With influences from Spain, Mexico, Native American culture and the earliest settlers of the ‘wild west’, the Southwestern-style is one that has remained popular for decades. A creative mix of multiple cultures and periods with a warmth that echoes the Southwest’s landscape can be the perfect inspiration for your home, but you certainly don’t have to live in an adobe home to embrace it.
If you’re considering adding a touch of the American Southwest to your interiors, here are some tips to help you embrace this warm and inviting desert style.
The Southwestern Color Palette
From the warm white of stucco walls to baked tiles and natural woven pieces, Southwestern style brings together the colors of the desert landscape, from golden sands to arid plants and blue skies.
Stick with an earthy palette when translating this style to your own home. Here, soft tans and golds, burnt rust shades, deep reds, and terracotta warm-up sky blue and a touch of turquoise.
Use the softer neutral colors as your base with the more saturated and brighter colors as your accents.
Wood Furniture and Accents
As contemporary Americans settled into this region, they brought with them a rustic touch in their furniture that you can easily incorporate into your home today. The missionary lifestyle was one of simplicity and the modest, hardwearing pieces they brought with them reflected this.
Take inspiration from them with quality furniture that’s built to last – ladder-back chairs, shaker style cabinets, and items with little embellishment and rustic finishes.
Create Interest with Tiles
While elements of this style are simple and rustic, you’ll want to layer in accents that create a bit more interest. Hand-baked and encaustic tiles are a great way to do this, something that was influenced by the Spanish settlers.
Look out for patterned pieces with hand-made artisan quality to add life to your kitchen or fireplace or use simple terracotta tiles to bring in warmth and simplicity to your floors.
Add a Touch of Metal
The Spanish also brought with them the elegance of sculptural metal pieces and hand-wrought iron is a common element of this style. You can incorporate iron balustrades, complete with decorative flourishes, tables with metal bases or by simply add a few pieces that show off this artisan look in candle holders, small sculptural objects, door handles or lighting.
Bring in Texture and Pattern
Of course, one element of Southwestern style that is always recognizable is the woven textiles, more commonly associated with Mexican and Native American cultures. Roughly textured fabrics in bold and interesting patterns are common here and with a simple earthy color palette, can be mixed and matched throughout.
Handwoven designs with geometric shapes and wall hangings are a common style element for Native American tribes and incorporating items with this look is a great way to create the warmth and depth of Southwestern style.
Accessorize with Pottery and Artisan Elements
Finally, look out for pieces where the hand of the maker is present. Thrown pottery in natural colors or glazes can be incorporated throughout your home in collections or as individual pieces.
Add in some greenery as well with natural desert plants like cactus and succulents in terracotta pots.