Decorating for the Artistic Soul

What Is Southwestern Style?

Posted on: February 23, 2009

Southwestern style is generally made up of rough textures, earthtone colors, and fabrics that are hand woven in bright colors. Traditionally you would have light colored stucco walls, and wood covered or rough hewn, open beam ceilings. Floors and countertops should be done in hand painted tile to lend authenticity.

The furniture should be large, comfortable, unpretentious, and upholstered in leather or woven fabrics. The wood is often knotty pine and distressed. The browns and sandy tans of the furniture are offset by bright, highly patterned Navajo type rugs. Since large, open rooms are the norm, pull the furniture away from the walls. Wrought iron and glass tables can be used to keep it looking simple and uncluttered..

For accessorizing, use leather lampshades on wrought iron lamps, hang a colorful Mexican serape on the wall, or perhaps a beautiful American Indian blanket. Tall cacti planted in Talavera pottery would be lovely. Agave plants and succulents in rough clay pots should abound. Peach, teal and turquoise need to pop up somewhere in your accenting.

Any electronics; i.e. television, DVD player, stereo system; should remain in a closed entertainment center or armoire, to keep the ambiance undisturbed when not using them.

Southwestern design is a very comfortable and casual style that is easy to accomplish and easy to live with. It is a nicely balanced combination of American Indian, Mexican, and country cabin that combines the colors of the desert, the greens of cactus and the reds of the natural wonders of the great Southwest.


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