Book review: ‘Marrakesh by Design’ by Maryam Montague

Book review: ‘Marrakesh by Design’ by Maryam Montague
Bridget A. Otto, The Oregonian05/11/2012 9:00 PM


When life took Maryam Montague to Morocco, Montague took to Marrakesh.

“It was not long before we fell under Marrakesh’s spell,” she writes in the preface to her new book, “Marrakesh by Design.”

Before conquering her book, she shared her spell through her blog, In her book, Montague, who with her architect husband, Chris Redecke, designed and built a boutique hotel, Peacock Pavilions, outside Marrakesh, delves into the architecture, color and patterns that make Moroccan style recognizable the world over. But she goes beyond the glorious elements and gives a lesson in history, anthropology and craftsmanship, stripping away the mysteries of the country while enticing you to know more.

In the second section, Montague explores the living quarters of Moroccans, known for their hospitable ways.

“Accordingly, Moroccan homes must work as multifunctional spaces. By day, living rooms act as gathering places for lounging on Moroccan couches, known as banquettes. For meals, tables are dressed and placed in front of the banquettes, and the space transforms into a dining room. At night, blankets are unfurled and the banquettes morph into beds.”

She goes on to explain that in recent years, separate rooms have become more commonplace, but the quest to create striking interiors remains as strong as ever.

There’s a strong DIY presence throughout the book as well, with instructions on everything from painting a floor to brewing mint tea to the perfect Moroccan-inspired bathroom.

Rounding out the book is Montague’s extensive resource list for all things Moroccan throughout the world.

Part virtual vacation, part inspiration, “Marrakesh by Design” casts a design spell; you’ll be reaching for turquoise tile and considering a Berber rug for your living room in no time.

TAKE-AWAY TIP: Hang one or more pierced lanterns over your dining room table. The filtered light will obviate the need for candles and create a mysterious ambience.

Marrakesh by Design” by Maryam Montague, Artisan Books, $29.95 hardcover; 264 pages

Bridget A. Otto


Posted on May 13, 2012, in Morocco News, Visit Morocco and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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