Southwestern Rugs and Carpets and Interiors

Learn more about Southwestern style area rugs and Interiors

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What Defines Southwest Interior Design?

Before we shop for Southwestern rugs, lets review the Southwest interior design approach. The Southwest decor is an interior 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.

What is the definition of Southwestern rugs?

Southwestern rugs typically refer to a style of rug that is inspired by the traditional designs and motifs of Native American tribes from the American Southwest, particularly those from Navajo, Hopi, and Pueblo cultures. These rugs often feature geometric patterns, bold colors such as red, orange, yellow, and blue, and may incorporate symbols and imagery significant to the Native American cultures of the region, such as arrows, feathers, and animals like wolves and eagles. Southwestern rugs are often handwoven using techniques passed down through generations and are prized for their craftsmanship and cultural significance.

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.

Southwestern Rugs and Carpets by Nazmiyal

Southwestern Rugs and Carpets

Before the Spanish invaded the area, the area was inhabited by Native Americans. Most prominent Southwestern rugs in the area were crafted by the Navajo tribe. The Navajo people have 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 and Southwestern rugs in particular, includes decorations like cowhide rugs and carpets, ram’s horns and leather accents.

Southwest Interior Design Furniture Nazmiyal

Southwest interior design includes minimal wood furniture.

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.

Southwest Interior Design Colors Nazmiyal

Southwest interior design uses earth tone colors.

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. As far as Southwestern rugs go, anything earthy and organic is welcome in the decor, including items like potted succulents and cactuses, which are reminiscent of the desert outside.

Southwest Interior Design Art Nazmiyal

Southwest interior design uses lots of art, like mosaic art.

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 Southwestern rugs for your space, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts.

What types of rugs influenced the Southwestern look?

The Southwestern look in rugs draws influence from various indigenous cultures of the American Southwest, particularly the Navajo, Hopi, and Pueblo tribes.

The primary types of rugs that influenced the Southwestern style include:

  • Navajo Rugs: Navajo rugs are perhaps the most iconic influence on Southwestern rugs. Traditionally handwoven by Navajo artisans, these rugs feature intricate geometric patterns and bold colors, often utilizing natural dyes derived from plants and minerals.
  • Zapotec Rugs: Zapotec rugs originate from the Zapotec people of Oaxaca, Mexico, but their designs and techniques have also influenced Southwestern rug styles. Zapotec rugs typically feature geometric patterns and vibrant colors woven on a traditional loom.
  • Pueblo Rugs: Rugs crafted by Pueblo tribes, such as the Acoma, Zuni, and Taos Pueblos, also contribute to the Southwestern aesthetic. Pueblo rugs often feature geometric patterns and symbols inspired by tribal ceremonies, nature, and spiritual beliefs.
  • Mexican Sarapes: Sarapes are colorful, woven textiles originating from Mexico. While not strictly Southwestern, their vibrant colors and striped patterns have influenced Southwestern rug design, particularly in border motifs and color palettes.
  • Spanish Colonial Rugs: Spanish settlers in the Southwest also brought weaving traditions that influenced the local rug styles. These rugs often feature simpler designs and earthy tones, reflecting a blend of Spanish and indigenous influences.

These various rug traditions, along with the cultural exchange and trade among indigenous peoples and settlers, have contributed to the rich tapestry of Southwestern rug design.

What types of interiors work best with Southwestern looking rugs?

Southwestern-looking rugs can complement a variety of interior styles, adding warmth, texture, and visual interest to a space.

Here are some interior styles that work well with Southwestern rugs:

  • Southwestern Style: Naturally, Southwestern rugs are a perfect fit for interiors inspired by the traditional decor of the American Southwest. These interiors often feature warm earth tones, rustic furniture, and Native American-inspired accents. The rugs enhance the authenticity of the space and tie together the overall aesthetic.
  • Bohemian or Boho Chic: Southwestern rugs can bring a touch of eclectic charm to Bohemian-style interiors. Pairing these rugs with layered textiles, vintage furniture, and eclectic decor creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere with a global flair.
  • Rustic or Cabin Decor: In rustic or cabin-style interiors, Southwestern rugs add a pop of color and pattern while complementing the natural elements such as wood, stone, and leather. The rugged yet vibrant aesthetic of these rugs complements the cozy, inviting feel of rustic spaces.
  • Modern Southwestern Fusion: For a contemporary take on Southwestern style, mix Southwestern rugs with sleek, modern furniture and minimalist decor. The contrast between the traditional patterns of the rugs and the clean lines of modern furnishings creates a dynamic and visually engaging space.
  • Transitional Interiors: Southwestern rugs can also work well in transitional interiors, which blend traditional and contemporary elements. Pairing these rugs with classic furniture pieces and modern accents creates a harmonious balance between old and new, adding character and warmth to the space.

Overall, Southwestern rugs can be versatile pieces that can enhance a wide range of interior styles, from traditional to eclectic, rustic to modern. The key is to consider the overall aesthetic of the space and use the rug to complement existing decor elements while adding personality and visual interest.

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