I have shopped ’til I dropped in Marrakech three wonderful times. How lucky am I? Most recently, my travel and interior designer friend Sandra Barron and I led the Magical Morocco Girl Trip with a fab group of ladies in February. (Pre-virus mania, but just.) For eight gorgeous, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky days we ventured out from our luxe home base at Maison 28 Marrakech, most days to shop like crazy. Rugs and textiles were on everyone’s wish list.

My personal shopping goal was to add Moroccan touches – some small and some large – to several rooms in our home. I don’t want to have a Moroccan-themed house by any means. I focused my manic shopping adventures on color, texture, and warmth additions to enhance the casual cozy look we already have going in every room.

Mind you, we have lived in this ’70s rancher for 30 years now. Five bedrooms, a den and a living room, and no dining room. All surrounding an unusual for North Carolina courtyard entry. Our living room was so odd. Like an afterthought. You entered from the hallway. Weird. For years our little girls used the strange room for a huge playroom. Then, hubby and I had an epiphany – remove the wall between the living room and kitchen and raise the living room ceiling by about two feet.

We also took out the hallway door and exchanged it for a French door – made like an interior window. Voila! Our favorite area in the house!

Empty-nesters, hubby and I enjoy the sunny living room in the morning with coffee and the newspaper, or, in my case, a pile of home décor magazines. You may wonder why there are no sheers or drapes at the picture window. First, the light is so gorgeous we opted not to add them. And second, the kitties enjoy the view from atop the soft velvet loveseat immensely. The bird feeder just outside the window offers the fur-babies endless hours of bird watching.

You may remember in last week’s post, Rug Shopping In Marrakech, that I talked about the myriad ways you can shop rugs. Mind-boggling, shopping rugs is like a blur of color, texture, and pattern. It can bewilder even the most intense shopper. I, on the other hand, like everything! On my first trip, I purchased the rug, now in our living room for my at-that-time large art studio. It is very graphic, and features all of my favored colors. It just fits between the twin white slip-covered sofas.

Notice the crazy-large, sturdy wooden coffee table? I discovered it in our local used store fixture resource for just $150. It is perfect for everyone to put up their feet all at once. The styling is ever-revolving, featuring my whims of the moment. Just now I have two white Moroccan poufs, actually found locally at one of my absolute favorite barn events – The French Farmer’s Wife. Lovely Gail and Kathy gifted me with one, and I matched the other right then while in the barn.

Succulents and cacti always go nicely with the hot color pops of the room, and a distressed and white-washed rustic tray holds North Carolina pottery from local artists, and, my tiny Moroccan bowl, top left, that I think blends perfectly with the collection. (And, if you add candy, Rusty Boy ginger kitty will pull it all out, I found LOL.)


This 100-year-old European cabinet with the original finish is my all-time most-adored piece in our home. When my Mom was terminally ill 20 years ago, I left our house with tears in my eyes one Saturday morning to search for a piece where I could store family photos and cherished pieces from Mom and Dad’s home. I found this one at a local antiques store immediately. Fate! At the moment, instead of pretty breakables on the shelf, I added African baskets from safaris my sister and our Mom and I took to Kenya and Tanzania ages ago. The reason? Rusty kitty flies behind the baskets willy-nilly, hiding from Gracie Lee kitty. Yes, he has broken two large glass lamps in this room. Ugh. What a rascal.

I am such a styling weirdo, I have to have at least three other green items in a room so they make sense in the space. It that a design rule? Who knows. So, I added plants so it “goes.” And, see the little patch of green on the kantha atop the sofa to the left of it? Yes, I am a little crazy.

You may have noticed my column collection on either side of the window. There are several great resources for architectural salvage locally, and I can’t say no to a crusty column it seems. But they are perfect corner art in this room.

Speaking of Indian kantha blankets, I love how they blend so nicely with the Moroccan rug and large pillow on the loveseat and the Turkish pillow cover. Kanthas are soft, affordable, and addictive. An added bonus is everything coordinates so nicely with our kitty colors.


So, what about white slipcovers? Are you afraid of white couches with kids, pets, and most of all, red wine? Never fear, they are the best! 20 years ago, yes 20, I had our lined ones made from white duck fabric by a master seamstress. They look like they were made yesterday. I truly just unzip and toss them in the washing machine with a whitening product like Oxiclean. If there is a stain, I pre-treat and set aside for 30 minutes. We love them so much, they are here for life.

The humongous artwork over this sofa was a project I did a few years ago for PaintAndPattern.com, using a Royal Design Studio stencil. First, I added a distressed finish to a giant slightly damaged frame given to me by a designer friend who was moving. Then, hubby cut a piece of hardboard to fit the frame for me to paint the design. When I finished, he inserted the art into the frame. Want to do it yourself? Click here for the project tutorial one. And click here for project tutorial two.

I painted the little side table white for now. I am in a no-distressing mood for furniture, and I like not distracting from the ethnic textiles. However, note that I used a piece of my reverse-painted and gilded glass to liven up and protect the table top. Of course, Miss Diva Gracie Lee had to jump into the photo.

If you would like to learn how to do verre églamisé (reverse-painted glass), just comment on this post. When social distancing eases, we can plan for you to come learn at my studio! I also have a few pieces for sale on my website.

So, what do you think? How do you like our living room with lots of ethnic and Moroccan touches? Would they work in your décor?

Stay tuned! Next week I’ll share a peek of more Moroccan textiles in our master bedroom. I think you’ll be wowed!

If you love all thing Morocco, hop over to my blog page to check out more of the Magical Morocco Girl Trip adventures!

This content was originally published here.


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