Tadelakt is an elegant lime coating typical of Marrakesh that is characterised by its bright colour and its impermeability.
Its unique finish is achieved by rubbing it with a pebble and olive oil soap.
Beyond its beauty and elegance, tadelakt is a symbol of the aristocratic culture of North Africa which, thanks to the development of research, has spread thanks to its traditional and warm spirit and its many colours and its versatility in different styles.
It can be used both indoors (especially in bathrooms and floors, a thermal comfort that regulates both temperature and humidity and has fungicidal properties that limit the development of fungi) and outdoors and has inspired new building materials such as micro-cement.
This ancient technique is also used to make Moroccan ceramic vessels.
I have taken the liberty of transcribe the flyer “ABOUT EL FENN” the managing partner Willem Smit recently gave to me. It is the best way to show this Marrakech highlight.
“We call El Fenn a home from home because that is what we wanted to create from the first day we opened our doors fourteen years ago.
Since then we’ve added rooms, knocked down walls, hosted art festivals and film screenings, huge parties and memorable weddings but that one core value of what we’re here to do has remained. Now, more than ever, we want to retain El Fenn’s intimacy and friendliness.
Because our lives are increasingly time poor as the world keeps getting busier. And while we’ve seen Marrakech grow and expand over the years since we opened – donkeys and carts replaced by scooters that buzz and smartphones that ping – the medina is also immutable: ancient, atmospheric and inspiring. We want you to make the most of that while you’re here.
That’s why there are no TVs but instead lots of spaces to relax in. Please do make the most of them to read, sleep or sip a mint tea and listen to the muezzin’s call to prayer as the sun sets.
Then, once your energy levels are reset, we urge you to venture out a little further and see what you find – or finds you – in the beautiful city of Marrakech.
There’s a saying in Morocco that you don’t choose a house, a house chooses you. And we feel incredibly lucky that El Fenn happened to choose us. It is a place that we hold deep in our hearts and it gives us great pleasure to be able to share it with you”.
see more at https://el-fenn.com/
Hassan Hajjaj straddles the divide not just between countries and cultures, but art and artisans. And it’s this unique mix of perspectives and disciplines that has made him arguably Morocco’s hottest current art export.
Hajjaj’s portrait photography, shown in galleries including London’s Somerset House and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is created and framed using the products and skills of Marrakech’s artisans.
And while his real love are the everyday ‘heroes’ of the city – from friends and neighbours to gnaoua musicians and the henna artists of Djemaa el Fna – he’s also developed a celebrity following that’s seen Madonna, Cardi B and Will Smith sit for him over the past couple of years.
Hajjaj was born and grew up in the northern city of Larache before leaving Morocco for England aged 14 and quitting school a year later with no qualifications. He entered the London party scene and became a promoter turned streetwear designer, an aspect of his early career that still comes through in the exuberant colours, bold patterns and touchable textures of his work.
In 1989, he began taking photographs and at first his work was purely private. But in 1995, he returned to Marrakech for the first time in years and it was the start of his unique creative partnership with the city.
“I got back to London thinking I´d probably never go there again but something about the place kept calling me back, ‘he says. “The next thing I knew I was coming two or three times a year, but always I felt it was only because the city was inviting me. I didn’t want to be someone that came just to take, I wanted to be a part of the city, its life and its people – I wanted in some way to protect them.”
Provence style will fill the house with warmth and coziness, make it comfortable and welcoming. Simplicity, restraint, kindness, and light characterize this famous interior style directly related to the natural beauty of the French region
The main palette of this style reflects the natural colours of Provence: beige and milky, white and lavender, warm terracotta and sienna, bright colours of sunflowers, azure sea, refreshing wet sand and ecru. they fill up the house with serenity and tranquility.
Comfortable and simple Provence style furniture has a clear geometric lines and hand made from solid walnut, chestnut or oak, painted in the main style’s colours. The furniture fronts are especially charming decorated with artificial chips and scrapes, shallow holes as if eaten with bugs. Provence style reflects the natural beauty of southern France with its flowers, birds and butterflies.
TABLEWARE AND KITCHEN UTENSILS
Tableware and kitchen utensils are very important in a Provence house being a guardian of family traditions, a family legacy, and beautifying the interior decoration. Decorated with artistic representation of bouquets, countryside pictures and floral watercolors table sets and individual items will look great and tablecloths of unbleached linen and cotton with floral motifs or traditional stripes. it should be noted that the French prefer mixing and combining of items, and there can be plates from different set on table, and antiques porcelain will easily appear next to some rustic handmade pottery.
The décor of Provence style house is delicate and elegant, with a touch of time and history; or rather patina and artisan crackle technique. Therefore, forged decorative objects, small tables with tracery deco, birdcages, all sorts of ‘lacy’ elements perfectly complement the style. Moreover, the house should be filled with flowers. In fabrics and furniture’s deco, fresh bouquets, and even in breakfast desserts.
If there is one proven recommendation we can make from the The African Blog it is the platform for on-line decoration sales Westwing Home and Living.
It was launched four years ago by Delia Fischer, former director of the magazine Elle Decor in Germany, and since then has not stopped growing thanks to its select offer.
Sales are made through campaigns that last only a few days, and each one of these has been meticulously selected by a team of experts in decoration, thus ensuring the quality of the product, its aesthetic, originality and functionality.
Furthermore, it offers an on-line magazine that compiles all of the latest trends in decoration, as well as having interviews with experts in interior design, advice, tips and reports.
It is no surprise to discover it is present in 15 countries (3 years in Spain)
The common denominator of Westwing is the quality of the top-of-the-range brand names amongst which we can find renowned names such as Calvin Klein, Laura Ashley, Becara, Sia, Smeg, Designer’s Guild, Gancedo, Rosenthal, Valentí, etc. and a select list to which The African Touch has also been added.
Environments of today are inspired by the immense plains of the Savannah with its unique colours and patterns. The African look is full of emotion and power like nature in its pure state and therefore is strongly linked to nature. This look focuses on ethnical and primitive aspects, as well as on things mankind can create with their bare hands. Decoration items are warm, attractive, mysterious, cosy, relaxing… these details undoubtedly turn a house into a home.
The nomadic and Berber tribes continue weaving in traditional looms, similar to those that originated in the Neolithic.
These carpets are simple and made with materials common in every little town. An asymmetrical knot (also known as Berber knot) is included with 8-shaped around two warps and woof.