Mora by Design
Mora by Design
LGE Design Group Interior Designer Fabiola Sweis walks us through Mora Italian, from bespoke floor tile to exposed ceiling beams.
“I wanted to craft a space that had a harmonious balance of Italian nostalgia and modern-day trends,” says Fabiola Sweis, an interior designer with LGE Design Group. The same company is responsible for the buildout of the restaurant from the ground up.
Fabiola Sweis used a variety of textural materials to create an eclectic space that is both modern and warm. “Brick, reclaimed wood, steel, and ceramics complement one another and emphasize the innovative nature of this trendy destination, while natural materials like wood on soffit walls adds warmth and depth to the space.” The result is a seamless transition from old to new, and this unique combination of seemingly disconnected materials that creates an atmosphere conducive to guests sharing a meal with family and friends.

Home. That’s exactly what Sweis wanted to convey in Mora Italian: “A place where people can gather, enjoy a great meal, and feel comfortable.” The place is airy and open with an exposed ceiling, but the wood deck and beams make it feel “lived in.” The big windows bring in the outside—the natural light—and takes the inside out, offering a sneak peek of the interior to passersby in the evening.

And what about that red? As Sweis explains: “It demands attention!” She splashes red liberally throughout Mora Italian. “Psychologically, red is said to invoke hunger and increase desire.” It could not be more appropriate for setting this scene.

When Chef Conant insisted on an open kitchen, Sweis was happy to comply. “The connection between the back of the house and the clientele creates a dynamic environment throughout the space.” In many respects, it provides the central theatrical aspect of the room. After all, it’s where all the action takes place. “Sit at the bar and watch the chef make a pizza right in front of you. It’s an absolute showstopper!”

It’s in the definitive mix of things where Sweis makes a strong statement “to create intrigue.” Blue barstools from England keep the look vintage and work with the blue accent tile, in contrast with wood and leather barstools that add a layer of warmth and stand out against the red and navy banquette seating. Likewise, each of the “divided spaces” in the restaurant complement one another, even as they offer unique experiences: the main dining room with its intimate booths, the adjacent bar for a more casual scene, the semi-private dining room space with its coffered ceiling and antique mirror, and the outdoor patio, where natural trees and a fireplace create a fantastic environment year-round. Under Sweis’s discerning eye and confident choices, Mora Italian makes a striking visual statement with a tapestry of materials and styles that follow through to the last detail.