The Casablanca Suite

The Casablanca Suite

A traditional Moroccan guesthouse often features elegantly decorated living quarters on upper floors and shop quarters at ground level. In the case of Dar Borj Dahab, the ground floor had been a woodworker’s shop in some distant incarnation. The previous owner was using it for storage space.

We decided to transform the large rooms with inconveniently located support pillars into a second living space comprising a bedroom, bath and living/dining room. We called it the Casablanca Suite, in part because it would be a completely new installation and, well, because we liked the romantic notion of it.

From rustic workshop to elegant guest quarters

To make the design work, we had to add a reinforcing brick pillar and an interior wall. We created a bedroom with a sleeping nook in an area with a low ceiling we could not adjust, added shuttered interior windows and an oversized antique door. To complete the suite, we installed an ensuite bath with shower.

A space behind one of the house’s load-bearing walls was large enough to house a fully equipped kitchen. Accessed through an arched doorway, the kitchen is open to the living/dining room. We used the zellij flooring already installed elsewhere in the house and commissioned plaster carving that replicated the plasterwork in the salon above.


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