Five Morocco Finds You'll See at Our Party

We are just FOUR days away from our Studio Party! We are not only flinging open the doors to our studio space for the first time, giving you the chance to meet our team and enjoy a glass of wine and some local fare — but opening all our suitcases to shop our favorite finds from our October trip to Morocco. Here’s a sampling of what you can expect to shop this Friday night (5 to 8 p.m.) and Saturday (10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.)! Come PARTY with US!

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1. Rugs

We went to Morocco with epic rug expectations -- and a few days into our trip, found ourselves climbing and laughing our way up a literal PILE of gorgeous rugs. It was magical. Each Moroccan studio assigned us an employee who would ask us our color palette and style preference and would pull from these massive piles of all patterns and sizes and weaves, going on the hunt with us. We spend hours scouring piles and piles of rugs, and found that black and white rugs were everywhere -- but good-quality antique colored rugs were tricky to find. Sometimes we’d fall in love with a pattern but as we got close, would see if needed a bit of repair. It was an artistic journey we can’t wait to go on again!

EXPECT: At our studio party, expect colorful rugs from reds and pinks to blues and purples as well as a range of black and white rugs from runners to large sizes!

2. Poufs, poufs poufs!

One surprise as we shopped the medinas of Morocco was how challenging it was to comeby beautiful poufs. Yes, poufs were everywhere and they looked charming from far away -- but as we got close, they were often matted and poor quality and something we didn’t want to bring back. We scoured the local market places to find the best quality, antique poufs made from Berber rugs -- and brought back a few of our favorites! Also, something we learned is that a rug has to be cut up to create a pouf, which means the good-quality rugs have to be sacrificed to make good quality poufs. It made us appreciate these beauties we are selling all the little more! The leather ones were easy to find and we snatched a black and white leather pouf that we’re in love with!

EXPECT: We have a number of multicolored poufs ready for purchase at our Studio Party!

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3. Round Mudcloth Pillows

In Marrekech, we made a new friend, Habib, when we came across his gorgeous studio. He had a number of round pillows that caught our eye (round is back!) but we weren’t crazy about the textile he used. A few feet over, we see stacks and stacks of black and white mudcloth and indigo textiles, and Habib tells us their pillows can be made custom -- and before we left Morocco. We were ecstatic! Right then and there we forged a friendship over decor and art and textiles and put in a huge order for black and white mudcloth, round pillows.

EXPECT: At our Studio Party, expect piles of round, mudcloth pillows ready for purchase! We have black mudcloth, white mudcloth in round sizes -- and custom indigo lumbars for sale.

4. Lidded Baskets

These lidded baskets are all over Morocco and we found them in all colors and sizes -- from black and white to gorgeous magenta stripes. They’re good for any surface and we love the idea of using them this holiday season for bread and added some personality to a tablescape.

EXPECT: We have a huge selection of lidded baskets in all sizes and colors, come ready to shop!


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5. Tassel Blankets

We brought back a number of handmade throws with gorgeous, oversized tassels. They’re the perfect size for king and queen size beds! We fell in love with this black and white striped one -- the tassels add so much texture and personality to a living room or bedroom.

EXPECT: Throws like this one in a variety of neutral shades, ready for purchase!

Tablescapes: Go Green, Imperfect and Unexpected

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and to enjoy the feasting day, it’s important to stop and create a game plan for your table! We hang our hat on keeping it simple and modern — and keeping it natural. Here’s our five best tips to doing just that.

1. Start with a Clean Base

We love a dark wood table — or black one for that matter — but wherever you’re gathering, start by clearing it off. If you have a nearby sideboard or bar cart, do the same. Think minimal. Minimal does not mean cold or stark, it just draws attention to what you truly love and the look you’re going for.

2. Go Green and Go Imperfect

To create your centerpiece, start with a simple runner. If you have kids, you might even consider letting them be part of the tablescape by cutting a kraft paper roll and letting them add in some custom scribbles before you set the table! (Think: brown paper with gold scribbles or paint splatters — it could be a really cute base.)

Begin by placing some eucalyptus or other greens (magnolia leaves from the yard are beautiful!) along the table for a base. We love the look of tables set with white and green pumpkins, mixed with eucalyptus (Note: Trader Joe’s is the best local source for bunches of eucalyptus and unscented, white candles!). Don’t worry about being perfect, just start layering in the greens and add in textured items — imperfect beauty is what we’re going for here. Try adding some pumpkins, pears, artichokes or even figs, the unexpected is fun!

3. Pop of Color

Next, add in a pop of color. We love the idea of color being brass in your centerpiece by adding some candlesticks and in your flatware! Wood is another great way to layer colors and textures and these are our go-to wood candlesticks and candelabras right now, they add shape and personality!

Another way to mix up the color (and height!) is with small bunches of flowers. We were drawn to the mix of bright fuschias in the flowers pictured here — and cut pomegranates. Unexpected again and naturally beautiful.

