Design Around The World: 5 Countries That Changed Design

You guys!! My baby girl is 8 weeks old today.... HOW?? Let me pull myself together real quick...

The past 8 weeks have been full of so many things! They've been hard, but they have been rewarding and I have learned so much. Being a mama is full of so much more love than I ever imagined.

Have y'all ever noticed how different the design elements are in countries around the world? It's pretty amazing to see everything that has been thought of and brought to life, especially by people hundreds and hundreds of years ago. Its a nice refresher to know that people can be creative without the digital technology that we have these days. Don't get me wrong... I love my computer and my DSLR camera... but to see things that these great architects and artists came up with before they could get "inspired" by other things around the world is pretty remarkable and makes me want to work harder on my own creativity.

Let's check out a few!


Indian architecture started its grand adventure when Buddhism came to town. So many buildings popped up during this time. One work of art that came from this time is the Great Stupa (pictured below). This building is said to house the ashes of Buddha. The entrance has tons of relief sculptures, all representing a different part of Buddha's life. The dome shape represents the heavens protecting the Earth. I like that! Dome type structures evolved from the Middle East, India and the Mediterranean, which were mainly on small hut homes to begin with. Later, the Romans brought to life the large scale "hemisphere" style domes that spread around the world.




Morocco has some amazing architecture and design elements. The detail is absolutely breathtaking, and something that you could gawk at for hours. Influenced strongly by Islamic culture, the geometric patterns and ornamentation are not to be taken lightly. At the center of most buildings you'll find courtyards and sometimes even gardens. These spaces are meant for occupants to come relax for a few moments during the day. I'd say these are comparable to sunrooms in some homes today! Arches, stucco, and white walls are other beautiful features that are generally found in Moroccan buildings like Mosques and kasbahs. One thing I really enjoy from Moroccan design is the "zellij", the beautiful, oh so intricately designed, patterned mosaics.




Let's talk arches! In early Rome, arches represented victories, money and power. No wonder people love arches in their homes these days! The Romans actually "invented" the arch, which helped disperse the pressure of buildings to be down and out. That's what makes them so strong and able to support such heavy structures. Shown here is The Arch of Constantine, located next to The Colosseum in Rome, Italy. I'd say that's a pretty heavy work of art.




Gentle slopes, and wood! This is Japan. Early Japanese architects were influenced by Korean and Chinese architecture, developing what turned into their own traditional style. Wood has been popular in Japanese buildings because of its resistance to earthquakes. The gentle sloped roofs were made this way so that the buildings would blend in better with the natural landscapes around them. If you think about it, nature is very "ebb and flow", coming and going. There is a lot of texture and so much irregularity to each element. Sure things look the same from far away, but unlike manmade things not one element in nature is exactly the same. Gardens implemented into Japanese archtiecture are meant to blur the edges between manmade buildings and nature, making them look like one element. I find that interesting because it seems like here in America that we use nature and landscaping to separate our homes from the outdoors. Almost like a fence or a barrier.



Scandinavia (Norway, Denmark, Sweden):

White, bright and minimalistic. It's no secret that Ikea has given away the design secrets of this part of the world. The people who live in this region use natural light to create their spaces. White, black and neutrals are used majority of the time because they believe that these colors don't go out of style (which is so true!). Inside and out, clean lines are a must in this culture. Scandinavian design has definitely made its way into America's modern style. As Marie Kondo would say, "Keep only what brings you joy and comfort", and there you have it... you're Scandinavian!! Ohhh, Scandy.



Now that our journey around the world is over, what are some of your favorite architecture and design elements? I really love the intricacy of Moroccan culture with all of the tiles and patterns... but the simplicity of Scandinavian design is pretty freeing. If I could merge the two into one, I would be a happy lady.

I hope you guys enjoyed this! I actually learned a lot myself from writing it. There is so much out there that needs to be seen and I just can't wait to get my eyes on it! This is why travel is so inspiring. Design differs so much from country to country, and even from city to city. There are so many different design styles in each country that it's hard to narrow down just one favorite!

Thanks for reading-- Remember to let me know what design styles you like from this post! If you have some that I didn't mention, tell me about them! Also, don't forget to "Like" the Emteriors Facebook page. I'll have lots of neat things going on there this year, like giveaways and contests!

Much Love-