What’s The Deal With Southwestern Decor and Complex, Geometric Area Rugs?


Have You Ever Looked Into Southwestern Interior Design Style?

I’ve actually been looking into this style of interior design and home decorating for awhile, but according to a recent Etsy trend forecast, it’s on the rise in popularity lately and is projected to continue to grow at an exponential rate. I’ve never really talked about this style of decorating before so I’d like to share a few tips on the basics and how to get started, in case you’re curious what all the hype is about with Southwestern style in your home. Even though I am mainly into Nordic / minimalist decor, for some reason, I’ve really been drawn to this style lately. Maybe it’s the link between your home and nature that Southwestern style draws that has drawn me in or maybe it’s the bright, popping colors and intricate patterns? Who knows, but anyway, maybe I can convert a few of my fellow Scandinavian design lovers to give the bolder Southwestern style a shot.


Before I dive in, I’d like to recommend that if of you are already among the converted, lovers of Southwest style, that you should really plan a road trip through the American Southwest, if you haven’t. It will really open your eyes to what’s possible and make you really fall in love with Southwestern design all over again.


Southwestern and Desert Style Decor


Southwestern design is bringing many elements from the American desert. It is similar to rustic or Bohemian design. However, unlike Bohemian design, Southwestern / Desert decor tempers their bright, striking colors with background / supporting colors from Earth tones or Desert colors. Unlike some other interior design styles that spread a broad area and are intertwined throughout different styles, Southwestern design come from a very specific place (The American Southwest). These areas of the American Southwest (namely, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas) have rich heritages of Native American tribes living in these areas and Southwestern style is heavily influenced by the cultures and art of those local tribes.


If you have an eclectic interior design sense and love to mix-and-match, push-and-pull in your home decorating then this may be the perfect style for you. You can temper the bright colors and intricate patterns with more modern / minimalist interior design elements to create a space bold and unique, yet still very calm and pleasing. Here’s a few tips to implement this vibe into your home:


Tip #1: Mix and Match Patterns and Fabrics

Southwestern decor is very much an eclectic form of interior design so feel free to mix and match different types of patterns, pillows, rugs, and wall art adding different layers throughout your interior design strategy. To truly go down the rabbit hole of Southwest vibe, consider adding other Western design staples to your home (think, animal heads, buffalo and horse paintings/photographs, Texas stars, Native American artwork, etc.). This will bring your decor to the next level and where we usually recommend you start is by picking out different bright, authentic, intricately designed, giant Southwestern room-filling rugs. After that, you can then start mix and matching different complementary or contrasting colors and patterns and start looking at pillows, cushions, wall art, and other decor accessories.


Tip #2: Contrast The Bright Patterns With Muted Colors and Subtle Design Elements

Because Southwestern decor is so bold and sometimes over-the-top, it’s recommended that you also employ subtler design elements to help balance out the tension in your space. We recommend going with nice, soft white walls, some muted colors (especially Earth tones), and mixing in some minimalist decor pieces so that the space is not too overwhelming. You’ll still gain the bold and striking effect that you love with Southwestern decor, but the space will still feel very calming and organized.


Tip #3: When Choosing Furniture, Wood and Leather Are Your Friends

It’s important to choose furniture that feels raw, warm, and naturalistic. The easiest way to accomplish this is by choosing pieces with natural wood and not overly altered. You want to keep a connection to nature in the design so you don’t want wooden pieces that overly treated and lose their raw appeal. You can also experiment with various types of wood. There are less rules with Southwestern style decorating compared to other styles so feel free to grab some furniture pieces made from exotic wood and see if it works.


Keeping with this naturalistic style, you may want to consider leather pieces.The soft and dark browns of leather help to maintain balance with the vibrant accent colors of Southwestern decor, while keeping that natural feeling in the space. Consider leather love seats, recliners, ottomans, etc. Again, there aren’t two many rules with Southwestern decor so you can grab a few leather pieces without having to commit to a full set.