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Southwestern Interior Design

southwestern Southwestern Interior Design

Characteristics

Southwestern interior design mainly captures the environment and heritage of the New Mexico and Arizona areas. Natural elements and colors and accents inspired by the Spaniards, Mexicans and Native American Indians are distinctive of Southwestern interior design. Flat roofs, open floor plans and extensive courtyards and gardens are hallmarks of a Southwestern home.

  • Color: Southwestern design utilizes subdued colors that reflect the region’s surrounding mesas. Earthy tones in terra cotta, brown, tan, cream and white set the stage for the bright pops of color brought in through plants and Native American Indian-inspired accents and textiles. Azure is a favorite color among Native Americans for exterior doors and windows. All colors reflect those found in nature, like salmon, forest green, slate blue and lemon yellow.
  • Furniture: Should be simple, unpretentious and made from natural elements. Rough-hewn wood with decorative carvings, natural textile coverings and soft leather are all acceptable choices for furniture. Large pillows on the floor or hammocks in the courtyard offer alternative seating arrangements. Rooms should have a natural flow and feeling of space.
  • Walls: Southwestern interior design generally uses adobe exteriors, and interior walls are roughly plastered over the adobe. Stucco or smooth stone can be used in its place. Hand-painted tiles lend color and warmth to otherwise drab walls, and are frequently used to cover kitchen back-splashes or as individual accents throughout the house. Murals depicting spiritual rituals and stories or mirroring their environment are commonly found in the Native American culture.
  • Floors: Terracotta tiles, usually honey-colored, are the most common flooring material in Southwestern decorating. Add visual interest by arranging them in square, brick or lozenge layouts. Light wood flooring or parquet is also acceptable, especially rough, wide planks. For a more colorful approach, lightly color the wood flooring with a cobalt blue dye, ensuring that the grain remains visible. Stone and brick may also be used throughout the house without sacrificing style. Scatter Native American Indian rugs throughout the home in traditional colors and patterns to brighten up rooms.
  • Accents: Use natural accents to decorate your home in Southwestern style. Paintings other than murals are not commonly used, but are acceptable if the subject reflects the natural environment or a Native American subject. Wrought iron, candles, dried flowers, hand-painted pottery, sculptures and animal skins are all acceptable decorative accents.

Similar interior design style: Rustic.

Examples

southwestern1 Southwestern Interior Design

Source: Houzz

southwestern2 Southwestern Interior Design

Source: Pinterest

southwestern3 Southwestern Interior Design

Source: Beth Asaff

southwestern4 Southwestern Interior Design

Source: Calvis Wyant

You might also be interested in the homes we’ve designed. Click here for interior design case studies! Or browse our Lookbook!