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Rancho Mirage house featuring elaborate Moroccan details seeks $2.5M

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Oh, and a fabulous conversation pit

That plasterwork! The conversation pit! There’s a lot to ogle here.
Courtesy of Richard Bartholomew/The Agency

Rancho Mirage is often associated with midcentury modern architecture or desert modernism, but this house breaks the mold by going Moroccan.

The home at 11 Clancy Lane was commissioned in the late 1970s by a documentarian named John Luthold, who had become interested in the work of traditional Moroccan craftsman while on a trip to the country, according to listing agent Richard Bartholomew of The Agency.

Upon returning to the states, Luthold hired a family-owned Moroccan firm of traditional artisans that specializes in intricate chiseled plasterwork and the installation of Moroccan zellij tiles, which are used to make ornate mosaic-like patterns. Both are prominent design elements in the home.

According to the seller of the house, who has since been in contact with Adil Naji, the son of the original artisan who led the project, the detailed work took two years to complete. The family-owned firm that created the work in the house has blossomed, and in 2011, its new U.S.-based arm completed a Moroccan Pavilion for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The three-bedroom, three-bathroom residences sits on an acre. In addition to geometric tile patterns throughout the house, there are also Moorish-style arches, plaster walls and ceilings with gold-leaf, a silk-paneled dining room, a living room conversation pit, and a tiled pool. The property includes partial ownership of a 4-acre equestrian and tennis center.

The home is listed for $2.49 million.

Both the tile and the chiseled plaster were done by Moroccan artisans, the listing agent and owner say.
Imagine a chilly desert night huddled around the fireplace.
A little turret-like alcove.
The property sits on an acre.