Territorial space separates and controls the design world. Notions of history, heritage and environmental influences all play a part in the development of regional designs. From the Moroccan mountains and deserts to the cool forestry mountainous regions of the of the Scandinavian Nord; a great contrast is undeniable. What makes these two styles so different and what happens when the Moroccan and Scandinavian styles are combined in interior design?

Moroccan Design

The interior design that originates in Morocco reflects its history and inhabitants of Arab and Berber influence. Characterised by intricate carvings, arched doorways, colourful fabrics and ceramics; it comes as no surprise that Moroccan interior design has become popular across North Africa and around the world.

Defining features of Moroccan interior design:

The unique blending of the arab and berber designs create a distinctive style that is instantly recognisable by the terra cotta tilework, known as zillij tiles. These are strategically placed in geometrically patterned mosaics, used to ornament walls, ceilings, floors, and furniture. Whilst the cities of Fes and Meknes, remain the centers of this design technique, it has been adopted by interior designers worldwide.

Image source

The unmistakable structural elements of Moroccan design can be found in the arches of entrances, windows and doors. Interior doors of villas are oversized and decorative, often adorned with delicate carvings and colour. In contrast, particularly small arched doors are used in dars – indicative of the ancient Kasbah.

Image source

A combination of vibrant and earthy colours are used in the interiors of Moroccan design. Inspired by sunrise and dessert sands, the colour palette ranges from gold and burnt orange to teals and turquoise. Utilising a sound balance, rooms flow seamlessly throughout the house, creating the epitome of harmony in the home.

Image source

The astounding ensemble of rich fabrics and colours that work together in crafting a beautifully interesting space, without overwhelming; is arguably the defining feature of Moroccan interior design.

Scandinavian Design

In total contrast to Moroccan design, Scandinavian design is an aesthetic marked by minimalism and functionality. Its influence since its inception in the early 20th Century has, like Moroccan design, spread from the Nordic region across the world.

Defining features of Scandinavian Design

Industrialisation arrived late in the region, traditional craftsmanship remained live and focused on form and function. Creating furniture that was multifunctional was necessary. So, in Scandi style, a coffee table that also functions as a storage unit, is stylistic and functional. Today, double-function furniture, is a sure way to ‘Scandify’ the interior of a home.

Image source

The use of wood in creating a minimalist and functional design is a trademark of Scandinavian design. Often complimented with light, muted colours, the interior should reflect the external environment. The inclusion of natural material and organic colours- are due to the fact that Nordic people spend a relatively long period indoors. The enhancement of the internal space, to bring elements of nature in, is the dominant driver of Scandinavian interior design.

The use of organic forms and natural patterning, are inspired by the Nordic environment of mountainous and forested regions. Central to Scandinavian interior design is maximising natural light. Countries in the region would see long dark months with limited light. Strategically placed windows and the use of mirrors are associated with this design. Mirrors that reflect natural light, and white walls, are undoubtedly defining features of Scandinavian design.

Moroccan heat meets Scandinavian cool

What happens when you combine the defining features of these two styles in interior design? The combination of cool, neutral Scandinavian decor, with warm and earthy Moroccan features may sound extremely contradictory but has become a go-to style for the modern designer.

The white backdrop of the Scandinavian colour palette poses as a canvas to showcase the structural elements of the collection of Moroccan texture and materials. The style becomes neither Moroccan or Scandinavian but rather a melange of function and design. Cool down the colours of Moroccan inspired textiles to accommodate the minimalist Scandi design.

Image source