An Interview With Maryam Montague

MM headshot

When did you first move to Marrakesh? I moved to Marrakesh six years ago.

What was it that made you fall in love with Marrakesh? Its gorgeous madness.  It’s a place that is literally a whirlwind of colour, sound, and taste, with a snake charmer or two thrown in there for good measure.

What fascinates you about Moroccan design?  I love that Morocco has such an iconic design culture with features that are so instantly recognizable.  An arched door, a mosaic tiled table, a Moroccan lantern -- you know it’s Moroccan when you see it!

What design/styling tip would you give to someone trying to incorporate Moroccan design into their interiors?  I would advise people to start slowly by adding a few carefully chosen pieces to their interiors.  For example, a Moroccan sequinned wedding blanket at the foot of a bed is a powerful dose of glamour.  A creamy high pile Moroccan carpet on the floor of a living room adds such texture and cosiness.  A leather pouf in an apartment is multi-functional powerhouse.  A row of plants in pots painted Majorelle blue on a windowsill is a daily reminder  of a far-away place

Tell me a little bit about your book? My book is a love letter to Moroccan design.  In the first section of the book I talk about the ABCs of Moroccan design:  Moroccan architecture, decorative features, colour and pattern.  In the second section I discuss how to add Moroccan flair to every room in the house.  In the book’s last section I talk about all the very best Moroccan things to buy and where to buy them, no matter where you are.

Describe your style? I would describe my style as modern global glamour.  I love things that are made by hand, unique and worldly.  I also adore things that are intriguing and curious like talismans and African games.   Beauty with a strange past is my favourite combination!

Where do your inspirations come from? Many of my inspirations come from wandering the souks of Marrakesh.  Stocked to overflowing, I always find something beautiful to take home with me – embroidered textiles, jade green pottery, or an amazing lantern.

What has been your favourite aspect of putting the book together?  I really loved spending time with the home-owners whose houses are included in my book.  Many people who choose to live in Marrakesh are a pretty creative lot – designers, writers and foodies.  I adored seeing their collections and hearing their stories.

Photography - excerpted from Marrakesh by Design by Maryam Montague (Artisan Books).