Acne Studios



Riad Talaa 12

what first seemed to be an obstacle...

has become a source of inspiration.

Rooms in traditional Moroccan riads don't get any wider then about 2,2m. They can be 6 or 7 m long and this was at first a challenge I did not really like.

But it


work and it


look great when you look at these pictures I share with you. 

So, if you want to get some inspiration on how to make your place at home look astonishing too...follow me!And don't let me hear you say "my room is too narrow"


Riad Talaa 12

This room looks great and classic with a mix of different style elements. 

1) use the same color tones but in different vibrations and shades.

2) use small furniture that  makes a statement.

3) use round forms they take less space.


Riad Talaa 12

I am a fan of mustard yellow and grey, so this room is right into my style.

1) create some extra depth by using the same color in the length of the room and on the same height.

Look at the mustard color that repeats and look at the wall decoration.

2) keep it simple and don't go wild on accessories.

source:riad El Fenn

 When you love bold colors you will love this one!

1) use bright colors that work well together.

2) make 1 focus point that gives it this WOW factor.(wall decoration).


4) use vintage stuff.

5) keep the most vibrant colors at the lower half of the room (small room) otherwise it will look overdone.

source ELLE Decor

When you go for Colonial style, this one comes close. Dark colors can make a room heavy and therefor:

1) combine with lots of white and green plants.

2) use SMALL furniture. this style asks for a mix of different things so you can't go minimalistic here. Using small furniture gives you more space to combine things so it looks as if you are a world traveler that takes home souvenirs from around the globe!

source: Riad Charai

Well I can't help it, but another grey and mustard yellow setting. :) love love love ...

Do you notice this room is furnished with a HUGE Moroccan sofa? Right, but that is about all there is and that is precisely the way you would work with narrow rooms and big furniture.

1) NEVER do this in the opposite direction. You want to make a statement and this you do by over exposing something. In this case the length of the room.

2) in this kind of setting, using white walls, you can have any color you love because you only use one wall!

3)Keep it balanced so that the room does not tend to tip over by the visual of all you colors on one side!!!

source: riad Dar K

source: riad Dar K

 Simple, down to earth African colors and wood! GREAT!

This riad is maybe not so practical when it comes to furnishing but it looks great and stylish.

1) natural wood.

2) black and white.

3) earth tones.

source: riad Kitula

source: riad Kitula

source Ryad Dyor

Enjoy decorating and remember I can help you with online and personal advice!


Black & white with some Moroccan flair.
That comes pretty close
when looking at this timeless interior project of Jessica Helgerson.
First of all I personally love the style of the condo in Portland. What I love about the renovation, what I ALWAYS consider successful renovations, is when it reinforces the character of the old without becoming retro. A particular part is the use of the Moroccan cement tiles. It is so nice to see that a pattern that has been around for ages can make a place funky all over. 
Well done!


So it's here. The first heatwave for this year is rolling all over Morocco.

A good time to look a little closer on what we can do to get some refreshment.
Water fountains are a decorative way to bring the sound of water into a riad. Almost instantly temperature seem to get down by some degrees when you here this. Seeing the birds taking a bath in it in the early morning or the late evening is better then watching TV.
Enjoy, dream away and don't let the heatwave get you!

For more inspiration visit HERE


Take a Dutch - Spanish design couple, mix some 1001 nights flavor to it and magic happens!

Style-setting husband and wife duo

Alberto Cortes and Yvonne Hulst

from Ksar, living in Ibiza created this paradise that goes beyond the new wave of modern Moroccan minimalism. They managed to walk the line between Zen and Morocco. This is no easy line but yet, the result is fabulous. Giving traditional about 2,20 m wide rooms this luxurious feeling is not easy but they were successful! The house/hotel is for sale for about 1,2 million Euros and I personally think it is word every Euro.

for more info or

book a stay before you

put down an offer:


They realised to createspace in a narrow room by using rich materials and lots of tone on tones that create depth and space

Even a narrow dining area is luxurious and intimate!

simple but with class, using an old door as decoration!


Ever been to a hammam in Morocco?
source: friso-oost

Well you should. It is not only pampering your body and soul, but it is most of the time of a astonishing architecture.
Hamams are most of the time made out of mosaic from zelliges or in this other Moroccan craft; tadelakt


The heart of a Moroccan riad is the courtyard.
The neutral light colors make these inner yards a nice place to stay on hot summer days before heading for the roof in the evening
 Although most people think they are always open and always with a lot of plants, this is certainly not always the case. When you want to be protected from cool winter nights and mornings, you can add a roof to it, sometimes only in winter, sometimes they are fixed with windows at the side to open. In most riads that are lived in by Moroccan families the courtyard is a place were people just get the light into all the rooms and no special attention is put to the gardening. 
But I must admit that I love them open and planted with trees and turned into a eye resting center part of the home. where you can sense all seasons of the year and get the perfect ventilation.
What a difference! twice an inner yard but one planted with trees gives this lush feeling while the other one has so much potential to turn it into this haven of serenity

again an example on a potential nice courtyard and creme shades to use

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1. Riad in Fez (Fes)  2. Home outside Marrakesh 3.Moroccan style terrace.
As Days get longer and a little warmer, it is time to get the terrace or the patio summer proof again. I'm in love with the lanterns and the hanging lamps we have here in Morocco and I use them everywhere. With a lamp or a candle in it, they are very adjustable and you can use them inside as well.
Look how wellthe blend with different interior styles from Scandinavia to Africa and add this little magical shimmer in any interior. Do you see yourself launging ?
1. Kitchen of Italian Vogue editor Franca Sozzani 2. Pinterest 3. Moroccan inspired room

1. the Selman Marrakesh 2. Peacock Paviljons Marrakesh 3. Pinterest

1. herz-allerliebst  2. Mamounia Marrakesh 3.Pinterest

1 2 inspiring bedrooms. 1. is a typical Moroccan sized chambre with a size of between 1,9 and 2,20m wide.

1. Pinterest 2. palmilla restaurant California I LOVE this one! 3 Moroccan copper lamps, the most expensive ones...:(

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Sometimes you see a picture and you keep it.
For some reason this photo starts to fill more and more of your thoughts and you want to know the whole story...

Does this sound familiar?
Well it happened to me with this picture above and as I had decided  (secretly) that I wanted to start renovating my own Riad or Dar and have my own beautiful innergarden where I could enjoy sunny Morocco, I kept this image as a 'nice to have' example.
Today I finally happened to run into the missing part of the whole story and I think it is such a lovely renovation that I wanted to share it with you.

A little about the house:
London born German Philomena Schurer Merckoll who has finally settled in New York after trying out various cities including Paris, Dublin Marrakesh and Berlin bought the house after her visit to Marrakesh in 2005.
Not finding what she was looking for Swiss designer Romain Michel-Menière, was contacted and the result you can enjoy in the pictures.

 if you want to book the Riad HERE

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Meet the owner:

This month we go all the way to beautiful Melbourne to meet Aussie Colleen who is a lover of colour, texture, print, art, interiors, recyclage, music and travel…..
She is a lucky woman as she is fortunate to be able to indulge herself in all these loves through her work designing jewellery, furniture, clothing,  interiors….and to run a tour business focused in Morocco….ROAMLIKEQUEENS.  
Colleen lives eight months of the year in the warmth of Essaouira, Morocco designing fun filled tours, mainly for women, and also for couples and other interest groups, and then the other four months of the year in Melbourne, Australia at her summer house. 

one of Colleen's creations: the upcycled vintage sjawl that you can find here

Meet the home:

This summer house was originally a 1950's garage and studio, that she recently converted into a living/working space…..with loads of decking for outdoor entertaining, nights spent around an outdoor fire pit, raised garden boxes full of fresh flowers, herbs and vegetables to pick and the constant whistle of native parrots, garden birds and night owls to hear. 
Colleen; "I designed my space by up-cycling as much as I possibly could, keeping my costs down and my visual delight of vintage high!  My kitchen is lined with old 1970's advertising signage, my work bench and sink is an old carpenters bench, my dining table an old gun loading table from a rifle club, my dining chairs made from weathered farm fencing, my funky lounge furniture found in charity shops and many other treasured pieces found on council hard rubbish piles.  I see myself as the new custodian/guardian of other peoples' trash!……cringing at the thought of them finding their way to the local tipping station and being crushed into small, indecipherable pieces by a bulldozer!  I soooo love my new space, I walk to my kitchen every morning via the soft crush of cool grass under my feet.  I say hello to my roses.  I pick some flowers and herbs.  Then I settle quietly with breakfast in my salvaged butterfly chair to watch the birds and the blue, blue sky…a blissful little summer house it is"

To get in contact with Colleen:
Colleen Cassar
Roam Like Queens Womens' Travel to Morocco - AUSTRALIA

Untill we meet over a glass of mint tea
X Marlene

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A riad a posted 2 years ago seems to become hotter then ever. Riad TARABEL is now Riad de Tarabel, but as beautiful as it always has been! GOOD LUCK Riad de Tarabel !
Here is the original post.

Weekend. Do you feel it's time to get pampered? Well you are right. Like in this übertrendy design riad in Marrakesh. The architecture is typical Moroccan and yet, using the right colors, white, gray and black, combined with natural fabrics this styling is so right! 
I love it and I 'm ready to jump on the Supra tours bus and  get there NOW!
Did I convince you? Then why not make a booking HERE!

Do you want assistance in creating this look at home? contact me HERE

Did you notice the astunishing iron-work in the bow windows?
And the different shades of grey and natural tones that fit so well together?
And let's not forget to add some plants and pots. They deepen the whole setting.

Until we meet over a glass of mint tea
X Marlene

More Morocco on
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l'Heure Bleu in Essaouira - my favorite spot for apero time
Moroccan inner gardens and roof top terraces.... 
An essential element in the architecture as well as in daily living. 
I thought sharing my favorite ones in the Essaouira and Marrakesh area with you! 
Enjoy and get inspired in creating a little corner at home!
it's all about green plants, Moroccan lamps, carpets and the right color setting.
If you want any help in getting the style, contact me HERE

Hotel villa Maroc in Essaouira
These 4 photo's are on Dar Hanana in Marrakesh. Managed for several years by my friend Mandy Sinclair
Dar Hanana in Marrakesh


 The riad of Eco designer Jacqueline Foissac 
Riad Adore in Marrakesh
terrace of Dar Loussia in Essaouira
If ever I want to sit and watch the Atlantic I go and have a relax moment here. 
It offers an astonishing view on the bay, the Medina and the beach 

the inner garden (patio) of riad Tzarra in Marrakesh

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How Marrakesh' design fits in well with cool Scandinavian architecture

One of my favorite area's in Stockholm is sure Östermalm. It's chic, it's trendy, it has all the right shops and it has Strandvägen and the little tram line to Djurgården.
So no wonder I had to post this apartment for sale and get it on my list with favorite places to live!
Want to see if it fits your budget? Have a look HERE!( the link does no longer work as this beauty is off the market for a long time)
want some advice on how to transform your house into this eclectic style?
contact me HERE
PS. You can buy it for me too. Feel free ad thx in advance.