Required Reading: Marrakesh by Design
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When we started Remodelista, blogging was still a relatively new concept, and Maryam Montague's My Marrakesh was one of the first foreign blogs we stumbled across. Montague had moved sight unseen to Morocco with her architect husband and first child; the couple had just purchased an olive grove outside Marrakesh (now home to their newly built boutique hotel) and her blog was a document of her new life. Her recently published book, Marrakesh by Design (Artisan Books; $19.19 at Amazon), is the culmination of her experience in her new homeland. Montague's insights into architecture and design come with historical facts and cultural explanations; she discusses patterns, colors, tiles, and fabrics in detail and includes DIY projects (from homemade stencils to recipes). The book closes with Montague's list of insider resources. Photography courtesy of Maryam Montague and Artisan Books. Above: A room layered with pattern, texture, and shimmer: a tribal rug on an intricately tiled floor, a silver pouf, an elaborately sequined blanket, and an ornately carved banquette. In a traditional home, rooms are multi-functional with banquettes morphing from daytime seating to beds at night. Above: The courtyard is at the center of a medina home (medina being an old city with narrow maze-like streets). While house exteriors may appear plain on the outside, with few external windows, it is what lies within that sets a house apart: greenery (or gardens in larger courtyards), water features, and seating. They also serve as breezeways and a source of much needed shade. Above: A Moroccan banquette in a riad. Typically, banquettes are made from wood bases with a mattress on top and plenty of cushions. Above: A bedroom with white mashrabiya (wooden latticework, that can be slid open). The mashrabiya provides screening and the design allows for intricate shadows on the wall. Above: A modern Moroccan terrace with black dess (a floor covering made from cement and lime). The bejmat tiles are made from clay. Above: Marrakesh by Design (Artisan Books) is $19.19 at Amazon.