It’s been a while since I’ve done a “WAY TO GO BOHO” feature and, since I’m obsessed with this Marrakesh bedroom, I thought I’d show you how to replicate its look in your home.
I first laid eyes on this room when I wrote about artist Claudio Bravo’s former Moroccan home, privately owned since his death but maintained largely as he left it. A couple weeks ago I posted specifically on this guest bedroom, stating my intention to make it my own, and future posts will chart my progress with that goal.
But first, let’s look around again and analyze what makes this room effective.
Not your ordinary match-up
At first glance, you may feel a bit puzzled about what exactly does make this bedroom work, though it’s blatantly clear it DOES work, and HOW.
There’s no obvious matchy-matching going on here. The only color carried throughout is the straw color of the area rug, which shows up in the coverlet and a bit in the furniture. The rose fabric used in the pillow shams doesn’t show up anywhere else.
And a case could, in fact, be made that the shams clash with the orange vase on the windowsill, though that may be a trick of light.
The green used on the lattice work, mirror and ceiling has a verdigris tint–an-almost-but-not-quite match to the yellow-overtoned olive green on the walls.
It’s a little bit like those notes jazz performers hit, particularly at the end of a piece–in a different key, minor in contrast, but not what you’d call off-key. It works for Ella, Sammy, Chet Baker and Diana Krall.
And it works here., but why ?
4 primary reasons, in my mind…
- REPETITION OF PATTERN: Squared diamonds appear everywhere–in the inlays of the bedside tables, desk and chair, as well as the woven rug, the patterned shams, the patterned ceiling, and the lattice of the window shutters, which splay sunlight in even more diamond patterns across the floor. At night, the overhead lantern when lit will fill in for the sunlight and bounce patterned diamonds throughout the room.
- THOUGHTFUL SYMMETRY: The lattice doors, matching bedside tables, candleholders and shams, with the rug and bed centered in the room, create a serene balance. The chest on the left has about the same weight as the latticed vent on the right. The mirror on the left carries about the same weight as the windows on the right, and, if we were standing facing, it reflects its view as if it, too, were a window.
- FOCUSED ASSYMETRY: Notice how the varying shapes of the desk accessories draw your eye into the room and to the head of the bed, while the overhead pendant lantern does the same, drawing your eye down to the same spot.
- UNIFYING NEUTRALS: The obvious neutral is the repetition of natural shades along the spectrum from ivory to dark brown in the Roman shade, furniture, rug, coverlet and chair seat cover. But the greens used on the walls, lattice work and mirror also function as neutrals. And the subtle differences in shade add to the serenity and unity because this is how color appears in nature–varying but side-by-side, as well as changing with the light.
So here’s my take-it-to-your-home shot…
Here’s a side-by-side comparison…
This combination of furniture and accessories mimics the look well enough (though I’d spray-paint the pendant gold). Square diamonds are present in the shams, mirror, rug and bone-inlay pieces. The latter will eat up the biggest part of any budget, but most of the other items I’ve sourced are reasonably priced.
I included new brass candleholders in the vignette, and here are new vases similar to the inspiration photo that would work. But these items, along with other accessories not included in the composite may be best sourced through thrifting or shopping vintage.
Thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army are my go-to spots to find vintage brass candleholders of all shapes and sizes for a song. Try different locations in your city, and if at first you don’t succeed, go back in a week or two. The stock is always changing.
And here’s an extra tip: Many of these stores offer special discounts on different days. Sometimes it’s a percentage off for certain color pricetags. At stores in my area, it’s 30 percent off everything on Wednesdays for seniors age 55 and above, so that’s ALWAYS when I visit!
Vintage vases would more likely turn up at a vintage/antiques store OR on online websites like Etsy or ebay. I, in fact, have some lovely vintage vases (a few of which are pictured above) that would work in this room in my Etsy store, BoHo Home By Susan.
Ditto for the items on the desk. I found the milliner’s hat block on an online antique site and the other items all on Etsy. How little or how much you pay depends only on your budget, your perseverance, and a bit of luck!
Fresh flowers and fruit, of course, are available in your local grocery store or, if you’re lucky, in your own garden, in season.
In which case, I say, Way to go, BoHo!
If you want more…
Tour the Claudio Bravo home that inspired this post, then check out all my “Way to Go BoHo” features: