What Defines Southwest Interior Design?
Southwest interior design is a design style named for the American southwestern states that pioneered and often use this design. The style is known for earth tone colors and natural elements reminiscent of the “wild west”. Let’s dive deeper into this style and see what defines it and how you can use it in your own home.
Beginnings of Southwest Interior Design
The American southwest was settled by Europeans from Spain. Naturally, this means that Spanish design styles have always had a huge influence in the area. Even as architecture around the country evolved to more traditional “American” styles, Spanish style homes are still being built in the area even to this day. The southwest interior design style also has Mexican influences. These traditional adobe style homes perfectly represent the relaxed way of life in the area.
Before the Spanish invaded the area, the area was inhabited by Native Americans. Most prominent in the area was the Navajo tribe. The Navajo people hve an extensive history and talent in textile crafts. They are notorious for their quilts, blankets, and hangings in a distinct graphic style. The southwestern style also uses many other Navajo inspired arts, including woven baskets and pottery.
Finally, another addition to the blend of cultural influences in the southwest is American. The people who settled in the American southwest included missionaries and ranchers. These lifestyles had an influence on what is still popular in southwest interior design today. Missionaries typically lived simple, minimalist lives in terms of possessions. As such, you will often see simple wood furniture in Shaker styles across this design style. Ranchers in the area built their livelihood off of farming and raising cattle. Their rustic homes were decorated with things from their ranch. This is why the southwest design style includes decorations like cowhide rugs, ram’s horns, and leather accents.
Elements of Southwest Interior Design
Colors in southwest interior design are inspired by the colors of the desert, with pops of color inspired by natural stones and dyes found in crafts in the area. This includes terracotta, rust, sand and mahogany browns, as well as cactus green, sunset pink, and turquoise.
The different cultural influences on southwest interior design brought with them different elements of decor. Commonly seen across most southwest homes, however, are crafty, handmade or handmade-inspired pieces. These arts and crafts include heavy woven rugs and quilts, clay pots and jars, woven tapestries, and mosaic art and dishes, to name a few. Anything earthy and organic is welcome in the decor, including items like potted succulents and cactuses, which are reminiscent of the desert outside.
Browse our selection below of some Navajo pieces from our selection, as well as some early American weavings, which are perfect for southwest interior design. If you need more help choosing the perfect rug or textile for your space, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts.