Thursday, 21 February 2013

House Beautiful March 2013 - Part 2

Here is the second part of the House Beautiful magazine review.

House Beautiful do a monthly section featuring one
special bathroom.

This month was very much inspired by Morocco. 

It is rather lovely, isn't it?  
Sparkling new, no limescale anywhere, buffed marble and mosaic.

Now just hear me out.
This bathroom is in Cape Cod.

Cape Cod of the airy, clean, rustic Puritan-esque aesthetic.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  

I imagine Harry Potter buying his flying carpets here.
 Not Morocco.

I don't understand towels inside the shower.  
But I digress.  
The workmanship is beautiful - 
I need the number to the tiler.

But I find it an overly literal interpretation of Morocco. 

You could not get more opposing styles between the two.

I am sure that the owner fell in love with Morocco.  
It is hard not to - it is such a hypnotic place and it is not unusual to want to remodel your house like a riad after a trip there.

Courtyard of a Riad, a traditional home - This one is from Riad el Fenn
Maybe I have an unease with this because
this bathroom looks very similar to a bathroom design I once saw in a major chain hotel in Marrakech.
Sometimes things can look like a pastiche of the original. 

I also realize my little knowledge is dangerous. 
In Morocco, bathhouses rarely use this motif in the bathroom - 
this sort of mosaic is usually for fountains and central courtyards.  

They use tadelakt in the bathrooms.

Example of a bathroom in Riad El Fenn in Marrakech
 Tadelakt is a honed and polished plaster.
It is as hard as stone but so smooth to the touch like marble.
The beauty is you can make it any color you like as with paint.

I love the lack of lines and clean surface.
There is also a culture of hammam which is steam bathing and 
heat emanating from the stone.
So the bathrooms also have to endure a lot of moisture.
It is much better suited to the bathroom than
tiles needing all that re-grouting constantly.

Funny enough, beach homes are prone to a lot of humidity so all the grout would erode quicker than normal.

But I also think that respecting your surroundings and the architecture of the house is important.

I would love to have riad decor but it doesn't flow in a World War 2 bombed reconditioned Victorian mews house.

(Not my house.) 
Maybe I am letting my ethos of respecting the house and its surroundings waver my stance on the room.

But it is lovely - I would love a crisp bathroom like this.

Another fun feature is when decorators send in real life pictures 
of a vignette in their home.

I was going to do a post on bedside tables and voila - HB did a whole two pages on real nightstands that designers sent in.
So I thought I might as well join in.

My bedside table is the only place in the house I fuss over. 

The rest of my house is a revolving musical chair of piles.

I like the Lucite one on the bottom right because it would force me to edit but I think my favourite is the top right one.

I could fit in all my accoutrements on there.
I am realizing I could do with a console table but that would only enable my book piling habit.

I like to change up my bedside table quite often.
But here is my bedside table at the moment.

I would love a lamp from Porta Romana
 But I have a soft spot for this one because my neighbours who moved to Ireland gave me this and I like a back story.

As I sleep near it, I like things I like near me.
I'm not religious but I have a cross a close friend gave me from the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona.
It's made from Sedona rock with all its vortexes.

I am like an old Victorian lady in that I love little 
porcelain bits everywhere.
I keep an amethyst crystal to keep my mind clear.
Don't think it's working but it's pretty.
That is my favourite vase I never put flowers in because 
it's like a circular prism.

On the plus side, I have to urge you to read 
this fun comparative photo essay about studios 
in Manhattan in the NY Times.

Two identical studios of 270 sq ft. decorated beautifully with 
two distinct point of views.

So clever that it makes you want to live in one.

It's in the NY Times - click here for the link.

Have a great weekend all! 


  1. OMG that bathroom is to die for!! Umm yes please I'll take it!

    Ali of

  2. That bathroom is wrong. It's like my neighbours house a few houses down. They enjoyed the Bali Hilton so much, that they returned and rebuilt it in their back garden. It doesn't quite work....
    My bedside table needs a makeover - it's groaning under the weight of all the books piled up on it. Yours looks lovely and serene - are the ashtray and the little dish the Hermes waterlilly pattern? They're very pretty. xx

  3. is just scary you & I...when I saw that THAT bathroom was in Cape Cod I gasped ~ REALLY?...that is just dumb. Respect the environs people. I have thought of this a few times since my first read of the issue & you blog on the incompatibility of the geography & we go again thinking alike! Love your night stand ~better than all those in HB. But I do love HB, as you know I do! Thanks for two most excellent posts!!

  4. I love sooo many of these! And I LOVE Cape Cod! Have a great weekend my blogger friend! xo Caroline

  5. @Ali - the tiler did an amazing job no?

    @Heidi - i also find it quite amusing when people do that recreate another country in one's house thing...Yes, it is - I adore the Nil pattern - I am a bit of a Hermes porcelain fiend. And the vase Sphera from the Djerba range at Hermes which I also adore.You shall eventually see my passion for their homewares as time goes on!

    @mysoulfulhome - our cortexes are wired the same way aren't they?? yes i am not giving up hope on HB - PS you may already know it but check out the adore online mag - it is like lonny but for australia - good fun!

    @inner-outer beauty - have a lovely weekend Caroline!

  6. You've be to Marrakesh!! Jealous.:) I think those tiny tiles are a bit too busy for me... But you got me thinking - I don't have a bedside table! How is that even possible???
    And I was definitely a zebra in one of my past lives.:) Or I'm a zebra trapped in a human body in this one.:D

  7. My house decor is so eclectic because I'm completely indecisive. In terms of style and influence none of my rooms really match!

    I have spotlights in the kitchen and base cupboard lights in blue and I want to put an Aga (that's my aspiration, I could never afford it)in there - go figure!

    My bathroom is very contemporary - it's my favourite room in terms of style - I love the Tadelakt, nere heard of it before. I hate the feel of stone; I have the same experience touching stone as I do when someone runs their nails down a blackboard!

    My bedside table is full of nail varnish at the moment (not bottles. literally nail paint on the surface!) - I am due to invest in another one soon!

  8. @Peet - you have to go there - it is close enough so you dont suffer jetlag but so exotic. I loooove it.
    PS I might also have been a hippo.

    @Colleen - you crack me up - maybe you should just go for it and make your bedside table covered in nail varnish - that could be a look!

  9. Oh, wow! That bathroom is amazing! I love Moroccan decor!

  10. I adore tiles--whenever I visited London in the Big Nineties I would go to Sloane Square Tile and swoon. (I had one of their artists make me a tile nameplate for my office door.) It's long gone, I believe, but was right beside Emma Hope shoes (assuming that shop still stands . . .)

  11. The mosaic is stunning - gorgeous combination of rich colours.

  12. i loove that bathroom

  13. Wow....Beautiful.
    Makes my bathroom look like &^%$*&^*(*&&^** and even *&%&*^ ! :P

  14. @ Stephanie - I love Moroccan decor as well.

    @Miss Cavendish - I also recall that shop but will have to see if it still does but have a funny feeling it is now a brasserie...

    @ Melo @Miss B @Loving-Evelyn - Yes it is isn't it?

    @a Little slice of - the tiling is crazy good right?

    @Miss Doodles - i think it makes everyone's bathroom look like &**&%%^!


Thank you for dropping by!