moroccan Style Decorating

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Decorating in the Moroccan Style

Draperies tied with colorful tassels provide covering from the outdoor sun.

Photo courtesy of 2008 Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts
If you're looking to bring an exotic yet elegant feel to your home, you should consider the elegantly mysterious elements found in Moroccan style décor. From vibrant colors to intricately designed wood and mosaic products, this luxurious, dramatic, and exciting style is becoming increasingly popular in modern homes.

Nestled between Europe and Africa, the Atlantic and Mediterranean, Morocco is a country of blending, influenced by the many cultures surrounding it. Acting as a crossroads between the east and west, north and south, Moroccan décor blends styles from France, Portugal and Spain from the northwest, with strong Mediterranean, African, Persian, and Islamic influences from the south and east. This results in a unique and inspirational style specific to Morocco.

The blazing African sun causes Moroccans to bring the outdoors in where they can enjoy an exotic oasis inspired by the landscape around them, in cool comfort. Vibrant colors are mixed with highly adorned furniture and accessories, potted plants, and gentle lighting to achieve the perfect indoor oasis.

From the glittering coastlines of Casablanca and Tangier to the snake charmers and spices in the air of bazaars in Marrakesh, inspiration can be found, whether you are looking for just a touch of exotic flair or a full make-over.

Achieving the perfect Moroccan look is simple with the right elements.

  • Strong Color for Moroccan Style Interiors
    Color is the focal point of Moroccan decorating. Drawing inspiration from Morocco's landscape, look for shades of blue and green from the Atlantic and Mediterranean, shimmering gold and silver invoking the Sahara sands, and rich reds and oranges that conjure images of African sunsets.

  • Moroccan Style Furniture
    Interior spaces are busy in pattern but simple in furniture. Sofas and tables are inviting and set low to the ground. Moroccan furnishings rely on elaborate wrought iron scroll work, mother of pearl inlay, ornately carved wood in high relief, richly hued upholstery, and intricate mosaic or terra cotta tile details.

  • Luxurious and Lush Fabrics
    Fabrics in rich colors with intricate textures and designs are typical of Moroccan décor. Add throw pillows and cushions in abundance, and drape luxurious fabrics from furniture, window frames, and even the ceiling. Tie loose draped fabric back with heavy cords in high traffic areas to keep them out of the way and for extra space and added style.

  • Lighting for an Exotic Interior
    Lighting is a an important element of Moroccan décor. Moroccan lighting focuses on dim lighting created by lamps and pendants made from colored glass, cut metal and carved wood. Using candles in traditional lamps will add the romantic element of moving light to your décor and exotic scents.

  • Floors in Moroccan Interiors
    Floors of dark hardwood are covered with plush Persian rugs and stacked floor cushions to create the perfect base for a Moroccan style room. Ceramic tile is often on used for flooring and gives a coolness much welcomed in the hot weather.

  • Reflect Colorful Décor
    Mirrors enhance the ambiance of a Moroccan interior by subtly reflecting light and adding adornment to walls. Look for mirrors with decorative wrought iron work, deeply carved wood, onion dome-shaped frames, and metal or jewel embellishments.

  • Plants for Moroccan Decor
    Placed in large, colorful pots or baskets, exotic plants such as banana trees or papyrus help to create an oasis-like feel in a Moroccan style home.

  • Canopies Overhead
    Richly hued sheer silk swagged over seating or dining areas or mosquito netting over beds adds a mysterious touch, reminiscent of desert bazaar tents.

  • Sensual Moroccan Scents
    The right fragrances can instantly link the mind to Moroccan bazaars and can give your new Moroccan styling the perfect finishing touch. Choose candles, incense, or diffusers in scents rich with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, saffron, or any exotic spices.

Looking for more ideas? See Moroccan style decorating elements put to use in the 2008 Pasadena Showcase House.

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