Category Archives: Contemporary global interiors

Moroccan Wedding Blankets

Vintage Moroccan wedding blankets, also known as handira or tamizart, have been popular with interior designers and stylists for some time.  The neutral colour palette of the blankets makes them an extremely versatile addition to a bedroom or sitting room.  They add elegance, texture, pattern, glamour and sparkle and can be used in a variety of ways: as a coverlet or footer on a bed, over the back of a sofa or a chair, as a stylish headboard, a casual throw or as a wall hanging.  Have a look at the Pinterest board below for some ideas on how you can use wedding blankets in your home.  Scroll down the Pinterest board with your mouse to see all the images.

Hand Woven By The Mother Of The Bride For Her Wedding Day

There are different types wedding blanket in Morocco.  The cream and white variety comes from the mid Atlas mountains where they are hand-woven by the mother of the bride and her female relatives in preparation for her wedding day. They are woven from local wool and cotton in a natural palette of cream and white and can take several weeks or months to complete.  Each piece is unique and reflects the skill and creativity of the weaver.  Many blankets feature bands of kilim weaving, sometimes concealed by cotton fringing on the front but visible on the back.  These coloured kilim bands often contain talismanic symbols conveying the hopes of the bride’s mother for her future prosperity, fertility and happiness.

 

Each sequin is sewn on by hand.  The sequins form small clusters or rows or both and are said to ward off the evil eye.  It’s also possible that their similarity to small coins is intended to symbolise future wealth.  They also reflect the light whether it’s the light of the fire in the evening or daylight sun.

 

The blankets are worn like capes either over the head or around the shoulders and tied at the neck.  They are traditionally worn by the bride on her journey to her husband’s home.  After the marriage they are used as bed or wall coverings to decorate the marital home.

Our stock of vintage Moroccan wedding blankets is constantly changing but you can see a selection below.

Moroccan wedding blankets

Photos: Kristy Noble and Dave Bullivant

You can see our full range of vintage Moroccan wedding blankets here and our range of cushions from vintage Moroccan wedding blankets here.  We think that as well as adding glamour to your home they would make a wonderful wedding present.

Seeking Africa Exhibition

Seeking Africa: Design/Art Across A Continent Exhibition

Seeking Africa: Design/Art Across A Continent

 

The Seeking Africa exhibition, at Themes and Variations on Westbourne Grove in London, is one of the first exhibitions in the UK to focus on the variety of contemporary design from Africa.  The exhibition has been cleverly curated to give a glimpse of what is happening in different countries via chosen artists.  Themes range from pollution and the effects on the environment, reflected in photography and furniture from recycled oil drums, to story telling through basket weaving.

 

The basket weaving drew my attention as two of the baskets are from a series of three Biography Baskets.  These Biography baskets are part of the Song of the Weaver project, created by three generations of weavers: grandmother, daughter and granddaughter from one family who work for social enterprise, Gone Rural, in Swaziland. Each of the baskets in the series captures the memories of the lives of  the weaver through grasses and objects found on their homesteads.

 

Seeking Africa Exhibition

Seeking Africa Exhibition

The basket above is by Siphiwe Mngometulu, the daughter of the trio, who is the head of her homestead.  Siphiwe left school after falling pregnant and began weaving to support her child.  Together Siphiwe and her husband had six more children building a life together at his homestead.  Then one day her husband sold all their cattle and left.  He did not return for four years.

Siphiwe had to leave her husband’s family homestead but with her income from Gone Rural she was able to start her life again, building a new house and buying animals  but she has yet to regain her herd of cattle.  This is her ultimate dream.  Her husband now visits a few times a year.   Her basket is a visual memoir of her life.  Woven from grasses and collected objects, there are memories embedded in every strand of the basket.  Like the bone, which signifies that Siphiwe is the backbone of her family.  The goat skull and metal disc are reminders of her husband as Siphiwe always slays a goat when he returns home and the disc symbolises her husband’s return by bicycle.  The numerous layers of grasses symbolise the years of Siphiwe’s life (some fertile and some dry).

