Giving our GIANT couch and recliner to my brother truly liberated our living room. My big plans for a “Morocco Room” in our new house were thwarted when the behemoth, distinctly non-Moroccan furniture couldn’t navigate the stairs to its intended home in the basement. I had to settle for a Moroccan area of the room. With the newly available space, though, my decorating wand was back at full power!
Here’s what we did:
Padded wall panels. I love the look and functionality of these things, but found that they are pretty darned expensive. Figuring that it would be pretty simple, I decided to construct them myself (with an assist from Rob). Armed with an online tutorial and a staple gun, I got down to business with project boards and furring strips from Lowes, along with fabric and batting from JoAnne. It really wasn’t terribly complicated, and I’m thrilled with how they turned out. A gold velvet bench we bought online, my favorite lamp and pretty palm completed the look.
The silk rug, the shelf and the table. We got this rug on our first trip to Morocco nearly two years ago, and I was excited to finally have a place for it. Being primarily cream colored, I knew it was not destined for the floor, but I wasn’t sure how to hang the (surprisingly heavy) rug on the wall. With some Googling and advice from our friend Jiffy, I decided I wanted to hang it from a dowel rod suspended from a shelf. Unfortunately, this very specific item was very difficult to find (despite my well-honed online shopping skills).
When my buddy Ryan Lowery from Distinctive Home Solutions came by a few weeks ago, so I asked if he had time to build a shelf for me. “Sure,” he said, then took out his phone to show me pictures of shelves and a table he had recently built using butcher block and pipe fittings. Well, we happened to need a coffee table. Since he was going to the trouble of making the shelf, I figured he might as well build a coffee table for me, too! My conversation with Ryan took place on a Friday afternoon. On Monday, the custom-made items were in my living room. Just…wow. Thanks, Ryan – you are the best!!
The art. We went to Morocco for the second time in January 2017 at the invitation of our Australian friend Bryan Dawe for his art gallery opening. We met Bryan the previous year when we were fellow guests at the sublime La Tangerina, bonding over many entertaining conversations in the hotel’s drawing room and continuing to stay in touch after we parted ways. We found that we had much in common despite living a half a world apart away. Bryan is a celebrity back home, so he was probably charmed by the fact that we had no idea who he was. For more than 25 years, the political satire comedy duo Clarke & Dawe appeared on a popular weekly TV segment. Sadly, Clarke died suddenly in April 2017, leaving a void in Bryan’s life which he is filling, in part, with a greater focus on his art. We bought two Tangier-themed pieces at the gallery opening, which now grace the walls of the Morocco Room.
One final touch to the room: strip lights under the steps (and along the wall between them) to lessen the chances that visitors will fall, not realize the room is sunken. I have to share the “Before and After” shots again, because it is so different (and it’s so ME)!