STYLE FILE: Vivid Southwestern

Your home boasts a colorful collection of rugs, pottery, and folk art. Talavera tiles likely adorn some part of your space. You probably have one seriously awesome cactus garden. Tie your elements together with a bold, earthy color palette and exposed wood beams.


A little history

Southwestern design is rich in history, and is very unique to American culture. Before Spanish settlers came along, Native Americans were the only ones calling the American Southwest their home. The Southwest style is largely based off of the art and fine craftsmanship of the Navajo, Hopi, and Dinรฉ tribes- as well as the dwellings they live in. Elements from Spanish Colonial style were brought to the region with early settlers. These styles blended together seamlessly, as they both utilized natural resources to create homes and decorated them with colorful pieces of handcrafted art. Today, Southwestern style is still as popular as ever, and has gained popularity outside of the region. 


The color palette in Southwestern design is warm and inviting. Color inspiration is taken from the land. Rich and vivid colors are used in every application- from tiles to walls, furniture to decor. Bright turquoises, yellows, golds and reds are popular choices to layer on top of sandy, neutral hues. 


Pattern + Material

Textiles are an integral part of the culture of the Southwest, where weaving is more than an art form. It is a spiritual activity for those who practice it, and a way to express the history and culture through out different Native American tribes. Along with woven rugs, blankets and art, suede and leather are popular choices when creating a southwest space. 


Adobe and stucco are seen throughout the U.S. today, but they are the regional look in both interiors and exteriors of a typical Southwest home. Terra cotta and Mexican talavera tiles are a popular choice for both flooring and wall applications. Distressed wood is used as beams, doors, and other architectural features. 




Craftsman and Mission style furniture is a popular choice, and rightly so. Ranchers and missionaries were among the first American settlers to migrate to the Southwest region. Wood is a popular choice with both styles, where pieces are geometric and utilitarian. Leather upholstered furniture and hammered iron pieces create a more elegant look- and still hold true to the history of the style. 

Decor + Details

Authentic Design

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There are many options to decorating your space, as many retailers sell Southwest inspired products. Purchasing products directly from artists is not only the most ethical way to support the culture, but also insures you are getting quality, authentic goods. 

The Thriving Desert

Whether you live in the region, or are just trying to create a cohesive look in your home, adding desert plants is one of the easiest ways to get the look you are trying to acheive. Staple plants include cacti, succulents, and aloe plants. These plants are notorius for their interesting shapes and their practically hands off maintenence. 


Get more Southwest Style room inspiration on my Pinterest Page!

Interested in a Southwestern make over of your own?

Peace & Love,