We may still be restricted with going on holiday abroad at the moment but that doesn’t mean we can’t bring a little bit of exotic Marrakech into our own back yards.
I’ve put together a simple to follow edit of all of the elements that you will need to create a bohemian, Moroccan garden scheme. Everything from; the layering of patterned textiles and vibrant colours, to statement furniture, accessories, and even the tropical plants that will compliment it.
Carefree, bohemian style has been a huge trend in the interiors world for some time now and it’s been gaining momentum in our gardens and outdoor spaces too. The desire for our gardens to become extensions of our homes has driven up the sales of rattan furniture, outdoor textiles, and bold printed tiles, as we continue to covet those materials that will create a warm and inviting space that we can work from, relax and entertain in. We’re getting much braver in our choices too and brands are starting to come around to this – introducing more bold prints and bright colours to their ranges of exterior floor tiles, paint ranges and outdoor accessories.
A bohemian and eclectic scheme may look easy, and like anything goes, but if you don’t try and keep some sort of order in the colour tones, shapes and overall style, then it can look a little bit hectic. I have been putting together a series of garden edits that will help you create a cohesive garden scheme without going off track and ending up in a world of overwhelm.
Following on from last weeks industrial garden, the next edit in the series will be taking you on a journey through the souks of Marrakech to create your own Moroccan oasis. And I don’t know about you, but after over a year without leaving the UK I can not wait for a little bit of escapism.
The Moroccan Garden Edit
Moroccan style might be very on trend right now, but the problem with trends is that they run the risk of becoming dated very quickly. I want to help you create a look that has all of the timeless elements of Moroccan style without it looking too themey, so that you can continue to enjoy your garden for may years to come. After all, good quality garden furnishings and materials are not cheep so you need to ensure that they will stand the test of time.
I’ve incorporated traditional Moroccan shapes, materials and colours and given them a contemporary twist to create my own take on a Moroccan courtyard. Unlike the previous Scandi Garden Edit that I did a couple of posts ago, more is most definitely more with this look; mixed metallics, bold patterns and contrasting colours are all welcomed with open arms but I’ve kept to the magic rule of three to avoid it looking chaotic. Try and use no more than three materials, three colours and three furniture styles to keep your Moroccan garden looking considered and not like a miss matched jumble sale.
Transport yourself to the vibrant souks of Marrakech and picture those exotic spice markets with their terracotta bowls laden with cinnamon, turmeric, saffron and nutmeg and you have found the very foundations of a typical Moroccan colour palette. Most Moroccan schemes are grounded in terracotta derived from the natural clay of the country, ranging from shades of soft pink to deep fiery reds creating a warm and inviting colour palette, punctuated by cobalt blues, bright reds and emerald greens that are so synonymous with those iconic Moroccan tiles.
“Injecting bight, uplifting hues into the earthy heart of the colour scheme is the key to a successful Moroccan garden design – get that bit right and the rest will fall into place.“
Colours of Fired Earth, Cobalt Blue, Plaster Pink and Peacock Green are perfect examples of classic Moroccan hues. Fenwick and Tilbrook have such a wonderful range of colours – I have selected four that would work perfectly in the Moroccan Garden Edit that I’ve created.
Clay paints and lime wash finishes create a soft and weathered patina that is so typical of Moroccan style. You could add texture to paint by adding plaster to thicken it or even water the paint down and paint it on with a wide brush in organic strokes to give the appearance of a more weathered and textured finish.
We can’t talk about Maroccan inspired design without starting with the tiles – ceramic and mosaic tiles play such a huge part in most Moroccan interior and exterior schemes.
Bejmat, encaustic and terracotta tiles add colour, pattern and texture to the very core of your Moroccan garden scheme, but they can be porous and in-practical for our rainy, English climate. Lots of brands are doing hardwearing, easy to clean porcelain versions now, which make this look so much more practical to maintain.
I love how these very traditional clay baked Rhombus Terracotta tiles have been given a contemporary twist with a geometric shape and layout. Both the Bejmat and terracotta tiles would require sealing to protect them from the elements and every day staining.
I’ve included tiles from the Porcelain Superstore in both of my previous garden edits because I am so impressed by the wide range of porcelain tiles that they have on offer. Most of their tiles are able to be used internally and externally in your home, opening up so much more possibility for creating that flow from the inside out.
The imperfect is celebrated in Moroccan design with micro cement, exposed plaster and concrete often making an appearance. As this can be costly to replicate, a similar look can be achieved with concrete paints and lime washes to add a more natural, textured finish to a rendered wall.
The Furniture Edit
For the furniture you are looking to collect pieces that appear miss-matched and as though they’ve been thrown together, but they actually compliment each other perfectly as they have something that ties them all together – whether that’s in the colours or the material that you use. I’ve selected a few pieces that, depending on the size of your outdoor space, should all work together, and be interchangeable, as they look equally as good inside the home as outside.
The sofa – I love the vibrant colour of this sofa and I was actually quite surprised by the lack of colour available in outdoor furniture while researching for this blog post. The sofa featured in this edit is in the ‘Green Fir’ colour way, but it also comes in ‘Frappé’ which would look equally as good in a Moroccan garden scheme. The seat cushions are removable so they are practical and easy to clean. This sofa is available for pre order and delivery from 17th June 2021.
Armchair – This Rattan Peacock armchair is the perfect statement chair for a Moroccan garden. It’s made entirely out of rattan, making it extremely lightweight and easy to move around for rearrangement. It has a base cushion for extra comfort which is also removable for easy washing and at the time of writing this delivery is available within 7 days.
