Michelle Nussbaumer: The Colors of Morocco and Mexico

Michelle Nussbaumer is consistently named among the best designers in the country. She is the owner of Dallas design boutique Ceylon et Cie, founder of Michelle Nussbaumer Antiques and Designs, and creator of her own line of textiles and exotic jewelry, as well as her signature furniture collection, Ceylon Portfolio. Her designs are among Veranda's Top 25 and are frequently featured in leading national publications including House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Marie Claire, House and Garden, Departures Magazine, and The New York Times. Her first book will be published by Rizzoli in the Fall of 2016.


Three places that speak to my heart and sing to me are Morocco, India, and Mexico. These are the places where you’ll find the most handcrafted items. They all share the color red, which comes from the earth. The okra red of Morocco, the pink red from India, and the vibrant red of Mexico; those colors are found in their textiles and all of their beautiful artisan creations. When I travel to these foreign places I seek out the local artisans to create new textiles and rugs using the techniques that have been in existence for thousands of years.
In Morocco, the rugs are created from cactus fibers and they feel like silk. I use them sometimes as upholstery or hang them on a wall. The antique rugs have the most beautiful worn red that feels like an aged leather book. The tiles in Morocco, especially in Fez, are unmistakably beautiful. They are called “azulejo.” The word means tile in Spanish and and the root actually means blue, which is the color of the tile. The craft of tile making traveled from Morocco to Spain, and then from Spain to Mexico. The blue works so well and looks good with everything. People respond well to blue – it’s the color of the ocean and the sky and people are drawn to it. You can have blue in every room. Blue is a neutral to me.
Leaving home and discovering a new place changes you. When you return, your home may be the same, but you are not. Use that change to inspire your life, your work, or maybe even the way you set the table or do a party or design your home. This way you are able to share your travel inspiration with family and friends. My own journeys have enabled me to explore cultures and observe the way people live and my home is a reflection of that experience.

Find finds at Michelle’s boutique, Ceylon et Cie, and more inspiration on her colorful instagram.

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