NEW! Introducing Marketplace

Introducing a collection of affordable Berber rugs photographed in the raw in the heart of Marrakech Medina. There are no frills with this collection, just gorgeous rugs! Each piece will be despatched direct from our trading partner in Marrakech using FedEx Express service. This is a work in progress as there are literally hundreds of beautiful pieces we would like to add and we will constantly be reviewing and updating this collection, so keep an eye on this section of our website! We’ll be including both vintage and contemporary rugs, possibly also some stunning floor cushions and Handira, and needless to say each will be one of a kind. If you see something you like and would like a little bit more information or additional photos to help make a decision before you purchase, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line and we’ll be more than happy to help. Happy browsing!

Re-Sizing Your Favourite Contemporary Rug/Kilim

Even with the vast choice of rugs and kilims we have in our Marrakech showroom, sometimes you’re really stuck on that one favourite contemporary piece which is just a little too large for your space………not a problem! We now offer a re-sizing service to customise a rug or kilim to fit your requirements exactly. We use professional weavers in Marrakech who offer a very speedy turn around service (at no extra cost…you just pay the price of the rug/kilim). Any fringing or decorative edging is re-added so that your re-sized piece looks exactly the same as the original one you loved so much. Please get in touch if you would like more information info@marbleandmint.co.uk

Aicha’s House

If you love Moroccan rugs but are also interested in the heritage of the Berber people who weave them, grab yourself a copy of the March edition of World of Interiors magazine.  It features Aicha’s home, a traditional clay walled house in the Atlas Mountains.  I visited a Berber house a few years ago, and Aicha’s home is laid out in the traditional way with life revolving around an interior courtyard, except that this is the only house in the village that’s painted. It stands facing the rising sun, with its back to the river and a view of the slopes and Argan trees which are used as supporting pillars for the house. Aicha has used a combination of her imagination, memories and traditional Berber motifs to decorate the walls. Everywhere (except the limewashed kitchen) the colour of the clay walls peeps through.

I can remember being astonished to see that cattle are kept in the basement, but there is method in this as the heat from the cow’s body warms the house above.  A metal rack in the kitchen holds all of the pots and pans needed for cooking and glasses for mint tea.  The fridge is only for occasional use and runs on bottled gas and the hen will only lay eggs in the hay stored for the cows! Read the full story and see all of the gorgeous images of this richly decorated organic Berber home in this month’s edition of the magazine.

 

Images courtesy of World of Interiors magazine. Photography by Marc Belli.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MODERN BERBER KILIMS

As we move towards the lighter warmer days of Spring, what better time to think about updating the look of your room with a colourful flatweave kilim instead of a pile rug.  They are perfect to add texture and colour to a wooden, tiled or stone floor. We always have a good selection of vintage Berber kilims available in Marrakech, but did you know that we offer a bespoke service for our modern Berber kilims? They are woven by hand in the traditional way in our exclusive workshop in the Atlas mountains and can be made to both your size and design specification with a lead time of approximately 4-6 weeks.  We understand how difficult it is to know exactly what your kilim will look like when it arrives, close up photos will show the colour and design but our samples will show you the weight, texture and thickness of our kilims. Please get in touch if you would like to see a sample, we have several different colourways available.

info@marbleandmint.co.uk

 

MARRAKECH – WHAT TO SEE ACCORDING TO JASPER CONRAN

Ten tips of what to see in Marrakech by designer Jasper Conran who has recently designed his own stunning Riad in the heart of the Medina…..’L’Hotel Marrakech’,  (Images and text courtesy of Elle Decor Italia Itineraries). I will add my own personal recommendation for lunch at Cafe des Epices, sunset at Cafe de France and cocktails at La Mamounia…..next trip scheduled for early March 2018!

1. A place to have breakfast:

After strolling in the heart of the Medina among the numerous bazaars, and having visited the Souk (typical market in the central square), enchanted by the myriad of colors and perfumes, stop at the Café des Epices, the perfect place to enjoy a mint tea on a large multicolored rooftoop.

2. A fascinating place:

The Koranic school Medersa Ben Youssef, dating back to the 14th century. It is the best place to observe the typical decorations in stucco and inlaid cedar, combined with zellij tiling, typical colorful Moroccan mosaic tiles.

3. Somewhere to enjoy the sunset:

Nothing better than the main square, perhaps drinking a freshly squeezed juice or spice tea at one of the local street food stalls.

4. An architectural work to admire:

The Bahia Palace, a complex dating back to the 19th century, covers over 8 hectares of land and includes the gardens and areas reserved for the Sultan’s harem.
Among the decorations made by local artisans, you can stop for a quick drink at the Cozy Bar. From there, you can spot the nests of the storks on the ancient city walls.

5. A place to relax:

A stone’s throw from the Saadian Tombs, the SPA Les Bains de Marrakech is the perfect place for those who have never experienced the unique experience of Turkish baths.

6. A special place:

The Jardin Majorelle, acquired by the couple Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1980, which immediately underwent restoration work. Inside them, there is an unmissable Berber museum.

7. Where to go for lunch:

Outside the city, the rural atmosphere lends itself to a bath and a relaxing lunch among the rose gardens, olive trees and orchards of the Beldi Country Club (also known as Jnane Tamsna).

8. An afternoon break:

An ice cream at the famous and historic Mamounia hotel is a must. Here, hundreds of colorful flowers and 18th century cider orchards create a unique atmosphere.

9. A restaurant for dinner:

In the heart of the main Jamaa el Fna square, from booth number 47 to 98, to experience all the good local food. Do not miss the Fish & Chips, the stew and hibiscus tea.