It is a bit on the pricey side though so I have also included this more affordable alternative from BTFY in case it’s a bit out of your budget.
Side table – Be still my beating heart. I am willing and ready to rip out our entire garden just so that I can incorporate this terrazzo Zuiver Victoria Side Table in Green. It would look equally as stunning inside the home too so maybe I can squeeze it into the house somewhere instead. It’s such a neat little size and incorporates so many of the colours within the scheme.
Dining chairs and table – This Lyra Garden 4 seater Round Dining Table in Grey and Blue might look small and compact, but it actually comfortably seats four people, and comes with matching chairs. There’s a hole for a parasol if you need a little bit of shade and the glass top makes it super practical and easy to clean – they will need to be covered and protected from the elements though whilst not in use.
The parasol – Speaking of parasols…I’ve found the perfect fit for this Moroccan garden edit. With it’s beaded and gold trim, it adds a bit of extra exotic charm to the scheme and it’s sea green fabric compliments the powder coated table and chair legs like they were always meant to be together.
The coffee table – Sticking with the rattan theme, I’ve chosen this Madalina Resin & Glass Oval Coffee Table from La Redoute. The smoked glass tabletop is not only perfect for serving drinks and food but it will reflect the trees and plants in the garden just like the reflection pools so often seen in Moroccan courtyards, giving you that calming feeling of being surrounded by nature.
The accessories edit
Now that we have the heart of our Moroccan garden scheme in place we can build on the next layer of our design – the accessories. In a lot of ways this edit is the complete opposite of the fuss free Industrial garden that I put together last week as accessories are very much celebrated in Moroccan design. With layered textiles, lanterns and floor cushions a plenty, this look is all about creating a relaxed and comfortable environment and it doesn’t need to be matchy, matchy or polished either, as vintage and imperfect pieces are very much a part of the overall aesthetic.
The planters – At 75cm heigh this Catarina oversized terracotta pot is an absolutely perfect accessory for a Moroccan styled garden or terrace. I love it’s worn authentic appearance – just add a tall tropical plant to create that extra exotic drama.
I love these vintage looking Braxton Bell Fiberglass Cachepots from Wayfair, they come in various different sizes and have a beautifully worn, rusty patina in that stunning aqua green colour that you see so much of around the souks of Marrakech.
The plants – of course tropical is the order of the day in this Moroccan garden edit and that oversized terracotta planter is crying out for something tall and leafy, so the first plant I’ve chosen is this potted Strelitzia nicolai, otherwise known as Bird of Paradise. Known for their lush, tropical foliage, they make stunning architectural plants, due to their tall erect stems and wide, banana-like, paddle shaped leaves.
This plant prefers warm temperatures from 21-28°C but can cope with as low as 13°C so you may want to bring it inside in the winter months but lets face it, it will look equally fabulous in the home too.
I’ve picked a selection of hardy plants that will do well in our chiller UK climate.
Punctuate leafy foliage and grasses with tropical blooms such as this ginger lily to give your Moroccan planting scheme a burst of vibrant colour in the summer.
The Soft furnishings
Well, this could have an edit of it’s own in a Moroccan style garden. We want to add an abundance of pattern, colour and texture to the scheme and what better way of doing it than with outdoor textiles.
Floor cushions – I love the relaxed seating that they have in the riads of Morocco. There’s nothing more cozy after finishing a day of walking around the outdoor markets than sitting in a cafe on the piled up floor cushions and enjoying a mint tea while you inspect your finds of the day.
I’ve chosen this outdoor Andalucia Paloma Floor Cushion from Weaver Green for this edit as it incorporate the blues, aqua greens and corals from the design perfectly. It’s such a good idea to aim to stick to a colour pallet of three main colours to avoid your scheme looking too busy and stressful – after all we want to relax and enjoy our outdoor spaces and sticking to that rule of three will really help to create a cohesive scheme.
If you fancy a bit more support then these Hand-Woven Round Tatami Straw Cushions are brilliant and take up so much less space than traditional garden furniture. They’re so good for storing away and pulling out when you have extra guests too.
Weaver Green have a huge range of outdoor cushions and blankets that are all made from recycled bottles. They even have their own Moroccan section on their website so there’s lots to choose from that will suit this scheme.
The rug – This indoor and outdoor rug from Benuta comes in a number of different colours. I used the Morty Green colour way in this edit but the Morty Blue or Red would work just as well, depending on how punchy you want to be with the colour. I love the contrast of greens with corals so this one is my favourite.
The fire pit – No Moroccan edit would be complete without a terracotta chiminea and let me tell you, they are in short supply at the moment. I did find this Colima Mexican Chimenea from Wayfair which is in stock though, and not only in one colour either, they have a selection of them in this worn, rustic finish which is so fitting for a Moroccan style.
The lanterns – We all knew this one was coming. No self respecting Moroccan garden would be complete without at least a couple of lanterns to add atmosphere on those balmy evenings. Starting with some jewel green coloured glass so often sold in the souks of Marrakech – this Emerald Glass Blown Lantern from Trouva fits the bill perfectly.
And finally adding in a bit more bamboo to the scheme with this stunning Bamboo Lantern from Baker and Stonehouse, which I can confirm is excellent quality as I own one myself in black. It has weathered so well over the last couple of years too after being left out all summer long. It looks equally as good styled in the house over the winter for cosy nights in and the internal glass that houses the candle can also be used to put real or dried flowers in and the bamboo looks amazing when styled with some pampas grass or winter foliage.
So there you have it, the last of my three garden edits for the summer. I hope you found them useful. They were certainly a lot of fun to put together.