Interior Design: Inspired Neutral Statement

Subtle design is not the lesser art

Interior Design

As someone who reads a lot about interior design, I frequently come across interior photos where I think “wow, that’s really intriguing and stunning,” and simultaneously, “I could never do anything like that in my home.”

The conversation about interiors is often dominated by assertive aesthetics. This makes sense: a room that effectively uses a bright color or a space done up in stark monochrome (trending of late) will grab more attention and attract more eyes than a more discreet one.

But there’s a difference between repinning something on Pinterest and choosing to live with it for many years. I’ll never have a space that’s highly stylized because I have too many beloved objects – art, photos, family heirlooms – that I want to highlight. I want those things to speak to my personality, and I don’t want them overshadowed by too many bright colors or ornamental wallpaper.

Neutral gets a bad name because it’s seen as a default, and a middle-brow, highly-commoditized one at that. But a good neutral interior is anything but unrefined. Creating such a space can be broken down into three main components.



Interior Design                                                       Via: Home Adore  Continue reading

African Art Re-Imagined

There’s a hot new designer in Italy that’s changing the world of African style. Her name is Stella Jean and she’s a half Italian, half Haitian former model who’s managed to merge her two cultures with a namesake line. Using her “Wax and Stripes” philosophy, Stella creates clothing with traditional bold prints (“wax”) and sharp tailoring from her Italian roots (which she refers to as the “stripes”). Her unique body of work has even garnered the attention of Giorgio Armani, who lent Stella his space to showcase her Spring 2014 collection- a first for the legendary designer.

The allure of Stella Jean lies in the new conversation it’s created for what African fashion can be. The introduction of tailoring and standout silhouettes is extremely refreshing, bringing in new customers who may never have thought of rocking African prints. A tea length A-line frock is a hit at an art gallery opening, while a printed trench and striped skirt is the perfect casual-cool ensemble. Since it’s debut, Stella Jean has been flying off the shelves.

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Rugs: The Beauty of Boucherouite

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Vivid colors, exotic patterns, hand-woven design – all of these can be found in Morocco’s boucherouite rugs.  The “rag rugs”, created using scraps of various materials, are perfect for these Spring and Summer months.  Whether hung on the wall or laid on the floor, the boucherouite rug is a bright and colorful home accessory.

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While many rugs from Morocco and the Middle East have histories that are centuries old, the boucherouite rug was developed in the 20th Century.  The time period is likely responsible for the funky patterns, and wild colors that you can see in each design.

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The Apartment, Copenhagen (

Truly up cycled pieces, the word “boucherouite” comes from the Arabic phrase meaning torn and reused clothing.  Weavers in the Berber culture used a mix of materials to design these fascinating multi-colored creations that are almost too beautiful to walk upon.

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The Apartment, Copenhagen (

Now, in the 21st Century these patchwork pieces of art are making a comeback.  The fun and eclectic designs add color and whimsy to modern white spaces, and are a complement to colorful interiors.

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One of the most spectacular things about boucherouite rugs is the variety of colors that can be found in each piece.  Here, ruby red, coral, navy blue and brown all come together to form a colorful design.

BB blog pic 6You can discover these carpets in a variety of unique patterns.  The slanted stripe design here adds interest as the various colors come together.  Choose a boucherouite with a one-of-a-kind pattern to create a statement in a space.

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These carpets are nothing if not graphic.  Geometric shapes like diamonds and stripes can be found in many boucherouite rugs.  Look for shapely geometrics that are absolutely on trend in interior design.

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Though intended for the floor, these intricately created rugs are fun and fashionable works of art.  If you don’t feel like walking on it, mount your boucherouite rug on the wall for a cool artistic feature.  You can even layer one behind the bed and create a one-of-a-kind headboard.

By Jeanine Hays (

Decorating with Moroccan Details

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The beauty of traditional Moroccan design is currently one of the hottest trends in home decor.  Pieces from a country with hundreds of years of textile design and handmade craftsmanship are now popping up in contemporary homes, adding rich cultural details, amazing colors, and mesmerizing patterns.  Some of the most popular items are those that also add a bit of sparkle.  Shimmering Moroccan wedding blankets line beds while pierced lanterns add beautiful ambiance to modern bedrooms and poufs of all sizes bring pops of bright color into our homes.  Contemporary interiors that focus on Moroccan details are sure to show all the beauty of the global mix – bringing together modern details and cultural accent pieces to create unique and stunning spaces.

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Moroccan textiles are an exceptional way to add pattern to a room.  With diamond and geometric shapes present in many Moroccan rugs they can be part of a room’s strong architectural details.  And in a minimalist space like this reading nook, a Moroccan rug can be all the detail a space needs.

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The diamond pattern even extends to Moroccan wedding blankets.  These delicately woven coverings were once part of a bride’s dowry. Now they’ve crossed an ocean to be included in interiors where sparkling textiles add to the look of our most comfortable rooms.  They look lovely draped on a bed as a coverlet, or even hung behind the bed frame to create a makeshift headboard.  Like most Moroccan wears, every wedding blanket is made by hand, making each one a unique piece of art.

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One of my favorite Moroccan pieces is the Beni Ourain rug.  Made from un-dyed wool, these rugs are rich in organic details.  In a sophisticated black and cream color palette they have a timeless appeal, and can be used anywhere – living room, bedroom or home office – to a stunning effect.  With hundreds of years of history going into each handmade piece, these rugs are sure to add the depth and mystery of Moroccan design and craftsmanship to your interior.

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Beni Ourain rugs are thick and heavy as they were originally crafted as sleeping rugs.  Weary travelers would wrap himself in the rug and protect himself from the cold.  Now these heavily piled pieces add warmth to stark wooden floors in modern interiors.

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As you look closely at each rug you will see slight imperfections.  That is a result of the tireless handmade workmanship that went into each one of these pieces.  The handmade details give each rug a unique character.

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While many Moroccan rugs are cream and black, you will discover beautiful dyed rugs as well.  This rug in brown and blue is wonderful for adding color and culture to a space.

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Diamonds fill in this rug’s landscape.  The pattern is remarkable, and sure to stand out in any room.

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To add unique Moroccan details to your interior, explore the Moroccan rug collection at Doris Leslie Blau > (

By Jeanine Hays (