Saturday, July 14, 2012

Saturday Swoon - Modern Morocco

Dar Beida & Dar Emma



If you love pattern and colour then  Morocco should definitely be on your lifetime bucket list! 

The southern fishing village of Essaouira, just two hours from Marrakesh has been a secret bohemian hangout since the fifties. Here Orson Welles based his Othello and  provided the inspiration for Jimi Hendrix's Castles Made of Sand.


Inspired by the beautiful blue and white colour schemes for which the village is famous, the village has a bit of everything. Flea market finds, Moroccan artifacts & pottery, antiques, fine food and entertainment. Mixed with the traditional life and style of the Moroccan people, its a place where creative minds meet and get inspired.

English couple Emma Wilson and Graham Carter bought two magical 200 year old townhouses {or "riads" as they are called} tucked away in the Essaourira medina and a quick walk to the beach, and transformed them into beautiful and stylish boutique guest houses aptly named  CASTLES IN THE SAND

The African tribal influence marries perfectly with the white lime washed walls and 60's textiles.
The two houses "Dar Beida" {or the White house} and "Dar Emma" are available to rent all year round and come with all the extras such as daily cleaning, fresh fruit and home cooked Moroccan dinners delivered to your door!

 The renovations encompass their unique original style influenced by ethnic collections and love of colour and vibrant pattern from the past. Working with the original structures instead of against them, they have managed to retain the unique character of a village townhouse lifting it with lots of light and colour, and adding interest by showcasing personal taste.

60's bark cloth cushions and personal collections add interesting details that keep your eye lingering!
 This is a perfect example of the concept behind something blue living, using what you have, combining elements from the past and present and most importantly adding your own stamp to make it truly authentic and intriguing.

Inside, the traditionally tiled staircase leads to a courtyard that is ideal for open-air dining.
The intricate details and colourful moods created by the white lime washed exterior enhanced by the magnificent indulgent use of colour provides a stimulating and inspirational decor palette.


An organic modern living space has been moulded around ancient sandstone columns and thuya wood ceilings and then a mix of eclectic colorful lighting and furnishings has been added, mainly from the 1960's era.








Dar Emma


African wooden sculptures and chairs remind you that you are actually in AFRICA!


This vintage birdcage is a focal point and links the interior to continue the rustic look.

Wonderfully cool and simple cave dweller styled bedrooms

Built in bed frames keep an uncluttered and stylish solution to smaller bedrooms.
Sleeping with the doors open!
A rustic outdoor chill out area


As one guest described it on their website- -


"A perfect moment, in the perfect place at the perfect time. What a treat to be in the hearth of Essaouira medina, in such a delighted home done with passion and sens of details by Emma and Graham. You immediately feel at home as Emma tells you all you should know and where to go, and what to do, everything is open. We enjoy most to be on the roof top looking at the sky, hearing children playing, people talking, medina life, like a special musical murmur. So peaceful, so restful, thank you for that moment"

Terrace chilling


If you would like to have a relaxing and inspirational getaway, you can find out more on their website or email Emma directly at