HON's Best of Morocco & Paris

Just a few days ago we got our passports freshly stamped, making it home after two weeks in Morocco and Paris! We brought back with us some of our best sourcing memories to date and what we loved about this trip to Morocco (our second sourcing go-around in Marrakech!) is that we saw familiar faces. Habib, the Moroccan artisan who creates HON’s round pillow collection, was someone we had long anticipated seeing again, to talk business, design new products and enjoy a rooftop meal together. While we went last year without a single acquaintance, this year reconnecting with friends and making more connections felt so right. It’s like Marrakech is starting to feel like a little part of the world HON belongs in.

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Here’s our best design and travel memories that we want to share before tucking them away for next time!

1. Day at the Coast

One of the first days in Marrakech, we took a day trip to the Moroccan coast to meet with a new vendor. Not only were the coastal views stunning, but we got to design new pieces for our shop (which opens Nov. 9!), which is always a favorite project for HON. Looking through the vendor’s vintage rugs, we were educated in the rug-making process. Little did we know that the faded rug trend that's really in right now means that there are literal fields of rugs! Artisans take vintage rugs and lay them in the dessert and it’s their full-time job to rotate the rugs everyday creating the desired outcome.

2. HON Dreams of a Riad

When booking details for Marrakech, we came across the most charming, locally owned riad run by Alice and Gaby, who say they hope whoever books a stay leaves as a friend. And it’s so true. Everything about the riad was beautiful — the hospitality, the stunning design and impeccable breakfasts delivered to our rooftop. It’s a hidden gem that’s a simple left, then right off the main medina (last year we were often lost, wandering the narrow streets trying to find our hotel). 

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This dreamy spot had us dreaming of starting our own riad in Morocco! It’s made it’s way to the top of our dream list and we cannot wait to tackle a design and a space we can share, extending the same welcome we felt with Alice and Gaby.

3. Moroccan Rooftops

Moroccan food hasn’t always been a highlight (minus fare and cocktails at El Fenn) but this trip we found Terrasse des épices in Marrakech. The menu features a modern take on Moroccan foods with a Mediterranean twist, and it’s perfect. And the location is right across the street from Habib’s shop, so we felt at home. We ate on the rooftop, allowing us to get some air, and it the even had a great DJ. Added bonus? They served wine, which is rare in Morocco.

4. Food with a View

Paris was so fun — and everything about the city is beautiful — and decadent. Starting with another rooftop highlight, we had rooftop cocktails at our hotel (what a view!). 

Some of our favorite Paris memories were the foodie spots we found in the Montmartre neighborhood we stayed in. Just around the corner, we discovered Le Petite Moulin, a locally-owned charcuterie spot with seating for just a few. Featuring natural wines and a great selection of fresh, locally made cheese, we got to watch the chef craft each board. It was just perfect.

5. Rattan Everything at MO

It was a dream come true to go to Maison & Object. Everything we saw was rattan and cane, baskets and texture, Africa and basket walls — everything we love! Rattan is truly timeless, something that can fit in with most styles well and adds texture and we loved seeing it stay as such a trend. A favorite vendor was Rock the Kabah, who specializes in textured light fixtures with the best scale. We were hooked!

A favorite Maison experience was seeing our Turkish rug vendor — a familiar face halfway across the world! We purchased gorgeous silk pillows for the shop and he talked us into a sourcing trip to Turkey next year! We can't wait!

6. The Showroom of our Dreams

Going to the showroom and shop for India Mahdavi was hands-down a life changing experience. She's a designer with so much talent that we’ve adored from afar and seeing her style in person was dreamy. Truly, she does nothing wrong and creates playful, colorful pieces with unique silhouettes that are so inspiring. She doesn’t take it all too seriously, and that’s what we love. 

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For more photos of our Morocco and Paris travels, check out our instagram and the highlight reel of our travels! And Queen City locals, mark November 9 as our shop grand opening —  come see our finds in person! We just received more than 100 Moroccan rugs yesterday and are so excited to share our sourcing trip goods.

