Raven + Lily: Design with a Purpose

The very best design enhances our lives by uplifting our spirits, inspiring us with beauty, and provides balance and order to our lives. Raven + Lily, a socially responsible company that dedicates itself to empowering women around the globe through design partnerships and sustainable economic opportunities, not only provides this to us through their products but is uplifting, enhancing, and providing balance and order to the lives of the women who make them. 

Stenciled Moroccan Art Deco Mural by Melanie Royals of Modello Designs from a Peacock Painters stencil retreat to Marrakech 

Their gorgeous collections feature handmade, eco-friendly jewelry and accessories from North India, Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Los Angeles-and proceeds from the sales are returned to fund education, healthcare, and micro-loans to the communities they come from.

I personally own these amazing earrings and necklace, made in Ethiopia from recycled vintage coins and bullet casings. Read more about Raven and Lily's mission here, and you can imagine why I feel so good about wearing them.


Moroccan stencils from Royal Design Studio on stair risers and a door at Peacock Pavilions in Marrakech, Morocco 

This past year, they photographed their latest designs for their Spring/Summer Collection at none other than Peacock Pavilions-the site of our annual Peacock Painter’s Stencil Retreats-and many of our stenciling projects there can be seen in the backgrounds in this lovely LookBook. The allover stencils painted in black and white that you see on the stairs and door were inspired by classic zellij tile patterns, and were created for our first and second stencil retreats. All of these little lovelies are available in our Moroccan stencil pattern collection. You can see more of these stairs, as well as other ideas, in this blog post about using stencils on stair risers. The petite stencil patterns are such a fun addition to not only stair risers, but furniture, fabric, placemats, and stenciled accessories as well. Bonus! They also make a GREAT backdrop for fashion shoots! Collage background pattern: Arabesque Moroccan Stencil

Moroccan stencils based on Fez embroidary patterns stenciled on a canvas dining tent by Royal Design Studio at Peacock Pavilions, Marrakech 

The stenciled Moroccan dining tent that we created on our 3rd stencil retreat to Peacock Pavilions was used in another photo shoot. This tent, which we stenciled with designs drawn from Fez embroidery patterns is a super romantic dinner venue at night, but it's also a dreamy place to while away an afternoon with the soft filtered light and afternoon breeze blowing in. The Moroccan stencils used here are Moroccan Lace Stencil, Moroccan Star Border Stencil, Fez Blanket Moroccan Stencil, and Fez Fringe Border Stencil.

Stenciled Art Deco Mural by Melanie Royals, Modello® Designs featured in Raven + Lily Spring/Summer Collection fashion/photo shoot 

Far and away, the Peacock Pavilions stencil retreat project where we stenciled an Art Deco Mural inspired by the artist Armand Albert Rateau is the one that elicits gasps (of pleasure, of course!) It is super elegant, dare I say sexy, and offers heavy drama with stenciling in gold Stencil Cremes on a graphite colored wall. Due to the large scale, this particular stencil project was done with a one-time-use vinyl stencil from our sister pattern company, Modello® Designs. We have made these patterns available for YOU, in case you want to recreate this gorgeous look for yourself, and used a combination of DecPan219 and 220.

We just LOVE that some of our stencil projects in Morocco are showing up in fashion shoots and fashion magazines worldwide, thanks to the amazing talents and network of design associations of author and international interior design blog star Maryam Montague of My Marrakesh.

As I get ready to leave a month from now for our next Peacock Painters Stencil Retreat and project, I am already looking ahead to the NEXT trip which will take place in May 2014. This current retreat sold out in 2 weeks, so if you are interested in participating in our Moroccan stencil magic next year, please let me know!

RAVEN +_LILY TEAM credits: PHOTOGRAPHY: Kate Rentz, MODELS: Fatima Zahra and Kate Rentz, STYLIST: Lori Fox, ASSISTANT STYLIST: Candice DePrang Boehm

Melanie Royals  is a stencil artist and desiger who founded Royal Design Studio Stencils in 1994 


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