You may have spotted over on my Instagram that I’ve just come back from a long weekend at the Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort in Morocco. Spa days, horse riding, quad biking and other activities aside (that’s for another blog post), I was absolutely floored by all the intricate tile patterns and formations.
Colourful painted tiles everywhere you walked, on walls, floors and up staircases, and it wasn’t just the patterns on the tiles – there were stunning mosaic style formations too, incorporating tiles of different shapes, like fish-scale tiles in little alcoves, and triangular, rectangular, square, star shaped and quatrefoil shaped tiles that come together in geometric patterns.
With all the beautifully rich colours, intricate designs and and stunning curved archways, it’s no wonder that Moroccan inspired interiors are popping up across the design world.
With this rise in popularity, Moroccan inspired interiors are being introduced across the home, from bedrooms and bathrooms to hallways and kitchens.
Needless to say, one of the easiest and most effective ways to introduce this theme is through tiles. I hope some of these pictures inspire you to incorporate some Moroccan inspired interiors into your own home!
The look of the Moroccan tile dates back to before the 8th century, when Islamic artists needed something to decorate their tiles with that didn’t depict living things, as consistent with religious teachings. The patterns that were then created were painted on terracotta tiles and these tiles eventually migrated to Spain where they became an iconographic piece.
The name for the pattern associated with the Moroccan theme is called Zellige. This pattern uses immense attention to detail that is both beautiful and exotic.
Colour and Pattern
The colour of tile you choose is an important part of creating a Moroccan look.
Moroccan tiles tend to take inspiration from the environment, using lots of ocean blues and dessert dusky reds and oranges.
But the most defining feature of the Moroccan tile is the shape or pattern.
Moroccan fish scale tiles are slowly swimming their way into people’s modern interiors today. Emily Henderson has incorporated them quite beautifully in this modern bathroom:
This shape is also sometimes referred to as ‘Ogee Drop’ tiles.
Quatrefoil or Ogee (see image above) are also popular shapes in Moroccan tile formations, as are six or eight legged stars mixed with other geometrical shapes.
When it comes to pattern, Zellige is by far the most commonly used.
If you’re looking to fully follow the Moroccan theme you would typically stick with a geometric tile that is repeated in a pattern. With modern interpretation however, you can be a lot more liberal with your tile choice and still stay on theme. Modern Moroccan tiles are incorporated with other contemporary pieces for a true combination of old and new.
It’s a lot easier to fully embrace to theme but you can definitely introduce the theme through more subtle pieces.
A feature tile piece using the traditional colours and patterns can be used simultaneously with more modern colour palettes and will still achieve the Moroccan theme. So long as you stick to the conventional shapes and patterns of the tiles you can get a more discreet Moroccan atmosphere in your home.
Think of the tiles as the foundations to a project. The foundation is incredibly important to the success of the rest of the project. With tiles being such a staple piece of the Moroccan theme and history they are the design piece you should focus your whole theme around and build it up around the tiles themselves. Sourcing Moroccan tiles nowadays is incredibly easy and when paired with other interior features such as detailed textiles and metal feature pieces, you’ll be sure to create a stunning look.