Stay tuned for our full Guide to Paris that we’re releasing soon, adding it to our Travel Guide collection

It's Bali Time! Shop HON's Suitcase

BALI — here we come! After dreaming and months of planning, we’re putting the final items in their suitcases and headed to Bali on Saturday! First, we’re jet setting for the Bali markets sourcing gorgeous handmade rattan everything — then headed for a little R&R! While it’s fresh on our minds — here’s our best travel tips, do’s and don’t’s of international travel!

1. Before You Leave

  • Grab your passport and check the expiration date. If needed, apply for a renewal - ASAP!

  • A passport holder is a fun way to keep track of your important documents!

  • Once your flight is booked, check your airline and download their app. Sign up for flight status notifications. Create the wallet option on your smart phone so you’re not juggling passports and tickets and boarding passes.

  • Research the converter you will need! Before you hit the airport, make sure your phone is charged so you aren’t in line worried about showing your boarding pass before your phone dies.

  • Apply for TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry! We think the $85 membership fee for five years is WELL worth it — it’s a lifesaver, especially for the trip home! Keep in mind you have to apply in plenty of time prior to leaving on your trip but it saves (ALOT!) of time in customs and security lines both going and coming.

  • Download 3-4 movies, a few podcasts and a book on your Kindle! Last trip, I stood in the airport trying to get my movie to download and it never did. Make sure you go board ready with some fun media to look forward to!

  • Search “sleep” on Spotify and download a sleep playlist. It’s so worth it!

2. Pack in These Bags

  • And what we mean by “bags” is BAG! We never check a bag — unless it’s an EMPTY duffel to bring back full of goodies for our shop! This is a favorite suitcase!

  • Pack light! Just fill your carry on what you love! This not only cuts down on travel prep but strangely cuts down on stress during the trip. Your favorites are always enough. Five days prior to leaving, lay everything out that you might bring. Set the items in your guest room bed, perhaps, so that you can walk in and out a few times a day and start removing things you’re not thrilled about bringing.

  • This Calpak laptop bag is tried and true and we’ve found nothing safer or easier to carry for our computers! It’s a backpack and stylish, too.

3. Tuck these in your carry on

  • Nothing is worse then chapped lips on a plane! We never leave the house without this!

  • Travel-size dry shampoo is your best friend while en-route and all trip long.

  • This (travel size) facial spray is magic for when you start to feel like you need a mid-flight refresh.

  • These no-leak containers are perfect for toiletries.

  • We are both are suckers for a travel uniform, meaning our favorite joggers, a T-shirt, lightweight and comfy sneakers (perfect for when we have to sprint to our gate!) — and most of all, soft socks. Sounds ridiculous but it makes the hours and hours on a flight that much more comfortable.

  • Tiger Balm is magic — it’s a tiny container, perfect for your carry on and takes away headaches and neck/muscle tension quickly.

  • We love having these Colgate Whisps on hand to freshen breath in between flights.

  • Neck pillow — this one is perfect! It inflates/deflates so doesn’t take up too much space, and truly we can’t sleep without it!

  • Benadryl — take it 20 minutes prior to being ready to go to sleep and turn on your sleep playlist!

  • Investing in these noise-canceling headphones is a no-brainer. They dramatically changed our experience on flights! They’re incredible.

  • Eye Masks really help get your zzz’s in on a flight!

4. Airport Tips

  • When you have long layovers, find the closest lounge to pay to get into and use their shower! Definitely worth the fee!

  • Buy some healthy snacks ahead of time or in the airport shop — they always have a nice selection and will help you feel better during your flight.

  • Buy a large bottle of water prior to boarding your flight — and try to get some steps in. We walk our terminal at least twice, just trying to prep for a long time staying seated.

  • We only share this with a laugh — we both get cankles easily so always grab the largest container of water we can in the airport and sip it constantly while on the plane.

Follow our Bali adventures on instagram at @houseofnomaddesign! Watch for posts with photos as well as photos on the instagram stories. Cheers to summer travels!