Designer Tips For Moroccan Style Decorating

Room with decorative accessories
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If you're looking to bring a unique yet elegant and warm feel to your home, consider the sophisticated and mysterious elements found in Moroccan style decor. From vibrant colors to intricately designed wood and mosaic products, this luxurious, dramatic, and exciting style is popular in modern homes.

Nestled between Europe and Africa, Morocco is a country influenced by a blending of the many cultures surrounding it. Moroccan decor blends styles from France, Portugal, and Spain from the northwest, with the strong Mediterranean, African, Persian, and Islamic influences from the south and east. The result is an inspirational style specific to Morocco.

Elements of Moroccan Decor

The hot climate means lots of time spent living indoors in cool comfort. Interiors often mix elements of nature, vibrant colors, highly adorned furniture and accessories, potted plants, and gentle lighting to achieve the perfect indoor environment. Here are more specific ways to bring elements of this special style into your home.

The Moorish Influence

Moorish architecture heavily influences Moroccan decor. Moorish architecture is a style developed in the western Islamic world around the 11th century. The style featured arches, geometric designs, and decorative tilework.

Shimmering Colors

Draw inspiration from Morocco's landscape when it comes to choosing a color palette. Shades of blue, green, and turquoise are reminiscent of the surrounding oceans, shimmering gold and silver evoke images of the desert, and rich reds and oranges conjure images of beautiful intense sunsets. To imagine a Moroccan-inspired room, envision a space with walls painted deep orange or terra cotta, furnishings upholstered in a red fabric with an intricate pattern, and toss pillows in contrasting colors, including blues, greens, golds, and pinks, with equally busy patterns.

If you prefer a neutral palette, Moroccan-style embraces soothing earth tones that reflect the desert's hues. Neutral Moroccan decor includes bright white walls and furnishings combining colors such as sand, beige, cream, and taupe. A neutral tone Moroccan room includes heavily textured fabrics for seating upholstery, as well as tactile woven fabrics over toss pillows.

Luxurious Furnishings and Fabrics

All Moroccan furniture, from sofas, pouf seating, ottomans, and decorative handcarved wood tables, sit low to the ground to promote comfort and repose. The character of Moroccan style furniture includes a rough-hewn look, uneven and intricate carvings, and mother-of-pearl or mosaic tile inlays. 

Moroccan decor features lots of lush fabrics in rich colors, intricate textures, and busy patterns. Upholstered seating includes velvets and silks. Drape luxurious fabrics, including Moroccan wedding blankets, on all types of surfaces, on seating, over tables, from windows, and the ceiling. Swag colorful sheer silk over seating areas or dining rooms and hang mosquito netting from bed canopies.

Alluring Accessories

Lighting, mirrors, accent rugs, and plants are all important elements of Moroccan décor. Blending in these kinds of accessories will create the Moroccan-style oasis you're after.

  • Light the room with lamps and pendants of geometric shapes made of colored or stained glass, cut metal, and carved wood.
  • Hang decorative mirrors framed with wrought ironwork, deeply carved wood, onion dome-shaped frames, mosaic tile, metal, or jewel embellishments.
  • Stack an abundance of floor cushions and throw pillows on a Moroccan Beni Ourain rug (a thick, fluffy Berber rug), a flatweave kilim rug, or ceramic tile for its cool touch.
  • Scatter tropical plants, including banana trees or papyrus, placed in large, colorful pots or baskets.
  • Place decorative brass or copper trays on tabletops and poufs.

Sensual Scents

The right fragrances enhance a Moroccan-styled room. For the perfect finishing touch, choose candles, incense, or diffusers in scents rich with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or saffron. Try the sweet scent of jasmine or orange blossom with touches of ginger, oakmoss, rose, clove, and the musky tones of sandalwood.