 

Seeking Africa Exhibition

The basket above is by Bonakele Ngwenya, Siphiwe’s first-born daughter.  Like her mother she left school at 16 when she became pregnant.  She was sad to have to leave school but happy to have a daughter.  Bonakele learnt how to weave from her mother and joined Gone Rural to support her child.  Her basket is very different in style from her mother’s.   The use of pink symbolises her love for her daughter and the metal loops represent her husband’s unstable employment.  The depressed base is her sadness at having to leave school and the zig zag patterns on the top of the basket allude to the style of basket she normally weaves for Gone Rural and her prayer for more work in the future.

seeking africa exhibition

seeking africa exhibition

Another Gone Rural basket, from a different collection, woven from recycled fabric and plastic covered grasses and copper wire.

 

seeking

 

seeking africa exhibition

Also part of the Seeking Africa exhibition were two striking baskets by Beauty Ngxongo from Zululand.  Functional, beautiful and decorative, Zulu baskets are some of the most collectable in the world.  The ones above are tightly woven from ilala palm, so tightly woven that the they are watertight.  I particularly like the earthy mix of colours and striking patterns in these baskets.

 

The Seeking Africa exhibition runs until 16th December but hurry if you want to see everything as the exhibits are for sale and are selling fast. Learn more at Themes and Variations, 231 Westbourne Grove, London.

 

The background information on the Biography Baskets is from Gone Rural.  Find out more about social enterprise Gone Rural here and click here to see our selection of baskets from Gone Rural.

How To Create A Cosy Home This Christmas

Tips On Creating A Cosy Home

I’m typing this post wrapped in one of our cosy waffle throws to block out the blast of cold air coming through ancient wooden French doors and cursing myself for not ordering replacement wooden doors and windows earlier in the year.

As a sun-loving Leo I struggle with the cold, dark,winter months so I like to create a cosy home where I can hibernate until the mild weather arrives.  For me the key essentials are warmth, lighting, colour and wintry scents.  Take a look at the Pinterest visuals above for ideas.  To see the full board use the scroll bar on the right hand side.

Warmth

  •  A roaring wood fire or burner helps create a cosy feel but older homes can still be draughty so the trick is to layer the textiles in your home.  Add wool blankets and throws to sofas so  you can curl up under them.  Pile on the cushions so you sink into them
  • If you have wooden, tiled or laminate flooring, add some deep pile rugs and runners for warmth and softness underfoot
  • Layer your bedding by adding coverlets, blankets and kantha throws for extra warmth and texture.  Increase the number of pillows too for extra comfort.

Lighting

  •  When it’s dark outside add extra table lights inside to create pools of light
  • Add clusters of candles to create a warm glow.  Use metallic candle holders in brass, copper and silver to reflect the light
  • String fairy lights over mirrors and mantlepieces, loop them along walls or cascade them down windows to create a magical Christmassy feel.

Colour

  • Introduce some warmer colours in the form of throws, cushions, a tablecloth or rug.  Browns, russets, pinks, reds, oranges and some yellows will all create a warmer feel.

Scent

  • Scent your home with woody, spicy smells.  I like Diptyque’s Cannelle and Amber candles
  • I add to this with large bunches of eucalyptus which I use in pots, on the mantelpiece, in wreaths, on my dining table and for gift wrapping (I prefer natural decorations).
  • Finally, there’s nothing like a real pine Christmas tree to create a wonderful woody aroma.

Monochrome Interior Inspiration

Monochrome Interiors And How To Create Them

 

Scandi or monochrome interiors can be difficult to pull off as they can look stark, cold and clinical.  Two Scandinavian designers who nail this look are Danish fashion, interior designer and artist, Marlene Birger and Swedish stylist, make-up artist and founder of boutique, Miloii, Karolina Vertus.  You can see shots from their properties in our Pinterest board above (use the scroll bar on the right hand side to see all the photos).

There are five key elements to monochrome interiors:

1.Pattern

Add patterned rugs, blankets, cushions and throws to break up expanses of one colour.   Stick to a restricted colour palette and don’t be afraid to mix stripes, zig zags, florals and tribal motifs.

2.Global textiles

Thick Beni Ourain rugs, hand-woven runners, striped and patterned blankets, sequinned wedding blankets, throws and piles of assorted cushions all add layers, texture, pattern and warmth.

3.Metallics

Sequinned Moroccan wedding blankets, lassi cups, silver sculptures, candlesticks, contemporary metallic lights, tea light holders, inlaid furniture and metallic tiles all reflect the light and add sparkle.

