Exotic Moroccan style creates a rich look

Rich fabrics, vibrant colors, metal accents and a Rich fabrics, vibrant colors, metal accents and a sense of intimacy are typical of Moroccan decor. Photo Credit: Fotolia, 2013

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Rich textures, saturated colors and stylishly exotic accessories are all hallmarks of the Moroccan decorating style that has grabbed attention in recent years. Intricate patterns marry with ornate carvings, metal work and rugs to create a style as comfortable as it is visually appealing.

With an aesthetic that incorporates influences of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Moroccan style blends these design influences to create a singularly captivating look.

COMFORT AND VISUAL APPEAL Creating a decorative "oasis" is one of the goals of Moroccan style -- it's at once cozy for retreating into a quiet cocoon as much as it emphasizes social gatherings. Large pillows, daybeds, low sofas, padded footstools and small tables create a lush, comfortable ambience.

Rich hues of red, gold and cinnamon meld in a vibrant mix. Plants, like palms, abound, and lighting is cast into luminous dots by intricately filigreed lamps made of punched metal and multicolored glass panels, creating an exotic aura.

A TOUCH OF MOROCCO If the glamour and intrigue of this North African country beckons, you need to make only small changes to create a Moroccan feel in your home. Accents like carved wood trunks, candlesticks and tables scattered around the room add an authentic touch.

Look for tables with metal tray tops. Drape sofas or chairs with jewel-toned, highly patterned textiles, and add colorful rugs. Dress windows and entryways with thick, full drapes pulled back with heavy cords.

For a thoroughly Moroccan design, incorporate highly patterned tiles on the floor, wall, or on small tables or trays. Don't worry if patterns appear to clash. This is part of Moroccan appeal -- the mixing and blending of a variety of patterns and styles.

The same is true of throw pillows -- the more the better. Look for pillows with bright colors and patterns like Ikat, and ones that have compelling details such as metallic threads, cording and tassels. Rugs can be layered on the floor or used as wall hangings.

FINISHING TOUCHES To create a thoroughly Moroccan room, cut out plywood to resemble the highly styled curved door openings you might see in Tangier. Paint the forms with vibrant colors and patterns. These also can be used as headboards or over fireplaces.

Be sure to use drapes and textiles generously. Add a canopy over your sofa or daybed, or create a fanciful headboard. Even inexpensive touches like mosquito netting over a reading chair in the corner of a room add intrigue. Intimate spaces filled with cozy furniture and decorations are all keys to the allure that's such a part of Moroccan style. Add a fabric canopy at the ceiling and a large Moroccan-style ceiling pendant, and your look is complete.

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