Inspired by Travel | How to Bring the Colors of Marrakesh Home

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Photo courtesy of Jon Chica / Shutterstock Inc

Bahia Palace. Majorelle Gardens. The Koutoubia Mosque. From kaleidoscopic zellige tilework to rainbow-hued spice souks, every turn in the ancient kingdom of Marrakesh is a veritable feast for the senses, blooming with color. Below, how to bring home the opulence and elegance of Marrakesh, inspired by the myriad colors to be found in the caravan city.

Pink and Coral

Photo courtesy of  OldskoolDesign / Shutterstock Inc

With dusty rose sunsets and thick walls of beaten clay, this desert city makes liberal use of pink and coral tones.

Gateway, Colorado | Kerry EndsleyLIV Sotheby’s International Realty

To capture the far-flung appeal of a traditional Moroccan riad, mimic the rosy tones in your home’s exterior. This Colorado ranch house takes on a particularly romantic appeal when washed in the glow of dusk.


Photo courtesy of Jon Chica / Shutterstock Inc

From spice souks teeming with saffron to the vast expanses of clay buildings, it’s no surprise that Marrakesh has long been referred to as the Red City.

Singapore | Veniz KWONGList Sotheby’s International Realty

A perfect choice for décor that makes an impact, red can be incorporated in small doses—or liberally applied for a bold burst of warmth. Consider punctuating a neutral space with a strong graphic print as in this Singaporean bungalow to add vigor and zest into any room.


Photo courtesy of Todamo / Shutterstock Inc

Whether infused in tea or adding vibrancy to a tagine, the color orange can be found virtually everywhere inside the thousand-year-old walls of the medina.

Riverside, Connecticut | Steve ArchinoSotheby’s International Realty – Greenwich Brokerage

Give your home a dose of Vitamin C by combining this citrusy hue with shades of green to create a palette bursting with cheery optimism, like this Connecticut foyer. On the warmer side of the spectrum, a persimmon velvet sofa in this Cote d’Azur living room adds texture and richness, reminiscent of the glow of a desert sunset 


Photo courtesy of KajzrPhotography / Shutterstock Inc

From the gilded tones of the Hassan II Mosque to the golden gates of the Palais Royale, the color yellow in Moroccan architecture often accompanies wealth and influence.

Harbour Island, Bahamas | James MalcolmDamianos Sotheby’s International Realty

To recreate the shining glow of the desert, opt for side paneling and exterior finishes in sunny shades to bring brightness to your home: for inspiration, see the cheerful façade of this Bahamian abode. Alternatively, select lighter washes of yellow, as chosen for this Texas home’s entryway, to add an authentic appeal in any space.


Photo courtesy of FuGazi images / Shutterstock Inc

Moroccan sunsets can range from fiery reds to burnished golden, and you’ll often see shades of plum, violet, and eggplant swirling around the painterly desert skies. When it comes to the color purple, lighter shades tend to have a soothing effect on the mind, while darker hues can often trigger creativity and introspection.

Cayman Islands | Patty NugentCayman Islands Sotheby’s International Realty

Keep things subdued with soft washes of lilac—perfect for a relaxing bedroom—or go bold like this Cayman Islands beach house with bright punches of magenta to add bohemian flair.

Moroccan Blue

Majorelle Garden in Marrakesh, photo courtesy of Ser Borakovskyy / Shutterstock Inc

As embodied by the electric blue villa gifted to the city by Yves Saint Laurent, the color blue is comparatively rare inside the walls of the medina—but is arguably the most striking shade to set against the desert tones of North Africa.

Highland Park, Texas | Alex Trusler & Karla TruslerBriggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

To capture the oasis-like enchantment of the Jardin Majorelle, consider using pops of blue to add contrast to a neutral space like this Texas living room.


Photo courtesy of Todamo / Shutterstock Inc

While lush gardens may not be the first thing to come to mind when pondering the tawny tones of the desert or heady aromas of the hazy souks, some of Marrakesh’s top destinations are beautifully manicured gardens where greenery thrives in full bloom. Symbolizing prosperity, fertility, and paradise, green is often used to cover the shrines of saints in Morocco in order to seek their blessings.

Ulster, Ireland | David AshmoreIreland Sotheby’s International Realty

With this tradition in mind, consider opting for a vibrant shade of emerald like this doorway in Ireland to invite good spirits in the home.

When making the pilgrimage to Marrakesh, you’re bound to come home with more than a few souvenirs. Let the complexity of colors and historic allure of this desert city inspire your next redecorating project.

On the hunt for more design inspiration? The colors of Hong Kong await you.

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