Morocco is the best place for homeware shopping. There are so many beautiful handicrafts, ceramics and textiles that would suit any taste (and budget). In this post, I’m going to share my best tips of what to buy and (roughly) how much to pay.
The best part of travelling is discovering new design ideas to bring back home. If you have been following my instagram recently you would know I’m a huge fan of Morocco. I’ve been there five times now, and when I set off to Marrakech in April I write a loooong shopping list of all the things I want to buy for my home (and me).
8 Moroccan Decorating Ideas To Start Your Day
1 Tiles, Tiles, Tiles
Morocco is an islamic country – and a big part of their art and historic culture is filled with repeating patterns. Every single building in Morocco is covered in intricate tiles in 1000s of colours and designs. In the main Palace’s (which you have to go visit when you are there) you can see them being cut by hand and laid in place, one-by-one.
It’s breathtakingly pretty and it has had a huge impact on my styling work. This country has inspired me to be more brave with tiling in my own home. I even tiled my stairs which you can see here.
It’s going to be tricky to bring back a box of tiles in your suitcase so instead take lots and lots of photos – and think about how you can add more tiling to your own home. Is it with a tiled hallway, or by updating the splashback in your kitchen. My fave place for tiles like this in the UK is Bert & May but Topps Tiles, Tile Giant and Tile Mountain all have a large selection of indoor and outdoor tiling. Let your imagination run wild.
The tiles below I spotted in a shop called Bloom in the Slave Quarter and are almost identical to the ones I used on the November cover of Good homes magazine (which you can see here). You can see where I get my inspiration from!
2 Traditional Rugs & Textiles
You can’t go to Marakesh and not talk about rugs. They are everywhere! From warm rust tones, to plain brings with day-glow patterns to soft cream and sequin wedding shrouds. If I could I would fill my whole home with them. Bet you would too?
If you have a rug on your shopping list, there here’s a few tips:
- Do you research before you go on exactly the type of rug you want. Be clear in your mind. There are so many out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. make sure you have the measurements of your room – and pack a tape measure!
- Research how much your dream rug would cost in the UK. With my own rug, I knew that in the UK it would cost £250-300. This made it easy to decided when negotiating my top budget. I paid £80 for mine which I new wasn’t cheap cheap for out there but it was the exact one i wanted.
- Be fussy. If you don’t like the rugs they are offering – tell them. They have so many choices in stock (or they will run to their neighbours shop and track down exactly like you wish
- Be prepared for rug shopping to take a long time. It’s not like nipping into M&S and picking one up on the shop floor. You’ll be offered a cup of mint tea, a seat – they expect you to be there for a while. Set aside at least an hour or two to buy your rug in one shop
Don’t worry about bringing it home with you. The will roll up your rug so small it will fit in your hand luggage. Trust them when they say it will fit in your suitcase.
Just like the UK, the interior fashions change over time. These cushions below are a new design which I hadn’t seen before. Aren’t they lovely? They started at £13 each but if you bought a few you could get the price down to £10 each for sure. If you know your designs – and you know it is last season, you can ask for a discount.
3 Hand of Fatima
I’ve become obsessed with this religious symbol over the years. In fact, I want to have it tattooed on me one day – when I’m brave enough. The hand spans across three religions and it is one of the few religious symbols that represents the maternal nature of women. It’s the hand of good luck and fortune. That is why it makes such a great door knocker (as you can see below).
I bought a silver one last year that I hang above my front door to protect me from burglars (it’s working!) You’ll start spotting the hands on doors, on jewellery, on bags and even in henna designs.
The hooks (that are below) are new to me – I’ve not seen before this trip. I now sorely wish I had bought some for my bathroom or the back of my bedroom door. Just means I’ll have to go back soon…
4 Baskets & Pom Poms
In the main squares, the ladies sit amongst piles of baskets which they weave during the day. They have so many shapes and sizes to choose from. And if you ask the ladies they will embroider on sayings for you and add extra pom poms.
Most of the saying are in French – as the country was once part of France back in the day. But for a small fee they will customise any bag with any saying.
This one below is the one I bought for my sister as a gift for £12. They have the flat round ones that I have seen in places like Toast and Plumo for about £19. They come with leather handles too.
As well as the bags – they also have stalls selling brightly coloured storage baskets. They are not native to Morocco but are from places like Mozambique and Namibia. Make sure you pick ones that are woven in rattan with real wool – as a lot are in acrylic wool which isn’t so nice to touch.
5 Carved Wooden Delights
Last time I went to Morocco for my 40th in May, I stumbled across these stalls that only sell wooden spoons. I didn’t realise until that moment
A/ How much I love wooden spoons
B/ How much I NEED wooden spoons
C/ How much better my life is with wooden spoons in it
They are made from local lemon wood and are all hand carved by hand. There are serving spoons, tagine spoons, lemon squeezer spoons, wooden scissors, honey spoons… you name it.
I bought a small wooden spoon for the honey (another thing I buy in bulk from my trips – look for the orange tins with the bee on it.)
Spoons seem to be the only thing in the country that has a set price. I paid £5 for a honey spoon and a pair of salad spoons. A year down the line and they are still going strong.
6 Tiny Wooden Doors
Behind these pretty doors are mirrors. They are hand painted in bright colours that would bring instant sunshine to your home. I would love a white and gold one for my bathroom but I couldn’t find a space to squeeze them into my home (maybe in my newly revamped bathroom…..)
These cost about £18 for a small frame. Look for chips in the paintwork!
7 Colourful Ceramics
Irritatingly I don’t have a photo of the colourful bowls and salad plates that are traditional to Morocco. Most likely, as i was too busy shopping for them to stop to take photos. This is the plain terracotta versions which the local use but in the main square they come in every range of colour. Guess which design I bought? Well actually you can see it here on my kitchen wall.
My advice: Don’t buy a tagine. You’ll never use it and will struggle to fit in your oven – and they are a bugger to store. Instead spend your money on the large salad plates, bowls and serving dishes. Most are dishwasher proof. Just make sure you put it in your hand luggage!
Large plates are from £12-18. I bought small bowls for £3.50 each and tumblers for £5 each. All of the designs I picked, I have since seen in Anthropologie for about three times the price.
8 Morocco Antiques
It’s seriously common to buy antique items especially if you travel out to the Atlas mountain area. All these items here are hand by hand by the locals. The metal tea pots are used to make traditional mint tea.
The beaded were a sign of money and wealth which the women wore. I love the orange and teal colours. They would look amazing hung on a wall or dangling off a door frame. The little bags you see there – are old gunpowder bags.
That’s my pick of my top 8 inspired decorating ideas from Morocco that will add some sunshine to your day.
Do you feel inspired to book a holiday there? If so, don’t forget to take a large suitcase!