Southwestern Decor Creates Uncluttered Feeling

Southwestern-style decorating usually conjures up images of homes in New Mexico and Arizona., with adobe walls and terra-cotta rooftops. But this style can be adapted to any house in any region of the U.S.

The decorating style simply brings the outside in through the use of natural materials, such as clay and wood, for furniture and accessories.

The style is uncluttered yet inviting and should bring a calm feeling to the room. Look to the desert Southwest to inspire your color palette.

Southwestern Decor

For example, the greens of cacti and succulents as well as the pinks and reds from cactus flowers could be used. Think of a sunrise or sunset landscape in the Southwest — a mix of coral, purple, brown and blue — and incorporate theses shades into the wall colors, fabric choices and accessories.

The textiles in Southwestern-style decorating often feature motifs inspired by American Indian cultures native to the region. Rugs and blankets made by Navajo Indians can be used for their intended purpose or folded and casually placed on top of a wooden chest or in another conspicuous place.

Diamond patterns are prominently featured in Zapotec rugs and table runners. Materials are natural, such as cotton and wool.

Southwestern-style furniture is usually made from wood and polished to a rustic finish. The detailing is simple – without ornate carvings – and furniture pieces such as armoires and cabinets tend to be large pieces.

Accent furniture can be painted, but keep the color palette natural, and if it’s a do-it-yourself project, run a piece of sandpaper over the finish to give it a distressed look.

Leather, suede, cotton and wool reflect our connection with nature and man’s historical reliance on animals in the Southwest. Wrought iron is commonly used for accessories such as wall sconces and lamps.

Accessories can enhance a Southwestern-style home. Vivid rugs used as wall hangings bring instant color to a room. Hand-painted tiles and clay pottery are a big part of Southwestern decor, especially pottery made by Indians.

Images of gecko lizards and Kokopelli, a fertility deity usually depicted as a flute player, are commonly used motifs. Consider adding a few items with these images, such as a bath mat or wrought-iron wall hanging.

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