The shop’s colorful facade got my attention as we drove past, and despite a tight schedule I managed to persuade my husband to turn the car around, drop me across the street and set up a meeting time for later in the day. It was the right thing to do!
Villa Maroc is bright, colorful and filled with layer upon layer of visual goodness. I needed to slow down to take it all in. A charming lady (who I later discovered was the owner’s mother) let me know that céramiques were discounted 20%. Everything – on the floors, the walls, the chairs, the tables, in baskets and boxes and bowls – clamored for my attention.
The feeling was warm and evocative of the past – but perfectly modern at the same time. Eventually, I learned that Deganit Cohen is an interior designer with a unique eye for color and pattern. She imports fabrics, home accessories, tiles, plaster, jewelry and much more on regular trips to Morocco. She, like her store, was chic and welcoming. As a visiting American, I felt I’d made some unique discovery, but of course, she’s already a well-known creative entity in Tel Aviv.
The design studio side of the business offers free consultations – and a selection of fabrics to use for pillow covers and upholstery.
Once you’ve acclimated to the sensory overload of color and pattern, you look up to find lanterns, chandeliers, caftans for brides and guests at henna ceremonies, Moroccan wedding blankets and so much more.
The bright pops of modern color keep your eye moving from place to place. The effect is slightly overwhelming – but in a good way.
Then, Deganit offered to show me her interiors showroom, in a beautifully restored apartment around the corner from the shop. And I didn’t want to leave! I wanted to move in.
The tadelakt walls were amazing. Tadelakt is a lime plaster used to coat the walls in Moroccan palaces, hammams and the bathrooms of riads. It is smooth to the touch, with deeply-pigmented, luxuriously undulating color that sets the tone of an entire space.
At the back of the showroom is a warehouse-type area loaded down with current projects just waiting to be delivered to lucky clients.
I ended up with a few souvenirs including these beautiful pillow covers which I’m hoping will work in two different bedrooms back home. And if not? I may have to redo the rooms! (Just kidding, Kellie Smith.)
VILLA MAROC is located at Yehuda HaLevy Street 110 in Tel Aviv’s center.
The website is: www.villamaroc.net