4. Set the Table

Before you dish up the meal, it’s important to think about the shapes and colors of your serving dishes — and plates! We are in love with these handmade chargers by Aronson Wood Works. They modernize and protect your table and are easy to wipe off versus a textile that covers your entire table! Easy set up and clean up for the win!

Next, set your plates in place — we love circular plates to add in a visual element and gold-speckled ceramics are even better. For napkins, go simple with something like these frayed-white beauties and we love napkins rings. They look fancy but don’t require artistic folding skills (or time!). For serving your food, instead of pops of orange — we love the idea of sticking with the natural palette and drawing in some emerald green into the space.

5. Set Each Place

A simple way to make your guests feel loved is to carve out a spot for them. It doesn’t need to be elaborate, but a strip of paper with their handwritten name makes them feel significant. This is another way to incorporate natural elments — set a sprig of thyme or rosemary with their name on their plate, or wrap a slice of bread in kraft paper, tie with twine and tuck in their name card. If you don’t have time, simply set a mini-greenery bunch on their plate!

Whoever you celebrate with, and whatever the state of your table — keep in mind that simple is best and to enjoy the design process. Let it evolve in unexpected and imperfect ways!

Image Sources: Studio McGee and Sean Litchfield via MyDomaine.

The Fall Trends You Should Know About

1. Deep Toned Walls

If our clients jump at the idea, a design go-to for House of Nomad is a deep-toned wall. Painting a wall something fun and with a deep hue not only adds warmth and is on-trend — but it brings instant character to the space. The above shot comes from this week’s install in a historic house in Dilworth and the Naval paint by Sherwin Williams chosen by our client brought deep moodiness to their bar area. The throw pillow draws in another fall trend: gold.

We’ve also used Inchyra Blue by Farrow & Ball and had great success with this gorgeous paint in a Myers Park dining space. This project combined family heirloom pieces, passed down for generations, with some new light fixtures and the deep-toned walls. And for our upcoming projects, Farrow & Ball released nine new fall colors that we’re dying to use!

2. Jet Black, even in the kitchen

This is a trend we’re thrilled about because we’re lovers of all things jet black. Currently, we’re in the middle of a design process for a modern home in Quail Hollow. According to trends (and our happy client) their dining space is so in — a really modern black dining table and black dining chairs. Their kitchen is a beautiful contrast with all-white lacquer and hardware-less cabinetry. It’s so chic.

3. Graphic Prints

At High Point Market, our team saw space after piece that pulled at this fun vibe — from black and white large-scale graphic prints to this bold wallpaper. For a Myers Park project, we recently selected this gorgeous black and white tile for a custom bar.

4. Large-scale Florals

Romantic and curious, florals of all kinds are in — including large-scale — and what some are calling “Grandma chic.” A favorite floral we’ve used lately is an Anthropologie mural we used to create a custom wall art by adding a border of deep-green paint.

5. Modern Neutrals

We’re all about this — a call back to natural spaces by combining wood grains, rattan, camel, gold and even grays. We love to layer variety of wood tones and textures to bring warmth to our spaces — like this set of rattan light fixtures in a client’s kitchen (in process!) in Dilworth.

6. Curves and Arches

Another stand-out from High Point Market is curves — and arches — in furniture and upholstery. The rounded edges of these pieces provide immediate interest and perhaps even a little bit of sexy danger to the designs. The curves range from sofas and chairs to tables and consoles. We’re loving the curvy pieces by Consort!

The Best of Morocco

It’s been a week since our plane landed in Charlotte, delivering us and our four massive suitcases of custom textiles and decor back to the Queen City. Here are our top five moments from Morocco, the moments and sights and people that will always be seared in our mind as our first taste of Morocco!

1. The Red Door

About a week into our trip, we arrived in Marrakech and went in search of a rug vendor we’d be dying to see. On foot and following Google maps on our phones, we kept circling the block, unable to find the entrance because it wasn’t marked with a sign. Kelley remembered seeing a red door on Google images and so went back the block in search of the red door — and there it was. We knocked, the door opened, and with a big smile this guy (who we learned was named Abdul) answers and says “rugs?.”

It was truly like magic.

We were welcomed into an atrium surrounded floor to ceiling with the most beautiful, antique hand-woven rugs of every color and style we’d imagined. He asked us what color palette and would pull options and there was all this suspense as we waited and he unrolled them. Some of our favorite and most special purchases came from here — they couldn’t have been more beautiful.

2. The Pile of Rugs

Beyond the red door was our second most memorable moment. In search of the perfect colors, we are literally crawling up a mountain of rugs. Laughing out loud, we both won’t ever forget that moment. Click here for a video of it!

3. The Turtle Named Fenn

We’ve traveled a lot and El Fenn is the most inspirational hotel we have ever been to. Every room is different and unique. The owners have a strong sense for design and the whole experience is inspiring. It’s not just the rooms or the rooftop bar with views of Marrakech and whole medina, but it's the color it's the tile, it's the attention to detail.

