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!