4.Natural materials

Rustic or global wooden furniture, tribal carvings and wicker baskets all add texture.  I would also add plants to the mix.

5.Artwork

Create a visual feast with bold contemporary artwork or mix and match styles on a gallery wall.

 

Get The Look

monochrome interiorsMonochrome interiors

  1.  Add pattern and texture with our hand-woven Indian Zig Zag runner in black and white, £380
  2. A bold striped blanket, perfect on the bed or thrown over a sofa, Moroccan Pom Pom Blanket Natural Black £183
  3. Kilim Pouf Ayoub, a Beni Ourain pouf, will provide extra seating, pattern and texture to a room, £110
  4. A sophisticated basket with layers of ribbing will add texture, Open Ribbed Basket Black Gogo Christina, £112, shown here on our natural and white Indian Zig Zag runner, £380
  5. A striped blanket will add warmth and pattern, Moroccan Pom Pom Blanket Black Natural, £183
  6. Add a decorative touch with one of our storage baskets, Bonakele Black, £180
  7. These Black and Natural baskets Bonakele, available in three sizes, £34 – £80, add pattern and texture
  8. A traditional Beni Ourain carpet adds pattern, texture and warmth underfoot, £795
  9. Vintage lassi cups add pattern and a silvery shine, (available in a variety of patterns and sizes), £30 – £34
  10. Add sparkle with vintage Moroccan wedding blankets, (shown here Assia) £225 and cushions.

 

If you are a fan of monochrome interiors you can read more on Karonlina Vertus, her apartment and family, in Milk magazine here. Marlene Birger has written two books on her style and properties, you can read more about them and see her artwork here.

 

Maud’s Travels – Marrakech Part 1

 Marrakech Part 1 – Day 1 The Souks

 

aladdins-cave-maud-interiors

Marrakech is one of my favourite cities. I am drawn to its souks bursting with crafts, the creativity of the artisans, the architecture, the fragrant tagines and sweet, sticky, pastries and its welcoming people.  It’s only a short flight from the UK so it’s the perfect destination for a long weekend and paradise for interior lovers.  This post was originally intended to be my suggestions for a long weekend in Marrakech but there is too much information to share so part one focuses on a day in the souks.

 

The souks are situated in the Medina or old town. They stretch over roughly 20 hectares from the Ben Yousef mosque in the north to the main square, Jemaa-el-Fna in the south. It’s a labyrinth of interconnected alleyways full to bursting with hand-woven carpets, intricate metal lanterns and ironmongery, pungent spices and exotic oils, ceramics, leather bags, poufs and slippers, dried fruits, hand carved furniture and baskets.

carpets MarrakechMoroccan lights Marrakech

Marrakech has historically been a trading hub and as well as handicrafts from other regions, you can also find goods from the Maghreb and sub Saharan Africa.   Indigo fabric from Mali, hand carved wooden doors from Benin, jewellery and ceramics from the nomadic Tuaregs and Kuba cloth from the Congo can all be found within the souks.

 

There are eighteen different souks and most of them are devoted to different trades. You will get lost exploring the maze of lanes but you don’t need a guide.  It’s all part of the experience and the best way to discover new places.  If you do become disoriented or are in a hurry to find something just ask one of the stall holders for directions.

Some of my favourite places to visit are:

Criée Berbère, the carpet souk

spice-market-marrakech-maud-interiors

Carpets are sold in many locations in the souks, there are small stalls and three storey riads devoted to them but this is the main area and is situated to one side of Rabha Kdima, the spice market, show in the picture above.

Some tips for buying carpets:

  • Take your time and visit a few places before you make a decision
  • Always ask for a carpet to be held up to the light, as it is easier to detect holes and marks. If it is too dark take the carpet outside and inspect it in natural light
  • Give carpets a good sniff and steer clear of anything with an unpleasant odour as it is likely to be permanent.  That goes for all textiles not just rugs
  • If you are serious about buying a carpet then take a mint tea with your salesman and be prepared to negotiate. There are no fixed prices so bargain hard.

Souk Sebbaghine, the dyers souk

the dyers souk marrakech

You can’t miss this souk as there are always skeins of newly dyed wool in vibrant colours drying overhead in the sun. For a small fee you can see how wool is dyed here.

