Three Friends Share a Sun-Kissed Apartment in Marrakech

published Feb 15, 2016
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(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)

Name: Silvia Michielotto, Jean-Pierre Mongard and Valeria Concari
Location: Old Medina — Marrakech, Morocco
Size: 110 square meters (1,184 square feet)
Years lived in: 2 years; Rented

Crises can sometimes turn out to be good; you can make new decisions, reboot the hard drive, explore new possibilities and do things you could not do before. Friends Silvia, Jean-Pierre, and Valeria did just that. The trio left everything behind in Italy and Spain after the financial crisis hit a few years ago and started a new chapter of their lives in Marrakech. The beauty of Morocco was the main reason each of them decided to move there.

(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)

The friends met each other in Marrakech. Jean-Pierre, an architect from Barcelona, met Valeria, an Italian native, just after landing in the Moroccan metropolis. Valeria is now managing riads in Marrakech. While working in an architecture office based in Marrakech, Jean-Pierre met Silvia, a fellow architect from Milan. They decided to become partners and, along with Stefania Bucciero, founded Chouf Project. Chouf—which means “look” in Arabic—is an atelier where Moroccan and West African craftsmanship meet modern design; Silvia is now the interior designer and stylist for the company.

(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)

The three friends found this sun-lit douiria—a small riad (house) which usually doesn’t have an inside garden—in the heart of the Medina, and it was love at first sight. As well as acquiring a few cats, they have rearranged the interior, filling the space with well-thought out traditional Moroccan pieces with a modern flare and extending the Chouf Project to their home.

(Image credit: anonymous)
(Image credit: anonymous)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: We are trying to combine modern design with traditional handicraft.

Inspiration: Morocco

Favorite Element: Natural light. We love the layout of the apartment for many reasons: open space with big ancient Moroccan doors, continuous floor in tadelakt, the colonial style of the little patio full of banana trees, and the terrace.

Biggest Challenge: Creating a contrast between the ancient elements (wood ceiling, old doors, old decorative plaster) and the cozy ambiance, simple furniture, and rough wood.

What Friends Say: They are always amazed by the beauty of the volume, and they all want to spend time on the terrace.

Biggest Embarrassment: We are so busy we barely have time to organize dinner parties at home.

Proudest DIY: The mix and match of our objects under the same roof.

Biggest Indulgence: Mustapaha Blaoui’s store

Best Advice: Don’t buy pieces just to fill space.

Dream Sources: Medina of Marrakech, Elle Décor Italia, The World of Interiors.


(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)


  • Farrow & Ball
(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)


  • Chairs: covered with Moroccan white canvas
  • Rug: Beni Ourain from the Atlas—a birthday gift from Silvia
  • Pom pom throw: the souks of Marrakech
  • Braided leather camp bed: Agafay bed by Chouf
(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)


  • Lamp: Mustapaha Blaoui
  • Mirrors: Mustapaha Blaoui
  • Baskets: Mustapaha Blaoui
  • Wooden door: Mustapaha Blaoui
  • Photographs: came with the home
(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)


  • Tagine: Souk of Marrakech
  • Tiles: traditional Moroccan zellij
  • Counter: natural tadelakt
  • Wall: natural tadelakt
  • Dishcloth: IKEA
(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)


  • Wooden stool: Souk of Marrakech
  • Sheets: IKEA Barcelona
  • Moroccan hat: Mustapha Blaoui
  • Basket: Mustapha Blaoui
(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)


  • Bed: Mustapha Blaoui
  • Duvet and sheets: IKEA Barcelona
  • Wooden window: Mustapha Blaoui
(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)


  • Wooden stool: Souk of Marrakech
  • Sheets: IKEA
(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)


  • Sink: Mustapha Blaoui
  • Towel: Chouf
  • Counter: Moroccan tadelakt
  • Walls: Moroccan tadelakt
(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)


  • Chair: Chouf
  • Pillows: Chouf
  • Plant: Banana tree
  • Cut-out panel: custom-made
(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)


  • Wooden stool: Souk of Marrakech
  • Fabric: Mali via Mustapha Blaoui
(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)


  • Chair: made of lemon tree wood and nylon by Chouf
  • Rug: Bazaar of Marrakech
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The entrance of the douiria (Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)

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Thanks, Silvia, Jean-Pierre & Valéria!