Color inspiration: the style and palette of Morocco

They say that when the going gets tough the tough get going…but in this economy even the toughest can’t afford to ‘get going’ very far away these days.

So what’s one to do when a dream destination has you swooning to take flight while your ‘inner accountant’ has your feet firmly grounded at home .. you do the next best thing – partake in a little ‘escapism’ via color.

Last Spring found me craving bright kelly greens and yellow- what a difference a year can make- because this year the thought of longer days and new beginnings is translating to a palette way more exotic…. somewhere between Casablanca and Marrakesh to be exact.

I love when hot and cold colors collide…when earthy colors intermix perfectly with out of this world brights!  Oh what I would do to be away from this cold, windy NY morning and on a lounge chair by this pool!!!!

How beautiful are these washed out reds and green/blues with the terra colored building and pop of bright orange.

Can you imagine swimming in a purple sea?  This palette will be mine- perfect for an outdoor space.

A traditional market showcases an amazing range of intense hues… color shy- not in Morocco!

A great palette to re-work Spring’s traditional bright yellow- take that traditional pastels!

Just so you know all of these images are from In:Spa – an English company who has me saying YES, Please at the thought of going to just one of their incredible retreats!  Check them out- I dare you not to drool….

And it seems I’m not the only ready for adventure in North Africa… a bevy of designers also seem to be drawing from the country’s amazing style and colors for their Spring 2009 collections.

Runway looks from Gucci, Alberti Ferretti, Etro, Reem Acura and Chloe from

Sephora’s own line of eyeshadow in Moroccan Sunrise Palette ( $32 ) has five pretty earthy colors to mix with your favorite ‘Marakkesh inspired’ ensemble.

Moroccan style is abound in artist Anne Becker’s NYC apartment recently featured in Elle Decor…love it’s global sensibility amongst the backdrop of the ultimate ‘urban jungle’.

What an awesome retreat from the kinetic energy of New York- or anywhere for that matter!

My favorite perfume in all of the world right now- Jo Malone’s Pomegranete Noir- it has a spicy, mysterious quality that will have people crawling over each other to ask you what you’re wearing… I say this because the first time I smelled it on someone I did exactly just that!

It’s blends of Frankinscense, spicy woods and patchouli will have you feeling like a sexy undercover spy.

But don’t let your house get jealous- even the people at Febreeze are loving the scent of far away lands:

Check out this interesting article from the Wall Street Journal discussing it’s sophisticated scent… all so very interesting the trends of scent.

Yum , all this talk is making me hungry so I looked up a recipe I remember from Domino magazine ( heavy sigh) that is still up on line- so hurry and print it out before it longer is available- I will finally make it this week to complete my color and style indulgence.

Get the recipes and more stylish tips then you can shake a caftan at on

And to live vicariously through someone who actually had the guts to give up life here in the USA and follow her dreams of a never ending exciting land- read the poetic and always entertaining blog My Marrakesh- it will have you airing out your luggage-guarenteed!

10 Responses to “Color inspiration: the style and palette of Morocco”

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  1. Kate Smith says:

    What a wonderful visual vacation to take me away from the sleet and color of DC.

  2. Pat says:

    It’s so cold and wet here right now . . . just looking at these pictures and reading your words has taken me to a much warmer locale with wonderful sights, scents and sounds. The sun’s rays may only be shining down on me in my imagination, but you’ve brightened my day. Thanks.

  3. Maria Killam says:

    What a comprehensive post! From hotels, to fashion, to make up to perfume and food! It’s a party in a blog!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    These pictures bring back such vivd memories.
    So lovely.

  5. Wow, a beautiful colourful inspiring lot you’ve posted here.
    I’m looking at my home with great disdain at the moment, now, thanks to your eye popping palette suggestions, I just may revamp things this spring.
    No wonder Maryam nourishes herself back to health here…your blog is bril.

  6. Vicki Archer says:

    What a fantastic post Julie – I would, if I could, pack up right now and head off to the airport! xv

  7. Julie Hoylen says:

    Wow- what an array of talented peeps coming by- thank you all so much for your wonderful comments!!!

  8. pve says:

    Do you know “majorelle” bleu ? A dear friend of mine was recently there and photographed this color to tell me all about it, apparently YSL and his partner developed this electric, amazing color, distinct to Morocco.
    Stunning place.

  9. Very exciting combinations from the softer to the brights. You have inspired me to create a painting or two in these shades!

  10. april says:

    Your article reminds me of my favorite Absolutely Fabulous episode where the ladies head off to Morocco. When do we leave ?

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