 

Souk El Haddadine, the blacksmiths souk

tea trays marrakech maud interiorslanterns marrakech

The sound of hammers beating on metal can be heard on approach to the blacksmiths’ souk.  Feast your eyes on lamp stands, beaten metal trays, padlocks, door knockers and ornate candlesticks. Nearby you will find an area specialising in ornate metal lanterns.

One thing to bear in mind if you are buying a lightweight metal lantern is that they don’t travel well. They dent easily and it’s difficult and in some cases impossible to repair them. The best way to transport them is as hand luggage but not all airlines will allow this. My advice is to buy them from one of the larger stalls/shops, as they will be able to pack them securely and arrange shipping.

 

Souk El Khebil

Here you will find woodworkers creating household implements from lemon and orange wood. Chose from handcrafted lemon squeezers, biscuit moulds, honey drizzlers, spoons and ornate kebab sticks. They make great gifts. Note that unlike the carpet souks, where the sellers are agents for the weavers and put a substantial mark up on the carpets, these stall holders are the artisans and the work is labour intensive so the prices are fixed.

 

Terasse Des Epices, Dar Cherifa

Terrasses Des Epices MarrakechMint tea Marrakechterrasse-des-epices-marrakech-maud-interiors

 

When you are footsore, tired of dodging kamikaze motorbike drivers, donkeys, carts and bicycles, and overwhelmed with the choice of beautiful handicrafts take some time out and stop for a mint tea and pastries, or lunch, at Terasses Des Epices in Dar Cherifa. The food is a wonderful Franco-Moroccan fusion, there is a great atmosphere and the mist of water from the roof top sprays will help to cool you down.

After lunch check out the hand-embroidered linens at Scenes Du Lin, the black and white pottery from Fez, and the beldi glasses in Dar Cherifa.

 

Rahba Kdima, the spice market

Spice market MarrakechDried rosebuds Marrakech

 

Mounds of exotic spices, dyes, herbs, fragrant oils, henna, kohl, dried roses and rosewater, savon noir, ghassoul and traditional medicines are sold in this market.

 

Visit A Traditional  Hammam

local hammam Marrakech

 

The best way to relax after a day exploring the souks is to have a traditional hammam. You can go to a public one, some riads offer them, or you can go to one of the large hotels or spas. You can read about my hammam experience and learn how to create your own at home here. Note that you should allow at least two hours for the full experience.

L’Art Du Bain, Souk el Badine

lart-du-bain-marrakechlart-du-bain2-marrakech-maud-interiors

If you enjoy your hammam experience you can stock up on products at L’Art Du Bain, in Souk el Badine near Souk Sebbaghine. Here you will find argan oil soaps with blends of herbs and flowers like orange blossom. I like the Little Fatima argan oil soap with ghassoul clay and grains, the Savon de Hammam, which is the black soap used for exfoliation in the hammam, and Louise, Louisa argan oil soap with verbena and lemon. All the products are beautifully packaged and make great gifts.

 

Said Argan, Souk El Kemmahhine

For argan oil, said to be rich in anti-ageing properties and anti-oxidants, I recommend Said Argan. It’s a tiny kiosk run by a women’s cooperative at 6 Souk El Kemmahhine near Dar Cherifa, almost opposite the equally tiny beldi glass shop.  Blink and you will miss them. They have a range of argan related beauty products. My favourite is the argan oil with rose.

 

Watch The Entertainment At Jemaa-el-Fna

After a busy day take a pre-dinner stroll through Jemaa-el-Fna,or take in the spectacle of snake charmers, acrobats, musicians and dancers from a cafe overlooking the square.

jemaa-el-fnaa-marrakech

Dine At Nomad

For dinner I recommend Nomad, at 1 Derb Aarjan near Rahba Kdima, the spice market, for its cool cocktails, delicious Moroccan cuisine with a modern twist and chic, modern global, interiors.

Nomad Marrakechkilim-seating-nomad-marrakech-maud-interiorsnomad-kilim-seating-maud-interiors

Where To Stay

There are thousands of hotels and riads in Marrakech to choose from. I prefer to stay in a riad in the Medina and my favourite place to stay is Riad 72. You can read more about it here.

