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Moroccan Home Design - Handicrafts

By Edited Nov 4, 2015 0 0

Morocco is a country that is famous throughout the world for it's exquisite, artisan handicrafts. Made using traditional methods that have been passed down from generation to generation, master craftsmen and women spend time creating unique, bespoke pieces of furniture and crafts that will give any home a taste of the exotic casbahs of Marrakech.

Marrakech is one of the main centers of these handicrafts (along with Fez) and you can walk through the souks (markets) and watch them being made in front of your eyes, to be taken home to create your Moroccan home design.

Some of the most popular Moroccan handicrafts are:

Moroccan tile table:

There are 3 kinds of table that are popular in Morocco. A low wooden frame table with an engraved metal tray that rests on top – these are for serving meals and are found in almost every Moroccan home.

Hand painted tables are also popular – especially for side tables. These are painted in old Amazigh designs, in bright, strong colours. Screens and tables are also available.

But perhaps the most popular is the Moroccan tile table. A cast iron frame supports a Moroccan tile table top, which is often made from many small tiles to create a mosaic pattern design. These are hand made, using a technique called zellige, and originate from Fez, in the north east of Morocco.

Of course, a heavy, cast iron tabletop is not something that you are going to be able to simply bring back home on the airplane. The weight of the item would prove prohibitive. This is the reason that picking them up outside Morocco is so difficult (and expensive!) If you visit Morocco, you could consider having one shipped back (many stores in Morocco will do this for you, for a fee), or you could buy from a local artisan store in your own country (try your nearest Middle Eastern neighborhood) or from an online retailer such as my 'Everything Moroccan' store. Alternatively, you could consider making your own mosaic tabletop and adding this to a base of your choice. A typical Moroccan tile table design would be made from small, neutral squares, with a strong color, such as red, green or blue edging the outside, or forming a small pattern in the center.

You can also buy embossed and engraved metal tables, and wooden tables that are inlaid with mother of pearl. These are more common for bedroom use.

Moorish tile:

Moroccan tiles are frequently used to make the most amazing mosaics and patterns. The designs used come from traditional Islamic art, using strong colors and designs that tell their own stories. In Islam, depictions of living creatures are forbidden, and so the designs are often based on strong geometric patterns.

Moorish tile is best bought in Morocco and shipped home.

Moroccan bedroom furniture:

A typical Moroccan bedroom involves lots of heavily carved wood, polished plaster walls and beautiful, richly coloured soft furnishings. A relatively new trend in Moroccan bedroom furniture is for inlaid mother of pearl, in delicate designs, set against a strong colour – pink, blue and black are popular.

moroccan bedroom furniture 2

These are still difficult to find in the USA, however, a very similar design is made by some Indian companies, so you could try hunting down Indian furniture sellers to find these and replicate a Moroccan bedroom furniture look.

Moroccan bedroom furniture
Heavy wooden screens are hand carved, meaning no two are the same, making them a unique investment if you are considering a Moroccan home design interior. Matching small tables and chairs complete the look.

Moroccan Table Lanterns:

Moroccan table lanterns are often made from goat or camel skin, which is stretched and dyed in vivid reds, pinks and purples. These are known as 'henna lamps'.

The other common styles are glass or cut metal, designed to hold tea lights or small candles. A small group of 3 or 5 of these look amazing, in the right setting.

Other Moroccan Lighting:

Large, elaborate glass lanterns are a beautiful and uniquely Moroccan creation. These are often panelled with single, or multi-color glass, and are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. These are designed for electric lights.

Wall sconces, or goatskin wall lights or cut metal lights are also common, and can add dramatic effect to a Moroccan style interior.

Large versions of the cut metal or glass Moroccan table lanterns are popular for use outdoors, and look amazing with a large pillar candle – particularly around doorwarys or poolside.

Other articles on Morocco you may find interesting:

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