This summer, Livingetc and World of Interiors featured "Moroccan Minimalism" and "Minimal in Morocco" on their covers, respectively. The titles are nearly identical, but the stories were worlds apart...
I kind of love when things like this happen. Either there's just something in the air that's making people think of "minimal" and "Moroccan", or there's some "13 Going On 30"-like double-agent working for both magazines. Or, I suppose, we're all just suckers for trends, but I prefer to think it's one of the first two... Now to compare & contrast!
Pun in the sun Both magazine when for punny titles: "Less is Moorish" in the July issue of Livingetc, and "Strait Edges", for the June issue of World of Interiors's story of a home overlooking the Strait of Gibralter.
World Market Livingetc's story was a lovely, well-styled feature on ways to bring Moroccan stye into your home in restrained, modern ways, using lighting, textiles, and decorative accessories.
Real World World of Interiors gave an extensive tour of a real home in Tangiers, painstakingly created by local craftsmen. It is definitely minimal, but the few details are so exquisite, nothing else is needed. When your home seems to float above the Strait of Gibraltar, and the rocky cliff has been incorporated into your bathroom, there's probably not much need for knick-knacks. While there are indeed many severely straight edges in this home, I find it to be quite soothing and tranquil.
Word Count Livingetc accompanies each photo with a description of the elements, and how traditional Moroccan items can incorporated into minimal decor. For example, regarding the breakfast table with the fabulous lantern overhead: "Gleaming punched metal is a Moorish standard, yet sealed up and juxtaposed with sleek minimal furniture, it becomes sculptural and modern." World of Interiors included quite a long and evocative essay, covering the types of people that have found themselves drawn to Tangiers ("artists...and others on the edges of society"), the skills, tools, and manner ("imperterbable") of local craftsmen, the history of this home, local reaction to the decor, and the oevre of the architect.
Winner? Apples, and oranges, I'm afraid. I want to buy the pillows and lanterns from Livingetc, but I want to spend a week in the home from World of Interiors. Both stories are inspiring, and full of ideas for summertime daydreaming.