Interior Design Around the World

Americans have access to a dizzying array of home products from around the world - with the variety of home accents available, American consumers can create Asian-inspired bedrooms, Mexican-inspired family rooms, Moroccan-inspired dens -- but what about the rest of the world? In most countries, designers and consumers rely on indigenous materials and traditional national aesthetics to create inviting interiors.

Moroccan interiors have historically been influenced by Islam - with the use of intricate jewels, tiles, and mandalas, Moroccan interiors are lush and sensual. Because of the desert climate, Moroccan interiors include low-slung benches, tented ceilings, and masses of floor cushions for relaxing and reclining. Moroccan design incorporates jewel tones, liberal use of gold accents, and a very famous shade of “Morocco blue” that brings to mind the Mediterranean.

Mexico is famous for its color-drenched style - Mexican interiors are awash with color, including traditional and non-traditional uses -- it would not be uncommon to find a home with pink, orange, and royal blue walls. Mexican designers love color and have no reservations about using it liberally, both on the exteriors and interiors of the homes they design. Mexican style also incorporates religious and historical aspects, with the use of Catholic imagery and chunky wood furniture derived from medieval Catholic architecture and design.

Scandinavian design is the polar opposite of the rich, sensual designs of warmer climates. The cool Nordic climate is awash with pale light, which has translated into pale paint washes, white-washed furniture, and pastel tones in textiles. Scandinavian design is famously spare, minimal, and quiet. Because of its purity of form, Scandinavian designs have become quite popular worldwide.

Japanese design, much like the Scandinavian, is minimal almost to an extreme. Japan is a country with a unique ability to respect its own history despite rapid and explosive technological and social growth. Japanese design is steeped in tradition - with interiors heavily based in the feudal history of the country, relying on indigenous materials like rice paper and tatami. Japanese design is meditative and calm, and almost always monochromatic. The Japanese have a highly-evolved sense of visual principles in all things (“ikebana” the art of flower arranging, is an art form in Japan,) and creating balance, harmony, and tranquility is essential.

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