A Flavour of North Africa

A Friend of mine recently travelled extensively in North Africa. She returned with several beautiful home accessories garnered from traders in Morocco and Egypt and she resolved to redecorate her living room to incorporate her new found treasures. Not for the first time, I was roped in to assist with the project and had great fun throwing myself into a search for the furnishings and accessories that would complement the wonderful cushions and throws that had inspired the revamp.souk 2


It wasn’t difficult to get inspired by the fabulous colours and intricate detail of the soft furnishings and it was refreshing to work with something different. The Moroccan theme was fascinating and it was surprising how easily it could be assimilated into a contemporary home. There was a warmth to the overall feel which was incredibly homely too and I began to wonder why the Moroccan style wasn’t all the rage!

Wonderful Wood

We chose natural, solid wood furniture for the room with a contemporary style to ensure that the overall scheme felt comparatively modern. The clean lines were the perfect contrast with the more ornate nature of the textiles and the whole look was complemented by the solid wood flooring. We chose plain curtains but fashioned tie backs from Moroccan fabric and found a lovely rug online which fit perfectly with the scheme.

Difficulty with Lighting

The only element of the room which initially proved awkward was the lighting. Our early ideas just didn’t seem to work but then we had a lucky break when we discovered some beautiful pendant lights which we both fell in love with at first sight! The lights were by Zenza and on sale in the UK. The lighting was so beautiful that I felt compelled to investigate what Zenza was all about!

Discovering Zenza

Zenza was founded in 1994 by a Dutch designer who was travelling in Egypt searching for exciting products for her accessories company. She found plenty to inspire and also met her future husband, Hussein, along the way. Together they went on to establish the Zenza brand which offers a wonderful range of handmade furniture, accessories and lighting. Zenza has gone from success to success and each product is chosen with care by the couple and now also their daughter who has joined the business.


Every Piece Unique

Each Zenza lamp and light is hand crafted by skilled artisans and features traditional filigree patterns. The lighting has genuine soul, no two pieces are exactly the same and the patterns scatter the light in the most wonderful way. The overall effect is soft but with an exotic twist and so fitted our decorative scheme perfectly.
It was so nice to work with a new theme and those beautiful textiles and the discovery of the lighting was the icing on the cake. The completed room is a fabulous blend of the contemporary and the traditional with simplicity balanced by ornate details, splashes of colours and metallic elements. I think this one is a keeper!

Article by Sally Stacey