 

Graduation Gifts

Graduation Gifts For Students Leaving Home

Need some gift inspiration for a daughter, son, relative or friend who has just graduated?  Check out our suggestions below:

graduation gifts

 

  1. An embroidered cushion to brighten up a sterile dorm room or tired rental.  The motifs and stitches in this unique piece of Kutch embroidery have been handed down from mother to daughter over generations.
  2. Combine number one with one of our best-selling Moroccan pom pom blankets in beige and natural. These hand woven blankets are designed to withstand the cold in the Atlas mountains so are perfect for snuggling under on winter nights.
  3. For a boho look add Tanjaoui,one of our Souk Collection cushions, to the mix.  Each piece in the collection is one-of-a-kind and mixes vintage fabrics, ribbons and silk screened henna prints with an old silk screened image of a Berber woman.
  4. Headgear, a cushion inspired by a traditional African saying “What you cannot carry on your head you can most probably live without”. Hand printed and hand painted no two cushions are alike in this collection.  Mix with other styles in the Namibian collection to create a contemporary global feel.  This piece works well with our Moroccan pom pom blankets too.
  5. Stylish storage in the form of this super size Swazi basket, Bonakele.  Hand woven from indigenous grasses by social enterprise, Gone Rural, this large decorative storage basket is perfect for towel, throws, magazines or a plant.
  6. A firm favourite with interior designers, this versatile Moroccan pom pom blanket in black and white stripes, will instantly add warmth and style to a student bedroom.
  7. A bold, bright, beautiful boho kilim pouf, Nabila, perfect for adding a colour and pattern to a room.  Use as extra seating or a low table.
  8. Eye-catching Clamp dyed cushion covers will instantly update a room.  Mix and match styles and combine with 9, our natural wool Moroccan pom pom blanket to complete the look.

Riad Due Marrakech

Riad Due a hip boutique hotel in the Marrakech Medina

Riad Due is a boutique hotel tucked away in the Marrakech Medina.  It’s a typical Riad set around a courtyard with rooms facing inward but it has been elegantly restored and decorated by Italian owner Giovanna Cinel, who also owns Riad 72.  The Riad has four very spacious, luxurious, bedrooms and can sleep up to twelve.  It’s the perfect place for a private get together or celebration.  For lovers of Moroccan architecture and interiors it’s a feast for the eyes so I will say no more and let the images do the talking:

The Courtyard

riad due courtyard maud interiors

The courtyard complete with a plunge pool which is very welcome in the summer months.

Doors to samir suite Riad Due maud interiors

Traditional wooden doors open into the Samir suite.

cosy corner Riad Due Marrakech Maud interiors

A cosy nook with a wonderful old door as decoration.  For cushions by the same designer have a look at our Souk Collection.

courtyard view road due maud interiors

Views over the courtyard.

The Bedrooms

Abdul-bedroom-Riad-Due

The Abdel suite with a traditional carved ceiling, Beni Ourain rug, kantha throw on the bed and an ornate painted chest.  This room has a sunken bath with a skylight above it so you can gaze up at the stars.

Zan-Suite-Riad-Due

The Zan suite complete with a copper bath, an original wooden ceiling and an Indian kantha throw.  For similar kantha throws have a look at our vintage kantha throws.

 

Kamal-bedroom-Riad-Due

The Kamal deluxe room features warm colours, a vibrant kantha throw and an incredible ornate ceiling.

 

Samir Suite Riad Due Marrakech

The Samir suite complete with a fireplace for the winter months.  The headboard in this room is an ornate Moroccan door. I like the idea of including a bookshelf and books in the room as it makes it feel more like home.

Decorative Details

ceiling detail Riad Due Marrakech Maud interiors

Stucco plaster work features on some of the ceilings in Riad Due.

painted chest riad due marrakech maud interiors

A striking cabinet in the entrance to the Zan suite.

old door riad due marrakech maud interiors

Traditional doors feature throughout Riad Due.

tiles riad due marrakech maud interiors

Striking tiles and a cleverly placed mirror which reflects the stonework.

Sun hats Riad Due Maud interiors

Sun hats ready for use on the terrace.

The Roof Terrace

the roof terrace riad due maud interiors

A sun spot with views over Marrakech to the Atlas mountains.

 

I would be happy to move in.  What do you think?

Click here for more information on Riad Due.

For information on Riad 72, mentioned in a previous post click here.

