In previous posts, I shared my obsession with this Marrakesh bedroom, as well as how to recreate the look in your own home with furniture and accessories sourced online. This post will detail how I plan to get this look in my own master bedroom, using my existing furniture but reaccessorizing.
As mentioned in those earlier posts, the inspiration room is in the late artist Claudio Bravo’s former Moroccan home, now privately owned but maintained largely as he left it.
Since then, I’ve been searching online and adding possibilities to a private Pinterest board, which I then used (am using) to narrow my choices and make purchases. This post charts my progress in sourcing items and discusses item pros and cons.
Let me state that I think the key to this look is getting the wall color right. That’s one I’m still working on, and I’ll discuss it more later in the post.
My starting point…
Most of us, most of the time, can’t change out everything in a room–particularly big-ticket items like furniture–every time we want a new look. I know I won’t be buying new furniture anytime soon, that’s for sure; nor do I need new furniture. I’m lucky I still like what I have, and it’s in reasonably good condition.
But I will make subtle changes to some of these room basics to support the new look. And hopefully, seeing what I do will give you ideas for your own home. So here’s where (and with what) I’m starting:
BEDSIDE DRESSING TABLE (left photo)…
- Dressing table/desk itself will remain unchanged
- Chairseat will be recovered to match bed pillow shams
- Mirror will be antiqued with an aged verdigris finish.
- Lamp will be changed out.
- Tabletop accessories will change
BED & NIGHTSTAND (center middle photo)…
- Same bed, but new bedding. I may also reupholster the headboard insert. We’ll paint first and reevaluate. Miss Maisie-Cat has left her kitty-claw marks on the right side. It’s not all that noticeable since the existing fabric is a slub weave, but nevertheless… I’m just not entirely sure what I want to replace it with color/patternwise (CRYPTON fabric, that’s the only certainty).
- Nightstand will get a new lamp, probably to match whatever I choose for the dressing table, and a new topper.
- I may switch out the drawer knobs on both bed and nightstand to match the armoire. I already have enough of these knobs, and they will add some diamond pattern, like in the inspiration room.
ARMOIRE (right photo)…No change except different accessories on top, pulled from items I already own.
VINTAGE OCCASIONAL CHAIRS & TABLE (center bottom photo)…
- Table will likely get a new lamp and some reaccessorizing.
- Chairs MAY get reupholstered. They are due, but like the headboard, I want to reevaluate after painting. I’ll go with a solid color rather than a pattern, but I’m not sure what color or texture yet. Whatever I might choose, like the headboard, it will also have to be Crypton fabric to stand up to Miss Maisie.
- Chair throw pillows will remain the same. These needlepoint pillows were a gift I gave my mom, which she kept tucked away in assisted living so she could give them back to me. They incorporate geometric patterns in the inspiration room, and are backed in brown and green velvet, which works with the color scheme.
CEILING FAN (center top photo)…No way, no matter what any decorator says, am I giving up the comfort of a ceiling fan. And the one I have, though retro-modern looking, is too new to replace. I will, however, explore the possibility of retrofitting it somehow or hanging something from it to establish a Moroccan mood.
CARPETING (background photo)...Aside from a getting a good cleaning, Mohawk Bohemian Beauty in Mobe Pearl wall-to-wall carpet wil remain. The inspiration room shows a tile floor with a grass woven area rug. No area rugs overlaying the carpet for Susan, however; they’re a trip-hazard, and I’m clumsy as hell. I’ll look for other ways to bring in grassy texture.
Now, on to those fun details of what will be brand-spanking new!
The closest match I found to the inspiration photo was this Tufted Dot Duvet Cover from Urban Outfitters, which I used to source WAY TO GO BOHO #8. It comes in seven colors, and this one is called chartreuse. It looks more like cafe au lait or faded mustard to me. The reviews confirm the photo is way off, as is the name, and some reviewers described it more like a poo brown.
Of course, that turned me off. I could have gone to the store and looked at it myself, but Urban Outfitters is on the other side of town from where I live. I’m also not keen on duvet covers because I can’t use down inserts (feather allergy), polyester inserts don’t breathe, and my existing coverlet inserted in a duvet simply won’t stay in place to please me.
All that said, this duvet cover maintains the look of the inspiration photo the best and would be a good choice for those who use down inserts AND want to gamble on the color (mail order) or make a trek to the brick-and-mortar store to be sure. As for me, I kept looking and found…
…this Ink & Ivy Kandula Quilt Bedding Set on Amazon.
