Southwestern Style Home Décor

Southwestern style may be inspired by the designs of New Mexico and Arizona, but that doesn’t mean that you have to live there to implement it into your own home.

Southwestern is another natural style, like rustic and tropical décor. It is characterized by its use of traditional Native American accessories and natural, desert inspired elements.

Brightly patterned fabrics such as Navaho prints are commonly used in Southwestern design as window treatments, blankets, and in rugs. Use patterns sparingly to avoid overwhelming the room; mix them with solid fabrics in complementary colors.

Natural colors are used in Southwestern style, but they’re the colors that can be found in the desert landscape rather than the woods or the jungle.

Shades of green, pink, and red are all found in cacti, while blues, purples, and corals all bring to mind the desert sunset. Many paint manufacturers carry Southwestern lines that work well with this design style.

Southwestern Style Décor Walls and Floors

  • Flooring can be any natural material such as wood, stone, or tile
  • Slate and terra cotta floors are the most accurate choices
  • Rugs in Native American prints are common, some of the most common prints are the diamond shapes found in Zapotec rugs
  • Walls are often painted in pale hues
  • Leave beams unpainted and unfinished
  • Faux finishes such as plaster or color washing can add depth to walls

Southwestern Style Décor Furnishings

  • Common materials:
    • Wood
    • Leather
    • Iron
  • Wood pieces are polished to a warm finish
  • Painted furnishings should be distressed to better fit in with the rest of the décor
  • The furniture has simple lines and minimal detailing
  • Wrought iron pieces are commonly used as accents
  • A variety of fabrics are used, including wool, cotton, and suede

Southwestern Style Décor Accessories

  • Wall decoration ideas:
    • Use a brightly patterned rug as a wall hanging
    • Frame and hang a few pieces of traditional jade jewelry
    • Display a collection of traditional dream catchers
    • Native American style paintings depict common subjects include Kachinas, Kokopelli, and desert animals
    • Traditional sand paintings are good if you can find them
  • Table and counter decoration ideas:
    • Desert plants such as cacti can be displayed in terra cotta bowls
    • Tie a bundle of twigs together with twine and flank it with candles as a centerpiece
    • Fill a glass vase with smooth white pebbles
    • Display a collection of Pueblo pottery instead of fine china
    • Put a few short rain sticks into a tall glass jar
    • Longhorn skulls make good bookends, and imitation versions are available
  • Lighting ideas:
    • Wrought iron wall sconces and chandeliers are good choices
    • Try carved wood table lamps with simple shades
    • Candles provide natural light

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