 

 

 

Places to stay: Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh Jaipur

Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh

Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh Jaipur

the-architecture-hotel-47-jobner-bagh-maud-interiors

Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh was my home from home in Jaipur, India, for a week earlier this year. Described as a luxury guesthouse it’s a delightful, family run, boutique hotel with 11 bedrooms a restaurant and a spa.

It’s one of the most welcoming places I have ever stayed and it really feels as if you are staying in a beautifully designed home rather than a hotel. Shiva Gupta, the owner, his daughter Megha, wife Anita and their staff are extremely hospitable and know how to make their guests feel at home.

The-hotel-grounds-47-Jobner-Bagh-Maud-interiors

A place to relax hotel 47 Jobner Bagh

Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh was designed by an Italian architect and was once part of the Maharaja of Jobner’s garden.   The grounds are beautifully maintained. There are lots of places to sit and relax and everywhere you go you are surrounded by the fragrant scent of jasmine.

the roof terrace hotel 47 Jobner Bagh

views-from-the-roof-terrace-hotel-47-jobner-bagh-maud-interiors

From the large roof terrace there are views to the Aravalli hills and Nahalargh fort and the Ganesh Temple. It’s a lovely place to sit at dusk, enjoy a drink and listen to the birdsong.

The food at the hotel is delicious.  Mrs Anita Gujar is responsible for the menu and dinner is typically a healthy three course vegetarian meal.  It’s authentic home cooking and is some of the best food I have tasted whilst travelling in India.

interior styling hotel 47 Jobner Bagh

Seating-area-hotel-47-Jobner-Bagh-maud-interiors

Bedroom-Hotel-47-Jobner-Bagh

Old-doors-as-a-headboard-hotel-47-Jobner-Bagh

The interiors have been elegantly styled and it is the sort of place you want to move into. Bedrooms have antique tables, colonial style chairs and old doors as headboards.  Bathrooms have a Moroccan feel with tadelakt walls and floors.  The communal areas are full of large pots, candles, old photographs and lots of seating areas, which gives the hotel a very relaxed feel.

jewel coloured lights hotel 47 jobber bagh

The hotel is within easy reach of the Old City and all the major sites in Jaipur yet tucked away from the crazy Jaipur traffic so it is a great place to retreat to after a busy day sightseeing. You can find out more about the hotel here.

 

If you, like me, prefer boutique hotels to large corporate chains see my recommendations for Morocco here and Mexico here.

 

(Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh bedroom photographs taken by the hotel)

Bedroom Inspiration – Headboards

It’s that time of year when we retreat indoors and want to hibernate so what better time to make some changes to our interiors and create rooms we want to spend time in during the cold, dark, winter months.

 

There are lots of simple things you can do to change the look and feel of a room and today I’m looking at bedrooms and headboards and the space above the headboard.  As the bed is generally the main focal point in the bedroom changing the headboard and doing something with the space above it can make a big difference to a room.  Take a look at the bedrooms below and you will see how the designers featured have used this space to add visual impact to the room.

 

Fabric Covered Headboards

In the photograph below, Amber Lewis of Amber Interior Designs, has used what looks like kantha material to transform a grey headboard.  I like the way she has mixed up the textiles against the headboard to add colour, pattern and interest.  This is a simple way to introduce colour pattern and texture to a conventional fixed headboard.

Bedroom inspiration: headboards

Via

In this bold, contemporary global bedroom in Puglia, belonging to fashion designer Liza Bruce, the headboard is covered in a contrasting patterned fabric to the coverlet and the warm purple wall so that it stands out.  The combination of the patterned headboard and the purple wall draw the eye upwards making the room appear larger than it is.  It’s a bold look but it works because of the limited colour palette based on the colours in the coverlet.

Bedroom inspiration: headboards

Via

If jewel-like colours aren’t for you then take a look at this rustic bedroom with industrial accents in a subtle colour palette, which is actually part of French concept store, La Maison Pernoise.  In this room set they have used a black and white graphic print as a headboard and added a black and white portrait photograph above which draws the eyes in.  The headboard and artwork above it frame the bed.

Bedroom inspiration: headboards

Via

Wall Hangings

You could do away with a headboard altogether and place a large framed textile above the bed, which is what Spanish interior designer Victoria Melian, has done in this Moroccan home below.  Again, this bedroom design works because the designer has kept the colour palette to just four colours, which are repeated in the wall hanging.  If this idea appeals then take a look at our vintage embroidered wall hangings here.