I love the elephant and floral pattern quilted into the coverlet! So camels would be closer to a Moroccan vibe, but there are elephants on the same continent, right?
It’s also reversible, which gives me additional options going forward. As you can see, it also comes with matching shams. This is the bedding I purchased. I did not intend to use the shams, but I found a use for them, which you’ll discover if you keep reading.
Here are the two options alongside the inspiration. I think my choice (left) will work!
Pretty in pink (okay, rose) pillows
I found three ready-made shams that might work color- and pattern-wise…
However, each has some issues:
- The Opalhouse sham looked rose but the description said bronze; besides, it was temporarily out of stock.
- The Threshold sham was described as velvet (and sported the diamond patterns in the inspiration!), but reviewers said the fabric was more like flannel. I chose this one for my WAY TO GO BOHO #8 sourcing, but it wasn’t quite what I wanted for MY room.
- Finally, I liked the pattern in the Ashton sham and the chenille texture, but I thought the color was too dark and saturated.
The inspiration shams look like silk brocade to me, and that’s what I really want. So I went hunting on ebay for fabric to make my own shams and found something similar to the inspiration room…
The lot was three yards for $58; I offered $50, and the seller accepted. The color was described as “terracotta rose,” and that’s accurate; there is a very slight orangish cast to it.
The jacquard sunflower is a taupish gold and blends beautifully with the Kandula quilt. It’s missing the diagonal elements of the inspiration photo, but I may be able to remedy that (keep reading).
While researching green wall color, I came across this photo in a book I got for Christmas–Love Color: Choosing Colors to Live With by Anna Starmer. Although the shades of green and style are different from my inspiration room, that headboard reached out and wrapped itself around my heart–albeit the idea it gave me was for my SHAMS.
My intention is to embellish the sunflower and leaf design on the fabric I bought with crewel-work that incorporates rosier hues, greens to pulls in the walls, and the other colors in the variegated strands of floss shown here. I’ve used this technique to embellish pattern in a number of the pillow covers in my Etsy store (seen here, here and here). I may also add some tone-on-tone diamond shapes in the solid areas.
Because of the large patten in this fabric, centering a sunflower in each one meant I had to cut each of my king-size shams out of the center of the yardage. I also needed a 25-by-25-inch piece with a flower head in the center to recover my vanity chair. That left plenty of fabric to make self-cording for the pillow edges but no large enough pieces going the right direction to back the shams.
I usually make my pillow covers with envelope-style backs, which I probably had enough fabric for, but I wanted these covers to have more structure. That meant a larger, one-piece back with a long zipper closure.
I thought about buying a coordinating fabric–perhaps a velvet–for the back, but opted instead to take apart the shams that came with the quilt and use them as the backing. I carefully removed first the bias-cut edging (which I can reuse as cording cover on some future pillow), then I separated the quilted front from the two-piece muslin back.
Right now, my new pillow covers are cut out but not sewn. I’ll feature them in a future post once they’re finished–embroidery and all. Meanwhile I have a winter-evening-while-watching-TV project to complete while softening up hubs to paint the room (perhaps a more trying challenge).
Another stitch in time
I can’t use a desk and chair at the foot of my bed because it’s a platform bed with built-in drawers I access daily.
But, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I plan to fold an heirloom quilt across the foot of the bed. Its flower garden pattern pieced all in hexagons will emulate the geometry of the bone inlay in the inspiration desk and chair.
My mother pieced this quilt when she was 14, and I’ve had it folded and in a zippered plastic bag for decades, stored in my linen closet. I want to use it, look at it every day, and think of her.
The quilt will blend with the other textiles and particularly well with the green walls.
Take note of the lighting in this room. It receives natural light from two windows (one is hidden in this photo, but we can see the pattern of light coming through) dressed with simple ivory-colored Roman shades and painted lattice shutters.
I haven’t room to install vintage latticed shutters, real or faux, unfortunately. My plan is to keep the existing Duette accordion shade (diamond patterned, after all, and fully functional for privacy), but I do plan to change the window treatment covering it.
I decided on something in macrame to emulate the patterns in the lattice shutters and narrowed my choices to the Harlow Macrame Valance and the Meadowsweet Macrame Panel, both from Urban Outfitters, for the same reason. If I went with the panel, my plan was to knot it about halfway down.
