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Today’s Lesson Is About: Southwestern

Every person has at least once watched westerns. We got used to those wooden furnishing and desert colors but is it possible to bring a bit of Arizona, New Mexico, and Spain to your home? Fortunately, there is a style in the interior design known as Southwestern (Read: Today’s Lesson Is About: Contemporary) one and every person can add some features or even create a real ethnic design at home.

Southwestern style: definition and evolution

Southwestern style takes its origin from Spanish colonizers who arrived in America and were mesmerized by nature. That means that this style appeared at the end of the 18th – the beginning of the 19th century and was influenced both by the Pioneer settlers and local residents. It is considered to be a compilation of American and Spanish styles and an infusion of various colors, textures, and materials.

Southwestern homes usually look in the following way: they have flat roofs, open and spacious floor plans, high ceilings, and extensive courtyards with luxurious gardens. There are desert colors and textures as well as iron pieces and wooden carvings close to Mexico and Spain. Moreover, there are many other features characteristic of this style too.

Features of the Southwestern style

1. Color range

Since the style was inspired by nature the color scheme also reminds all the shades you can see in the desert of the American continent. These are predominantly neutral and warm colors like rust and sand, terracotta and mahogany brown but there are also some brighter shades both bold and vibrant like red, sky blue and cactus green. Most of them are taken from the land and have neutral hues while some eye-catching tones can be seen on the bright blankets made by the Indians and be borrowed from there too.

Living room by Spotless Agency

2. Textures and materials

Of course, the first thing that strikes the eye in the Southwestern interior is wood. The variety of species used is quite impressive including birch, pine, maple, oak. They look massive and steady as usually furniture is made with thick legs as well as attractive and fragile thanks to extraordinary carving and accents. In most cases, the texture and color of the wood are left natural but you can see painted examples of furniture in this style too.
Another impressive material that is mainly used for decoration is iron and other metals. It will not be surprising to see artistic metalwork to adorn the shelves or cabinet crown details as well as make the interior appealing thanks to the wrought iron stand.

Tiles are also a popular choice as they have a long-standing history.  The accent is made on hand-crafted and hand-painted tiles that could adorn any place in the room from the kitchen backsplash to the fireplace. Their design is intricate and colorful so they can easily become a focal point of the room.

It is difficult to imagine the Southwestern design without pottery. It has been a traditional art for centuries and nowadays it is an indispensable component of this style. The process of its creation from clay preparation to polishing and painting involves handcraft and provides the piece with the artist’s soul, so the presence of pottery is very important.
The other traditional materials and textures of the Southwestern style are woven grasses, wool, cotton and linen fabrics, rattan and basket weave etc.

Living room by Spotless Agency

3. Furniture

You will never see modern pieces of furnishing in this style as most pieces are made from massive wood and adorned with carvings. Another interesting way to make furniture exclusive is its distressing for it look old and show the wooden texture. You can also see iron tables, lamps, and other small accessories on the furniture too. Speaking about the upholstery, woven, suede and leather fabrics are used as decoration to that sizable furniture.

4. Walls and floors

Many years ago walls in southwestern homes were made from stone. Today there are many contemporary ways to add walls an unfinished touch or create a focal point using murals.

Floors are usually covered with tiles in a variety of layouts. The other popular floor finishes are parquet, rough planks or stone. And of course, it is impossible not to mention colored wooden floors too.
Bright atmosphere is added by colorful rugs with Indian or National American patterns.

Kids’ Bedroom by Spotless Agency

5. Decoration and accessories

Iron candlesticks, wooden sculptures, animal skin and bones, Kachina dolls, pottery pieces can be noticed in the Southwestern interiors. Both wall paintings and murals serve as a wall adornment. Woven blankets and pillows add comfort while cowboy accessories provide a bit of male presence.
There are also many outdoor elements used for decorating patios or courtyards. These might be cacti or tropical plants.
Southwestern style by rooms

Living room by Spotless Agency

Of course, it will look strange if you hang a woven rug on the tiles bathroom wall, so there are some hints how to add Southwestern style (Read: Today’s Lesson Is About: Contemporary) to every room.


Bedroom by Spotless Agency

A peaceful atmosphere in the Southwestern bedroom can be created painting walls with faux. The wrought iron bed will look great if combined with wooden rustic bedside tables and door. Cover the bed with a patterned woven blanket and crown everything with a chandelier with a fan.


Kitchen room by Spotless Agency

Southwestern kitchens are usually designed in warm colors and natural materials. Wooden cabinets, brick walls, stone tables, tiles backsplashes characterize Southwestern kitchens.


Original tiles or natural stone are usually chosen for bathroom floors and walls. The vanity of the copper shade and a brown bath as a focal point will not leave anyone indifferent.

Living Room

Living room by Spotless Agency

The pleasant and welcoming atmosphere of the living room can be created using natural woven textiles and a stone fireplace.The tiled floor is better to cover with bright soft rugs while hand-carved furniture, metal fixtures, and numerous pottery pieces will add character and style.


Southwestern style has become incredibly popular due to its emphasis on natural materials. You will not find any innovative techniques or up-to-date furniture there but that comfort and relaxing atmosphere created with the help of this style worth being appreciated.

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