Victoria-Melia-Elle-Espana

Via

Artwork Above The Bed

Fashion designer, Marlene Birgir, has used framed paintings above the bed to create a focal point.  Again she has restricted her colour palette and stuck to monochrome prints which tie in with the overall theme.  For monochrome blankets and rugs have a look here and here.

Marlene-Birgir's-home-via-Style-Files

Via

Below, in this elegant bedroom, in Peacock Pavilions, in Marrakech, designer, Maryam Montague, has opted for a wooden headboard, which looks as if it has been salvaged from a printers and she has placed a 1920’s print above the bed, which again draws the eye upwards.  I love the mix of textiles in this room with its indigo bedspread, kilim cushion and rug and Rajasthani wall hanging over the window.

maryam-montague-peacock-paviliions

Via

Wooden Doors

This Moroccan styled room is actually from a pop up restaurant and concept store, The Secret Souk, which was held in New York last year.   The ornate door frames the bed and blends in with the natural coloured textiles.   If you like the textiles in this bedroom have a look at our blankets and throws here.

The-Secret-Souk-Morgan-Ione

 

Finally, another Secret Souk dining and store experience, currently taking place in Amsterdam, which has used what looks like a piece of architectural salvage, which could be wood or possibly tin as a headboard and then placed a hanging textile above.  Ignore the lanterns in the background and you can see how the headboard adds extra texture and works well with the textile above and the cushions and bedspread on the bed.  I love the mix of industrial, Moroccan lanterns and the indigo textiles in this room set styled and shot by Paula Arklin.

Paulina-Arklin-The-Secret-Souk

Via

 

Eight very different designs, which one is your favourite?

 

Five Ways To Create An Outdoor Space

It looks as if it is going to be a scorcher this weekend so today’s post is about how to create an outdoor space, somewhere you can sit, relax and enjoy the sunshine.  It’s easy to do and as you will see from the images below, it’s possible to convert even the smallest balcony into an outdoor living space.

 

outdoor-rooms
summer-living

outdoor-living-maud-interiors

 

Five ways to create an outdoor space

Image Source: 1 and 2 DigsDigs.com, 3. Smittenstudioonline.com  4. Liza Bruce’s home Elle Decor

 

How To Create Your Own Outdoor Space

 

five ways to create an outdoor space

 

 

The five key ingredients to create an outdoor space are from top left:

 

Plants, planting and planters are key.  You don’t need a garden, you can create an exotic look on a balcony, roof terrace or yard with creative planting.  I’ve chosen the image of the entrance to a New York roof terrace, owned by Gray Davis and his partner and featured in Vogue Australia, to show how by planting large ferns and a mix of palms in planters you can transform a space and create a tropical look.

 

If you have a balcony choose plants that can go outside during summer months like this architectural cactus, top right, and mix the planters so that you have different styles and sizes. For interesting planters, which don’t cost a fortune, try your local antiques market.

 

Cushions, cushions and more cushions are essential for lounging and to add colour and texture to a space.  I like a mix of scatter cushions and floor cushions but prefer a limited colour palette to avoid things looking too busy.  Have a look at our collection, we have everything from exotic Moroccan prints and kilims, to hand-woven contemporary Mayan stripes, to vintage Kutch embroidery and bright and bold African prints, many of which are in our summer sale.

 

Rugs work well too with large floor cushions for lounging.  They add texture and delineate the space.  Just be prepared to roll them up quickly if the weather changes.

 

For seating, if you have space you could build a bench like Sarah Sherman Samuel and her partner from Smitten Studio (lifestyle photo 3).  If not, there are lots of wicker chairs around.  Ikea has some tropical rattan chairs similar to those in the second lifestyle image.

 

Baskets as platters or for reading matter will add additional texture and don’t take up too much space.  See our selection of handcrafted baskets here.

 

Lighting  – I like the idea of overhead festoon style lights and there are lots of choices available.  Solar powered fairly lights look magical too and our copper tea-lights, now in the sale, will add an extra sparkle.

 

Finally, if you don’t have an outside space, bundle up a blanket, our Moroccan Pom Pom  blankets make great picnic rugs and some cushions and head to the nearest park or beach.

 

Have a great weekend.