Relaxing in the Riad – a Hall Garden for Your Home

22 Jan

La Sultana is a Riad hotel. This means the hotel is built around a breathtaking interior courtyard which all of the rooms open out onto. The Riad is a hallmark of Moorish architecture.

What is super spa cool about a riad is it allows us to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors without passersby or neighbors ogling our oasis. It also truly brings the outside in. Imagine walking out your bedroom in the morning to a tranquil fountain and birds chirping as you go to breakfast! Now that’s a Wow Wakeup!

The trouble is many of us don’t live in the climate suitable to open air living all year – can you say snow? Brrr. BUT, we can bring some of that riad vibe to our houses. I’m thinking hall garden:

The Hall Garden

So you don’t really want to swing your bedroom door open to a frozen tundra in the AM. But. . . what about the sound of a bubbling fountain? Coming out of the bedroom, to me, is a symbolic act that says “Hey world I got out of bed, bring it on!” Live  this statement to the fullest, by creating a garden in your hall.


Hall to the Courtyard at La Sultana. Note the ceiling detail, pearlescent walls and tile floor.

The hall to the courtyard at La Sultana - note the pearlescent walls and white tile floor

1. Fountain

For instance, a wall fountain outside your bedroom door or at the end of the hall (always test the fountain in the shop for splashing. . . we don’t want’ to ruin our floors or carpets)

If you are worried about your flooring it doesn’t even have to run, just the aesthetics are enough to set the mood.

I know what you’re thinking this is a huge project. Well it doesn’t have to be. You can buy beautiful fountains that can simply be plugged in like the one below from Tazi Designs. It even has wheels to easily reposition.

No one will ever know this fountain is plug in and go!

If you’re a DIY diva make your own. Step by Step instructions over at Gardenguides.

2. Plants

Flank your fountain with a few potted plants. In Morocco, you’re likely to find herbs like Bay Laurel and Rosemary growing in the courtyard. If you have a sunny, bright hallway these will not only smell wonderful, but can be used in your tajine dishes. If you’re hall is dim, go for a structured plant like Mother in Law’s tongue.

Bay Laurel

If you pick a fountain with a ledge small mosaic pots set on them add color & character & keep plants off the floor.

3. Bench

While it’s fairly unlikely you’re going to sit in your hall, a narrow bench serves as a visual cue to relax. And you’ll be surprised how much you may actually use it, to put on shoes or while waiting for the bathroom perhaps. Wood or iron work well, or try an upholstered one to add more warmth & comfort.

4. Lighting

These lacy sconces lining your wall have a cutout pattern allows small bits of light to peek out, giving a starry effect at night. Very soothing way to say goodnight to the world.

5. Paint

Riad courtyards are usually white. Note how this hall at La Sultana leading to the courtyard is pearlescent to reflect the natural light. This pearlescent paint from Modern Masters in either Oyster or Camel will quickly fill your hall garden with light.

Modern Masters Pearlescent Camel

Live, Love and Lounge



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