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Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

A Little Moroccan Inspiration

Becky

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As I perused a Moroccan style house last night, it got me thinking about what a wealth of inspiration this far-off land has to offer. I thought I’d share a few ways Morocco’s style can inspire you at home.

One of the very first design blogs I ever started following was My Marrakesh, and it’s been such a joy to watch its creator, Maryam Montague, touted by major trendsetters and media outlets. While Moroccan inspiration has been a style influence around the world for a long time, I believe she was a major factor in making it so popular for the past few years.It’s also been exciting to see Maryam land her book deal. If you want a tome of Moroccan inspiration, pick up Marrakesh By Design stat!

It’s also been fun to follow her and her architect husband build their boutique hotel, Peacock Pavilions:

Peacock Pavilions, Morocco

Use bold colors and layers of textiles. Moroccan details you may pick up for your own home are the rich textures of kilim textiles and Beni Ouarain and groups of perforated hammered metal lanterns. Exuberant colors stand out against white walls, and one can never have too many layers of rugs, pillows and other textiles.

Borrow Morocco’s deep and electric blue. When I think of Morocco, it’s all about Yves for me. Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge bought his Moorish villa from French painter Jacques Majorelle. To learn more about the joint, Jardin Majorelle, I recommend this excellent post, Chic in Morocco, over at Habitually Chic. This electric shade of blue is seen in many images of Morocco.

3. Make your courtyard a peaceful retreat. While gardens as lush as those at Jardin Majorelle are rare, Morocco is full of gorgeous outdoor spaces. Many houses are riads, which have interior courtyards. While some are full of intricate tile and fountains, others, like Riad Tarabel (another private guest house where you can stay), are more subdued.

Another iconic Moroccan image is of original sixties boho queen Talitha Getty (taken by Patrick Lichfield). Minarets are a common sight from Morocco’s rooftops.

4. Stop with all that boring white and tan tile and go bold. Life is shore. Handcrafted tiles in bold color combinations and intricate patterns are the way to go sometimes.

5. You can never have too many layers of textiles, or throw and floor pillows. Just ask Yves.

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Thursday, March 19th, 2009

The $28 Million Dollar Chair

Becky

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O.K. – So I was SORT OF paying attention to the YSL auction and how it defied current economic conditions in the auction world, and wishing I’d dished out for a coveted catalog early. But it wasn’t until today, when I was getting a super-duper pedicure with my friend Heather that I picked up a People (as I’ve said before, I am only allowed to buy People and US Weekly at the airport for a plane trip), and saw that an Eileen Gray chair at said auction pulled in $28 MILLION! Really? I totally respect and admire Eileen Gray furniture (though not this hideous chair), but, O.K. WHAT? REALLY? FOR REALS?

Can anyone tell me why you’d buy this chair instead of an island? I’m talking, a large island? Please, let me know!

From what I understood from People, all of the proceeds from the record-breaking (close to $500 million) YSL auction went to AIDS research, so that rules, and I’m very glad it did so well. I’m just not sure why you would not just give $28 Mil to AIDS research directly instead of buying a chair that looks like a  character from the alien bar scene in Star Wars.

photo courtesy of WSJ online.

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