One thing we adored were the six resident turtles who live on site. They have turtle houses in the courtyards that the turtles to live in and we came across them in the spa room — see the arrow in the photo below for his hiding spot! He was so charming and we decided to dub him Fenn, because of our love for all things El Fenn.

Note: Cocktails were hard to come by with Morocco being a predominantly Muslim country but El Fenn offered some delicious fare and hand-crafted cocktails on their rooftop. That was a huge plus! Plus we were able to get our favorite — a spicy margarita!

4. The New Friend

Still in Marrakech, we were on the hunt for pink poufs and they were really hard to come by. On our way home from another shop, we stopped in our tracks, seeing the perfect pouf on a corner outside a shop. Inside we met Habib, a designer and the shop owner with the gorgeous pouf. We instantly had a friendship with him — it’s like we spoke the same language and with the same energy. We were talking rugs and poufs one second and jewelry and custom bags the next. Habib made us the custom, circular mudcloth pillows to be for sale at our Studio Party — and we look forward to collaborating again with him and seeing him on our yearly trip to Marrekesh. 

5. The Garden of Cacti

We took one day off from sourcing to get inspiration in the Moroccan culture and art, spending the day visiting the Jardin Majorelle, a garden of cacti — and it was stunning! It was originally owned by a painter who would bring plants back with him on his travels and replant them. Now, it’s home to more than 300 varieties. It was the perfect place to relax and be inspired.

The Berber Museum is in the garden and is painted this gorgeous, deep blue paint hue called “Marjorelle Blue,” which surprised us by quite the pretty penny for a tiny can. We’re hoping Sherwin-Williams might come out with a perfect color match becuase we were in love with it, but this hue is the closest we can find so far!

Kell and I are both into fashion and it definitely plays into our designs — so we also found a ton of inspiration in the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. Yves Saint Laurent has just two museums, with the other located in Paris, and we thought it really fun to learn about him and his life and how influencial Marrakech was for him. He was so taken by Marrakech and they really influenced his designs. We totally understand! :)

And — if you didn’t already know — we are obsessed with coffee table books and always pick one up as a memory from our travels (always something fun to do!), so it was the perfect place to find this beauty.

We’re already talking about our next adventure in Morocco — but for now, come to our Studio Party Nov 16 and 17 and shop our custom finds — rugs, tassel blankets, poufs, pillows and more! Follow along in our stories at @houseofnomaddesign for daily design inspo and sneak peeks of party prep!

The Best of High Point Market 2018

High Point Market never dissapoints!

It’s the annual event that we can always count on being entirely inspiring, beautiful and overwhelming in the amount of talent and beauty packed into a few days. Designers are elbow to elbow into showrooms sharing ideas and oooing over modern light fixtures, textured fabrics, velvet endchairs and new rug releases, meeting the artists crafting behind the scenes — and it all ended yesterday. What’s incredible is that these full-time designers work all year to create these luxe spaces seen for a few days.

Since Berkely & Kelley were in Morocco sourcing items for our upcoming STUDIO PARTY (slated for Nov. 16-17!!!) our team was on the ground at High Point — and here’s an overview of the trends they saw and loved!

(Oh, and we must note — this year was memorable because it’s the first time — thanks, Hurricane Michael! — that the power has gone out in the High Point Market Showrooms in 40 years!)

Curves

A stand-out from Market is upholstery with gorgeous curves. These rounded pieces provide immediate interest — and a little bit of sexy danger to the designs. We saw this in headboards, sofas and the lines of chairs mainly — from end chairs to dining chairs.

Materials

There was a strong emphasis on fresh materials and finishes in the showrooms. What drew us the most were designs that majored on the modern and the acrylic. Our favorite acrylics were dining chairs, end tables that mixed acrylics and metal — and a giant acrylic chandelier. The chandelier, we were told, was a point of contraversy, especially among male clients — they hated that something so luxe was made of acrylic. There were also acrylic notes in decor accents, including a tic-tac-toe board that caught our eye.

Art Deco Vibes

There was a touch of glam, a bit of modernism with retro vibies, warm metalics and lots of dramatic curves to a majority of furniture pieces. We’re in love with the timeless, exaggerated drama of these pieces — abstract and gilded.

Natural Elements

Natural wood seems to have a bit of a resurgence in this year’s designs, providing quirky and leggy details to tables and end tables alike. The raw feel of these pieces added an organic tone to the showrooms. Rattan was in almost every showroom, a popular natural texture that’s here to stay.

Purple Hues

Lilac, lavendar and deep plum were constants in the showrooms, and most often in gorgeous velvet fabrics. While we still saw some deep emerald tones (which we are still crazy for), most greens seem to have given way to a popular purple craze. Are you a fan or no?