A Four-Room Hotel Set Among Olive Groves Outside of Marrakesh
Left: the 50-meter swimming pool at Farasha Farmhouse is surrounded by olive trees. Right: in the communal living room, photography by the Moroccan contemporary artist Amine El Gotaibi hangs next to a fireplace covered in bejmat zellige tiles.Credit…Courtesy of Farasha Farmhouse
By John Wogan
As Morocco continues its recovery from last month’s earthquake (which devastated many of the rural communities in the High Atlas Mountains), life in Marrakesh carries on largely uninterrupted, especially in the city’s economically vital tourism sector. That includes the opening of a clutch of new hotels, like Farasha Farmhouse, a four-room boutique property. Formerly an artist’s private retreat, Farasha, which lies 30 minutes outside of the city center, is the vision of Rosena and Fred Charmoy. The Marrakesh-based couple are the founders of Boutique Souk — a local high-end events company popular with visiting celebrities and fashion brands (their client list includes Chanel and Saint Laurent) — and are known for their theatrical, over-the-top parties and weddings. Farasha, though, is a more tranquil endeavor. “We loved the mountain views on both sides of the property,” says Rosena, referring to the Atlas and Jbilet ranges that appear to envelop the acres of olive groves and herb gardens. The two-story main building, which holds three suites and the soaring, open-plan common space, is complemented by a neighboring stand-alone cottage. To furnish the place, the Charmoys turned to local creative friends: floors are laid with custom tapestries from Beni Rugs; sculptures were installed by the Moroccan contemporary artist Amine El Gotaibi; and the book collection comes from the family estate of Diana Vreeland, the legendary former editor of Vogue, donated to the hotel by her son Freck, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Morocco. Food here is similarly considered, overseen by the chef Aniss Meski. The olive oil is made on-site, most vegetable dishes use the farm’s produce and a flock of chickens provides a daily supply of fresh eggs. And if the prospect of snagging one of only four guest rooms seems like a tall challenge, fear not: six more will be available to book starting next year. From about $370 a night; farashafarmhouse.com.
A Colorful Furniture Display in Paris
By Laura Bannister
In 2020, six years after she famously suffused the London restaurant Sketch in cake frosting pink, the architect and designer India Mahdavi opened Project Room in Paris. She wanted the multipurpose space to serve as a Parisian window into the workings of the global design community, resetting it each quarter with new programming. For its latest exhibition, “¡Hola Paris!,”which opens later this month, Mahdavi invited Rudy Weissenberg and Rodman Primack, the founders of the Mexico City gallery AGO Projects, to take over the site. The result is what Weissenberg calls “our fantasy Paris sitting room,” an ersatz domestic tableau packed with 30-plus objects, many of which incorporate traditional Mexican materials and techniques. There is a sunny mushroom lamp by Fabien Cappello, hand painted with abstract forms that cling together like tiny families. There are tilted triangular vases, their surfaces reminiscent of craggy topsoil, made by the Mexico City ceramic studio MT Objects. There are copper sconces — a series of totemic masks whose eyes and mouths light up — from Niños Héroes, and a Mono Rojo vessel doodled with mouths and eyes, X’s and O’s.
“During these serious and chaotic times, sharing space with a colorful and cheerful piece of furniture can be uplifting,” says Primack. One such mood flipper on show is Ryan Belli’s Solid White Oak Sofa, a bench-like seat topped with cornflower blue cushions. Its back features a series of smooth wooden poles, each capped with a plush sphere. “To my eye,” Primack says, “Ryan’s sofa is winking at [Jean] Royère, as though Royère had been commissioned by Wilma Flinstone.”“¡Hola Paris!” is on view from Oct. 17 through Nov. 4, ago-projects.com.
Marin Montagut Compiles His Favorite French Collectors and Curios in a New Book
By Tariro Mzezewa
At a time when decluttered spaces are held up as an ideal, the artist and antiques hunter Marin Montagut highlights the joy of acquiring and compiling items in his new book, “Extraordinary Collections: French Interiors, Flea Markets, Ateliers.” “Finding objects endowed with soul is a passion that drives me every day,” Montagut writes, and the book offers the chance to go on what feels like a tour of France’s secret treasure troves. Montagut walks readers through Paris’s flea markets, shows off his beloved plaster cast collection and takes readers through private homes, ateliers and antiques shops around France. The titular collections include woven trunks, wicker ceiling lights and obelisks of various kinds, all photographed by Pierre Musellec. Montagut’s notes provide context and history for the stores and objects, while the final pages feature a list of addresses for the public places mentioned in the book, so those who wish to take a real-life tour — and start their own collections — can do so. “Extraordinary Collections” will be available Oct. 31, $41, bookshop.com.
Everyday Objects From Around the World, Gathered in an East Village Shop
By Elissa Suh
The playful and profound spirit of Pablo Neruda’s book “Odes to Common Things” animates a new store in Manhattan’s East Village opened by the architect and designer Komal Kehar. Like Neruda, Kehar salutes the beauty of the everyday through her shop, Common Things, where she has assembled enchanting yet mundane objects from all over the world: vintage wooden spoons from Cameroon; carved back scratchers from Thailand; a pair of painted candle holders from Sri Lanka. She’s drawn to items that transcend geographical boundaries. Vessels and spoons made of cow horn from Ghana sit beside another set from Haiti. Tunisian towels loomed by hand hang next to machine-made ones from Turkey. “It’s the idea that across cultures we all use similar things for our everyday existence,” she says. “Whether it’s from the same material or not, these acts and gestures bind us together.” Common Things also doubles as a creative studio, helmed by the artist Peter Minsoub Kim, that aims to support young designers. The first run includes a curved aluminum lamp meant to look like a faucet by the industrial designer Blanca Codina. Textiles from $60, instagram.com/_commonthings_.
A Joshua Tree Getaway Made for Nature Immersion
By Dana Covit
The desert has long been a place of both retreat and revelation, where words like “oasis” and “mirage” blur reality and fantasy. In Joshua Tree, Calif., the high desert community some 130 miles east of Los Angeles, a new rental property called Landing House leans into this mythos. Designed by Fernando and Juan Gerscovich, the brothers behind the clothing brand Industry of All Nations, the home is the first time the pair (both trained architects) have built a project together from the ground up. “We imagined the house as an ideal planet Earth refuge,” Fernando says. The one-story home has two bedrooms — one in the main structure, the other in a separate cottage across the courtyard — and a living room, dining room and kitchen. Much of the furniture was designed by the Gerscovich brothers and constructed in American white oak. A tranquil courtyard offers expansive views of the Mojave — as well as a poured concrete deck that culminates in a striking circular pool. Farther into the boulders and creosote is a perfectly round platform ready for sun salutations or stargazing. The buildings themselves are clad in cedar, which Fernando says will turn gray as it weathers: “It will look like a fallen Joshua tree branch integrated into the landscape.” Landing House is available to rent through Homestead Modern, which manages several properties in the area. From $900 a night, homesteadmodern.com.
A Warmly Minimalist Furniture Collection From Colin King
By Jameson Montgomery
Colin King, the classically trained ballet dancer turned interior stylist, is releasing a collection of furniture in partnership with the Future Perfect, the design gallery founded by David Alhadeff, which this year is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The eight-piece collection, called Variations, is a product of the pair’s penchant for minimalism and experimentation. Four Tetris block-like modular wood plinths are available in white oak, mahogany or walnut; they can be arranged into various configurations to display objects or help break up a space. There’s also a 7-foot-tall, 4½-foot-wide curvilinear partition, in the same woods as the plinths, that makes for an unusually stately room divider. Other pieces in the collection have much softer edges, including a plush sofa and matching chair with box-pleated linen skirts, and patterned woven cushions in a variety of colorways that top handsome stools. The mix of hard and soft surfaces and idiosyncratic shapes is meant to entice buyers to play with their arrangement. “As a dancer, I learned how to tell stories with no words, and I still do that,” says King. “Great design, just like great dance, makes the viewer see a part of themselves in the work.” Available from Nov. 19, price on request, thefutureperfect.com.
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