Ultimately, I chose the valance. It will let in the most light with the shade up and mimics the lattice best.
I was concerned the knotted panel might look a little too hippy-dippy, if you know what I mean, and take attention away from the bedding. AND the valance was on sale for $35 (regular price $50), compared to $90 for the panel, which certainly helped seal the deal. It was delivered the other day, I tried it out this morning for the few hours the Indiana sun peeked out, and it looked STUNNING. The existing curtain rod works well with it, too.
Tripped up on the light fantastic
Here’s where I get a little stuck. Aside from the windows, all the visible lighting in the inspiration room are brass candleholders on each bedside table…
…and a punched-metal, Moroccan lantern overhead.
It looks gorgeous, but it’s not practical by a longshot. I’m hoping to change out all my existing table lamps–the two flanking the bed for actual electric lamps that mimic the look of brass candleholders–then incorporate actual brass candleholders in the accessories.
Sourcing lamps is posing a problem, however.
I like Safavieh’s Lani Table Lamps, two for $112 at Target. But I don’t think their maximum wattage will give me the light I need. And I’m not sure I like the shades as is. I’m concerned they’ll stick out too much–both in size and in appearance.
So I’m considering some other options…
…some sort of wall-mount light, preferably with a metal shade and extending swing arm, or a bulb with exposed cord and rope or wicker shade. I also like the idea of a draped cord with a simple ring (or diamond?) around it. I already have two such cords I could use so would just need to decide how to trick them out.
The hanging lantern is a bit more of a problem to solve.
I’ve thought I could, perhaps, hang something from my ceiling fan or “retrofit” the light to camouflage it and cast some interesting patterns on the walls and ceiling when lit. None of the options pictured above are exactly what I want, so I’ll keep looking.
And if I can’t have the lantern look on the ceiling, perhaps I could get it in a lamp for the end table between my two occasional chairs.
I found this one on ebay. It is, however, vintage and $330, which is waaay out of my price range. I’ll watch it to see if it goes down in price (it was $350 when I first saw it), and in the meantime, keep my eyes peeled for something else when I go thrifting.
Last but certainly not least, wall color
I want something a bit less yellow than the wall color in the inspiration photo and, perhaps, a smidge darker.
All of these paint chips are taped up next to my bedroom window in a long strip. There were about three times as many to begin with, but I’ve narrowed it down (LOL!) to these. This has been a tough winter in central Indiana for picking out paint colors, with day after day after day of gray-gray-gray skies. I do need to see how the colors look in various light, and eventually we will get some sun.
I did the same thing when choosing a darker gray accent for my kitchen and great room. Six months of staring at paint chips paid off, I think. I’m very happy with my choices in those rooms, so I’m not going to rush this choice.
Anoth Christmas gift I used in putting this project together was The Color Scheme Bible, also by Anna Starmer. I skimmed through all the green-based color palettes in it while developing my ideas for our master bedroom and ran across one called “Bloomsbury Style.”
It takes into account the rose and terracotta, as well as several shades of green to mix. I don’t want my walls as dark as the large swath of green in this palette, but more like the bottom tone of the three greens inset on the right.
Besides, I still have to talk hubs into taking the bed apart and moving all that furniture so HE can paint! I have to tell you, he knew what was coming when I asked for these two books for Christmas, and he commented when I opened them that they likely were a precursor to more work for him.
Maybe I can sell him with this: Guess what I want for Valentine’s Day, hon? No, you don’t have to buy me those here-today, gone-tomorrow, over-priced flowers. I even used my Christmas gifts to help save you the money!
Think he’ll buy it? Not on your life. But he WILL eventually cave. Believe me, I’ve worked this caper a time or two in 30 years. Tune in for more developments.
If you want more…
Visit links to other posts mentioned in this one:
- See how Maisie-Cat destroyed these dining room chairs and how Crypton upholstery saved the day.
- Check out how to get this look in your own home in WAY TO GO BOHO #8.
- Read about my obsession with the inspiration room in GREEN WITH ENVY.
- Tour the entire Marrakesh, Morocco, home of which this bedroom is a part, and be sure to check out even MORE cool Moroccan home and design links at the end of that post.
Check out the Anna Starmer books mentioned by clicking on these affiliate links: