Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Peacock Pavilions: Looking Fine and Doing Good In Marrakesh.

If you're feeling extra sweet this week - gave away the last piece of pizza, made awkward small talk with a nice stranger - it's because of the stars.  Today the moon moves into Aquarius for the next two months and this is supposed to be a time for humanitarian acts, so says New Age people.  The cosmos WANTS you to put a few extra bucks into the Starbucks tip jar.  Even when they aren't looking, George Costanza.

In conjunction (astrology humor!) with this cosmological occurrence, this seems like a good time to introduce you to the story of the most stylish humanitarian on this side of the galaxy: Peacock Pavilions and its owner/designer/mom Maryam Montague. 

You've probably put your eyeballs on said pavilion many a time and didn't even know it.  You've probably pinned it - I did - I didn't even know it.  Well, I'm about to learn you real good.

Maryam, caftan enthusiast/nice person/blog friend, and her architect husband, Chris Redecke, decided to settle their family on an olive grove in Marrakesh and build an eco-conscious boutique hotel and resort.  As you do.  

So together they designed and decorated Peacock Pavilions, a box waiting to be checked on every design blogger's bucket list for obvious reasons.

This is her office where she overlooks the olive grove.

My office has a drawer full of nothing but hand lotion and Claritin...

This place could give us lessons in curtains.

But it ain't all Elle Decor spreads and Lonny covers, Maryam travels Africa and the world fighting for human rights and democracy.  She has a standing date with Amal Clooney to talk about running nations and fashion.  I made up the last sentence but I bet it's true.

I let a jerk merge in front of me in traffic the other day so I GET what it's like to devote your life to helping the less fortunate.  I live my life with compassion.

I think I need to live my life in Morocco too.

And in case you were distracted by all the good deeds, don't forget the staircase:

But since I'm a one trick pony with exceptional taste, I can't help but be drawn to her bedroom which is full of winter whites (do they have winter in Morocco?).  I guess if you aren't feeling the bleak midwintery vibe of the last post here's something in warmer weather for you.

It also has some custom wall stencils which might be the only wall stencils I didn't know I even wanted until I saw it.  

I custom made a headboard recently out of a Goodwill reject, scrap fabric and staples so I too like to surround myself with luxury.

I think this proves the point that if you're gonna go monochromatic you have to have a lot of texture.  Preferably if it's a pillow with a mohawk but you do you.

Sequins are approved, as well.

A window seat also helps.  Pretty sure you can only drink creamy drinks in here: lattes, Frappuccinos, White Russians.  If you drank a red Gatorade (or the Moroccan equivalent) in here it would probably give you heartbearn. [MS sidebar: I misspelled heartburn and couldn't figure out why it was wrong for about three minutes but like it better this way so we all have to switch.]

I'm loving this grouping of lanterns.  I have one "Moroccan" lantern in this delightful egg (?) shape but now it just feels lonely.  I think I need a baker's dozen.  I'll have to get rid of my dining table but I think eating while laying on the floor is very 2015.  

If you want to bring a bit of real Morocco to your house and not have it look like the culturally-appropriated tchotchke hurricane as you might see on tv, check out her shop for all the best in properly-sourced goodies.

If you're going to gift yourself a Moroccan wedding blanket, a handira, this is the place to go.  Pillows and poufs galore too.  

Love the little bits of pattern with the pillows.  (This is similar to my pillow!).  I think what I like about this whole space so much is the mix of clean neutrals as a backdrop for lots of bright pattern.  You get the best of both worlds.

However, I'm rather obsessed with the BLACK wedding blankets lately:

I think (?) Maryam is the inventor of the black wedding blanket and if that was the only thing she did in life that would be enough.  But also human rights 'n stuff.

Mr. Beni Ourain is still solid in my book despite the controversy lately over its apparent trendiness.  I don't think you can really call something trendy that has existed centuries before we were even born, can you?

Of course next week I'll be like "Ugh BOOKS. I'm so over this Gutenberg press hipster bullshit."

I'd never seen one that with this color of gold before - such a nice variation.  Could work in bleak midwinter or if you're feeling more jazzy.

So much jazz.

The shop also features tons of cute wall hooks designed by Maryam herself.

It's like a cross between a hamsa and a peacock!  Because PEACOCK!  You're too much, M.  I'm not being an ass, I'm just excited because I didn't see the peacock until about one minute before writing this and I love a secret pun in silver.

Maryam, bored with her life doing nothing, has also founded Project Soar - an organization for underprivileged girls and women near Peacock Pavilions.  A portion of all proceeds from the shop benefit the program so buy as many protective peacock hands as you want (+1 for me).  

Fun fact: if you stay at the pavilion you get to ride on a peacock in a great race throughout the vast olive grove.  Just kidding, if you stay you can volunteer for Project Soar which is pretty cool.  I'm on board for dedicating my 2015 and beyond to women, yes?

My grandmother has a stray peacock that has started coming to her door to visit everyday this winter.  She lives in Texas if that helps explain it...?  Regardless, she named him Fred so if I want to race a peacock I'll try the family bird.

Familial bird-racing aside, I'm writing this overt love letter to the PP and MM because I truly believe we're seeing the real thing.  In the often shady world of internet life it's really refreshing and inspirational to find a person and cause that is not just talking the talk but walking the walk and doing it with boss style.

Make sure to check out Maryam's blog, My Marrakesh, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.  Or you can do more than read this here blog post and buy her book, Marrakesh by Design, or even donate directly to Project Soar.

If nothing else I recommend you follow her on Instagram for lots of pictures of the party life at Peacock Pavilions but mostly for this:

And this:

And this:

All photos are from Elle Decor, Lonny or Maryam's site/Instagram/book
More like Kitteh Pavilions, amirite?

How do cats meow in Arabic?  Like, they 'meow' in good old American, 'miao' in Italian, 'mrow' in comics...  These are things I think about when I travel.

I have yet to see a picture of a peacock AT Peacock Pavilons but maybe they have to keep them separate from the cats... Probably smart.  I don't think Fred and Charlemagne would be friends.

I received no compensation for this post but I'd take a Moroccan cat if they were handing them out...


  1. As usual, beautifully curated content and hilarious commentary. Also I second the Moroccan cat thing.

    1. Thanks, Lily, you're a peach! Somehow Moroccan cats seem way more chic and I must cuddle one.*

      *attempt to hug it while it tries to escape my clutches.

  2. Don't feel too bad, I noticed she didn't even have a drawer in her office.

    1. Do fancy people even use drawers? I am clueless about such things.