The Utopian Newsletter : Interior Design Issue September 12, 2018


Our Favorite Interior Design around the globe

Best Interiors • Shopping • Get the look

Our favorite lobby entrance, back on our map. Istanbul here we come!
Lead image also from Roommate Emir in Istanbul.

Once a designer, always a designer

In my most recent past life, I was an Interior Designer in New York City. Ten long years pounding the pavement trying to create better living and work spaces for city dwellers. I have an impressive resume under my belt and am always on the hunt for eye-candy around the globe. I worked for an architectural giant doing workplace design before my move to Tulum and 7 years with a high-end residential design firm that was like family. It’s hard to turn off the ‘designer’s brain’ so I thought I’d share my all-time favorite interiors and the cultures and countries behind them with you this month.
We have traveled far and wide, stayed in tents, suites, mansions, and villas around the world. Here are our favorite interiors hands-down and the way you can experience them for yourselves.

All our retreat locations are chosen with care keeping a close eye on the interiors. Check out all our Upcoming Dates for your chance to bathe in interior bliss on your next yoga retreat!

Moroccan Interiors are undeniably stunning

They can be heavy and bold or light and modern.

What I adore about Moroccan design is it can be simple and modern or it can be bold and colorful. Both ways can be incredible when done right. Mixing patterns, textures, and colors is key to achieving the look. I will typically choose a piece that I LOVE and then build the space around it, drawing the colors and elements out of that one piece (a pillow, a rug, a piece of art…whatever it is). Remember to stick to the palate!!

Riad Dar-K in Marrakech is a sleek, modern, and stylish riad inside the medina.
(please don’t put your pillows on a diagonal…it makes me cringe!)

Ryad Dyor nails simple elegance with graphics, lighting, and drama.

The souks around Marrakech and Essaouira are filled with amazing designers and modern shopping. Chabi Chic is a little gem filled with tons of treasures for the taking. The souks at the La Mamounia have incredible finds (bring your credit card though!) and at places like the Beldi Country Club they make the shopping easy and hassle-free by hosting their own souks filled with the best of if you’re not up for the bargaining that comes along with Moroccan shopping. Most of the other hidden gems are hard to describe how to arrive to in the windy labyrinth of the medinas…you’ll just have to come on retreat with us so we can show you! Our incredible Moroccan retreats can be found here.

El Fenn is a beautifully appointed hotel near Marrakech’s Jemaa el-Fnaa square.


Golds and neutrals create a soft palate in this Ryad Dyor bedroom.

Our Retreats are hosted in this castle by the sea


Villa Maroc has been a long time favorite of ours on the coast of Morocco in Essaouira. We have been vacationing and retreating at this interior design gem for the past 6 years. The riad is made of 3 houses, one of royalty back in the day, joined together to create a sweeping interior that feels like a vortex of amazing that you never quite want to leave…save for some shopping outside your door in the laid back souks with quality Moroccan furnishings and accessories ready for the taking. The lounge chair above is upholstered with a vintage Moroccan fabric found in the souks.

Bedrooms in Villa Maroc are unique and filled with treasures from around the country. Simple bones like white walls and neutral floors allow the designer to play with color and texture in the accessories like the pillows, paintings, and accent pieces around the space. My favorite finds in the souks in Morocco are the heavy brass candlesticks, incredible rugs and poufs, and a hidden souk stall that creates all kinds of unique pieces out of the rubber from car tires. I have picked up a room divider and a vase as well as a hanging lamp from this little gem of a shop in Marrakech!

Come Retreating & Shopping with us in Morocco!

Istanbul has been a long-time design favorite

The Turks have a knack for design and it blows us away!


I was blown AWAY by the interior design in Istanbul when I visited a few years back. It is design on steroids, other-level taste and style, and beautiful trinkets from glassware to towels, and lighting to furniture. If I was to be reborn into the design world again, I’d head straight to Turkey for work!

Luckily we are headed back to Istanbul for a Yoga + ART retreat with BONE by Dawn in September 2019. We will create our own art pieces inspired by this incredible city and explore the inspirational nooks and crannies filled with art and design at every turn.

Bold patterns and lines create a dramatic entrance at Roommate Emir.

Unique interiors in Istanbul by Roommate Emir, our incredible retreat location.

Istanbul feels like a tug of war between the young, hip forward thinkers, and the older, traditional Turkish contingent. It’s a beautiful blend and most Interior Designers in Istanbul marry the perfect mix of both worlds to reflect the culture around them.

No trip to Istanbul is complete without shopping the Grand Bazaar for all its trinkets and treasures. We will spend a full day exploring the city and being inspired by its many design elements. We will also hit up the boutiques filled with unique pieces by local designers like Maezae in Karakoy, the SoHo of Istanbul.

This Turkish design group is rocking our world and we LOVE this local jewelry designer that we’ll be visiting while on retreat.

Stunning interior bar of the Soho House Istanbul.

Soho House Istanbul bedroom mixing patterns, colors, and textures like a boss.

Yoga + ART retreat September 21-28, 2019 : Jewelry and hat making workshops with BONE by Dawn; inspirational yoga classes by our founder


Tips and Interior Design tricks
from a honeymoon suite in Holbox Island, Mexico
by our creator…

Christina Thomas of Y&AWW talks about simple interior design tips that can translate to your space at home. Simple, natural, and textural elements make this Holbox Island honeymoon suite an oasis of calm in paradise. Find out how you can create this look and feel easily at home!


A few last faves…

Between the jungle and the sea in breathtaking Tulum is Be Tulum’s bar.

Take me to Tulum


Talk about doing with what you’ve got…this design team nailed it in Havana.

Be the first to check out Utopia Havana!!

Dang Morocco!  We just can’t get enough…

All Upcoming Dates – Book yours now!

Christina Thomas

Christina is the creator and visionary for Yoga & Adventures Worldwide. She strives to create yoga retreat experiences that open the eyes of the traveler, offering them the opportunity to consider another possibility as they explore the world around them and the world within. Her yoga retreats are designed as if she were the guest, attending to each and every detail as she would want done for her own travel leaving just the right amount of room for that incredible serendipity that makes life so special.

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