White Roofs and Sandy Beaches

03.2.2018 | Paula Daher | Travel

A quick trip, a mere two hours from Boston, makes for a destination that feels worlds away.  Bermuda, an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean’s jet stream, provides a temperate climate all year long. Here in February, a perfect 3 days in the lower 70’s.


White limestone roofs

As a designer, I look for inspiration in all that I do. Bermuda provided me with a visual treat with their white roofs.  Every building on the island has a white roof and, as I always say, something singular is fine, but, en masse, the same image can create stunning pageantry.

Below you see the up-close details of a white roof. I was intrigued by the step aspect and heavy thickness of each shingle. The roofs are constructed from indigenous limestone, the stone acting as a natural filter. The only fresh water source on the island is from collected rainwater. As rainwater runs down the roof, it is naturally filtered by the limestone. The water then runs through a series of pipes into a cistern or large collecting pool built from limestone beneath each building. Truly remarkable to think this method of providing fresh water to Bermudians began in the early 1600’s!  Even newer buildings utilize the same roof construction process and materials from centuries before.

Step detail of roofs

Even new construction uses same limestone roofs

Okay enough of the geek talk, let’s enjoy the visual beauty of the aquamarine blue water, fine white sand beaches and, of course a cocktail!  Surely, the pinks, aquas, and teals against a white backdrop will enlighten many upcoming projects.  Take a trip over – you will leave feeling refreshed after experiencing this peaceful and beautiful island.

Hammock anyone?

Teals and blues of Bermuda

Relaxing after a wonderful day. Cheers!


Travel Inspiration

02.15.2018 | Paula Daher | Travel

Travel is the ultimate inspiration for me. Morocco has always been a destination I have longed to visit. Marrakech proved to be the most inspiring spot to ring in the 2018 New Year! The colors, and patterns of tile were extraordinary – the vivid greens were the most amazing. I could not help taking photos at every turn.

jade green herringbone tile

Le Jardin Secret, Marrakech, Jade Green tile

In the main Medina of Marrakech, behind a beautiful old door lies Le Jardin Secret.  As you enter you are welcomed by the most luminous green jade tile that is used throughout. The walkway is a lovely herringbone pattern that guides you through the gorgeous botanical gardens.

Moroccan culture is rich with color, pattern and visual texture. The gorgeous jade green hue can be seen in so much of the tile patterning. It is a natural contrast to the the lighter buildings. The summer months have extremely hot weather as this city sits at the foot of the Atlas mountains, the Sahara Desert on the opposing side. It is not hard to see why many of the buildings are constructed from lighter sand, stucco and concrete, the walls thick to keep the heat away in the summer.  During the January visit the temperatures in Morocco were perfect for sightseeing, upper 60’s and low 70′ by day, however the nights dipped into the low 50’s.

Jade Green Walkway to Pavilion

gorgeous green herringbone

A visit to the Hotel La Mamounia was a treat for the eyes. The beautiful jade green tile appearing again and used in some of their outdoor areas. The tile was used to create chevron, plaid and diamond patterns, all to bring the scale of the buildings and doorways down to make the space feel more in scale with the height of people.

La Mamounia carries with it a prestigious past of Arabic-Andalusian culture, rich with splendid colors, shapes and materials, which it nurtures and celebrates.

Pavilion at La Mamounia

Imaginative Patterns

“It is one of the most beautiful places in the world” declared Winston Churchill to Franklin Roosevelt in 1943. A true declaration of love, in the same way as all of those that have graced the history of La Mamounia. Artists, statesmen, Hollywood stars, authors, and other great figures have fallen under the spell of this place, its refinement and the exceptional welcome received at La Mamounia. A unique experience. The most jaw dropping tile I found at La Mamounia is this gorgeous low reflecting pool. I hope this image will mesmerize you the way it did for me! This portion of the hotel was formerly a palace. The patterns and visual texture are a true testimony to the craft of the Moroccan culture.

Reflecting Pool

A trip up to Casablanca from Marrakech would not be complete without a visit to the Hassan II Mosque. These images below show yet again how the gorgeous green tile finds its way into floors and walls. The details of each element are complex and hold wonder. The history of this modern mosque was fascinating and the abundance of tile designs, extraordinary.

Outdoor mosaic

Complicated wall tile designs

Morocco will surely inspire my design work with a refreshed appreciation of tile, pattern and color. I am thinking another trip cannot be far in the distance. I invite you to share more of my experience with another blog post soon.  All the best and remember where ever your travel may take you, there is always inspiration waiting.