10. The following day. A corner from which to admire the sunrise:

The sky. Ciel D’Afrique balloon offers an exceptional view of the High Atlas Mountains and the Imperial City of Marrakech. It is an experience to be tried.

 

MARBLE AND MINT AND VINTERIOR

If you love unique vintage and mid-century finds, hop over to Vinterior where we’re showcasing an exclusive collection of our vintage Boujaad rugs.  These beautiful works of art originate from the Haouz region of Morocco, between the Middle Atlas mountains and the Atlantic ocean.  They were traditionally woven using bold colours such as pinks, oranges, purples and reds, which just happen to be perfect for the Autumn season  ahead.  Boujaad are pile rugs and usually incorporate a number of Berber motifs and lozenges, telling the weaver’s tale of rural life, marriage and spirituality.  These pieces are all shipped direct from our Riad showroom in Marrakech, and are not currently available on our website.  Each rug is, of course, completely unique, so check them out early….once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Vintage Boujaad (£1,300) available to buy at www.vinterior.co.

YSL MUSEUM – MARRAKECH

Yves Saint Laurent had many muses, but only one Marrakesh, the city where he discovered light and color, draping and caftans. There, in a series of homes — of which his final and most notable was the opulent Villa Oasis — Saint Laurent sketched some of his best designs (and hosted some of his wildest parties).

This October, some 50 years after the designer’s first visit to Morocco, a state-of-the-art fashion museum honoring his oeuvre will open just steps from the Jardin Marjorelle, the villa’s botanical escape-cum-tourist attraction. The new, 43,000-square-foot building, designed by the Paris-based firm Studio KO, will house thousands of articles of clothing and haute couture accessories, all carefully selected by Pierre Bergé, Saint Laurent’s partner in business and in life. Expect to see such iconic pieces as Le Smoking and the safari jacket, but not an exhaustive retrospective. (A sister museum, Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, opening in YSL’s former atelier on 5 Avenue Marceau a few weeks prior, will fill that role.)

“Here, we wanted to explore the spectacular and fantasy side of the work,” says Madison Cox, vp of the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent and director of the Jardin Marjorelle. Confections like a scarlet faille couture cape embroidered with purple and hot-pink bougainvillea and an African-inspired beaded minidress from the 1967 Bambara haute-couture collection will hang in the permanent exhibition hall. Elsewhere, original scenography incorporating “floating voices, quotes, images and film snippets” by the French architect and set designer Christophe Martin will add a sense of “magic,” says the museum director Bjorn Dahlstrom.

No less expressive is the building itself, with both modern and traditional Moroccan influences (locally-sourced terrazzo, red brick latticework, bush hammered concrete) and a curved facade that mimics the folds of fabric. “We designed it like a sculpture; a game of volumes and heights,” Studio KO co-founder Olivier Marty says of the space, which will feature a bookshop, research library, auditorium and a cafe serving French-leaning fare with a terrace overlooking a reflection pool. Inside, light streams through stained-glass windows inspired by Saint Laurent’s love for Henri Matisse — blues and greens on one side of the entrance hall, reds and tangerines on the other. “He’s Marrakesh and Paris. He’s color and black, masculine and feminine, the line and arabesque,” says Dahlstrom. “Together, it’s essential YSL.”

Article courtesy of New York Times Style Magazine 

RUG TRENDS 2017 – Vintage

My favourite interiors mag arrived through the door yesterday morning.  In their June edition, Elle Decoration UK have featured the six biggest trends in rugs at the moment and guess what…..Vintage comes in at No.6.  No surprise there then!

vintage

With such a huge range of vintage rugs available to buy in the marketplace, we’re really pleased to be able to offer a choice from a huge collection in Marrakech, from the minimalist design of a classic Beni Ouarain rug to the artistic and colourful design of a Boucherouite rug.   Buying a vintage rug will give you the guarantee that there will be no other exactly the same, but there are certain things to look out for when buying.

Vintage Berber rugs were originally woven for their utility, usually sold by families to raise money, and most will have had a long and useful life.  Look out for signs of wear and small repairs, this is completely normal and desirable in a genuine vintage piece. Most will have been used in a family home for around 20-30 years.  If a rug looks too perfect, chances are it’s a relatively new piece.  Additional photos of our rugs are always available, and we can carry out any additional repairs required.

Check that the rug has been washed.  All of our rugs and washed and dried prior to shipping from Morocco.

Remember that some of the dyes used in a colourful rug may not necessarily be colour fast.

Happy shopping!

 

SAMPLE SERVICE FOR MODERN BERBER KILIMS

As part of the introduction of our modern Berber range, we are pleased to be able to offer a sample service for our modern Kilims.  These are just a few of the sample sizes arriving from Marrakech shortly, they will be available in various colours and designs.  We understand how difficult it is to know exactly what the texture/weave/design of a flatweave is like and exactly how this will look in your own home and so, depending upon your location, we will be happy to either send out samples on loan, or come out to see you to have a chat about your requirements.  If you’re thinking about commissioning a bespoke modern Berber Kilim, or if you would just like to see a sample before ordering an off the peg piece, please get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help.  info@marbleandmint.co.uk

 

MARRAKECH SHOWROOM – NEW LOOK!

Our Marrakech showroom (Bazar du Sud) has recently undergone a transformation, and is looking particularly stunning at the moment!  Based in a beautiful old Riad in the Medina, the whitewashed walls, potted palms and traditional Zellige tiled floor provide the perfect backdrop to our vast collection of both vintage and modern Berber rugs and kilims.  A low cream sofa provides a welcome resting place…….with so much choice, you are sure to need a comfy seat (and plenty of mint tea!) for contemplation!  If you would like to arrange a showroom visit, please email us at info@marbleandmint.co.uk, we will be happy to organise this for you.