Modern Moroccan Styles

Coloured tadelakt

Traditionally, this silky plaster finish with its waterresistant qualities was reserved for bathhouses, but interior designers have now begun applying it for all sorts of rooms. The range of colours has also broadened; now itís common to see tadelakt in pink, green or even black.

Bill Willis

Willis is a Tennessee-born designer, first accompanied Paul Getty Jr. to Marrakech in 1968. He worked on the Getty house, then designed one for the Rothschilds and another for Yves Saint-Laurent . He continues to reside in the medina and has been enormously influential in the reinterpretation of traditional Moroccan crafts and styles for the modern age.

Mud-hut chic

Mud-hut chic at Hotel CaravanseraiThe term was coined by style magazines and refers to a new generation of highly designed buildings that advance the art of constructing in pisť . They enhance traditional forms by adding new, vibrant colours and cool, modern decorative touches.


One of the essentials of any modern Moroccan riad is an ostentatious lantern. Known in Arabic as fanous , these large lanterns are fashioned from beaten metal laced with cut-out patterns, and they have historically been connected with the celebrations for Ramadan . One whole area of the souks has been given over to their manufacture.

Modern zellij

The traditional art of laying zellij has evolved in new and exciting ways in the last two decades. Contemporary designers use new colours and striking colour combinations. Earlier limited to wainscoting, zelije is now applied to a greater variety of surfaces.

Charles Boccara

Born in Tunisia, educated in Morocco and professionally trained in France, Boccara is an influential Marrakech architect. He was one of the first to take traditional Moroccan elementsand reinterpret them to suit the modern age. He has often been credited with repopularising tadelakt and domes.

Beaten copper

Wafer-thin coverings of beaten metal, earlier adorning grand wooden doors, are now used to fashion sheets of copper into hand basins.

Stucco madness

With updated traditional techniques, recent interiors have made creative use of carved plaster, like the floor-to-ceiling stucco of the dining room at Riad Farnatchi , which resembles flock wallpaper.


Moroccan craftsmen are adept at transforming ordinary sheets into geometric-patterned screens and furniture panels, which are sometimes backlit to stunning effect. Although not indigenous to the country, they also assemble small, lathe-turned pieces of wood to form the screens known as mashrabiya.


While Marrakech is a uniform dusky pink, her interiors are painted in bold colours. Favourites are fruity orange, rose pink, lemon yellow, mustard and cobalt sky blue.

Tiznit.org ©2010 www.tiznit.org Copyright Marrakech - Morocco - Marrakesh - Email