This Season we’re taking a trip down Southern USA! Enjoying the wind through your hair with the windows down, as your van drives down the road is what we call “living the dream!”
When it comes to interior design, however, the southern USA offers a great variety, differing from each country and even within the different cities! If we had to sum it up in a sentence though, we’d say that the Southwestern Desert style focuses on enjoying the beauty of the desert, living off the land in rugged terrain and unforgiving weather. The combination of these elements creates a unique style that’s both inspired by nature and bohemian at the same time. It’s very similar to pure boho – but different in the sense that it focuses on more earthy details, with the driving force behind its color palette the beautiful tones of the desert.
The Southwestern Desert style relies on natural elements to create a cozy atmosphere fitting for the changeable climate that the desert has to offer – sheepskin throws for warmth in winter, natural woven fiber rugs during summers and plenty of gorgeous native plants for a pop of fresh color throughout the home!
Tip 1: Inspired by the desert
An important aspect of the Southwestern Desert style that Redecorators must understand is how the desert itself influences the design. To combat the desert heat and make use of its living conditions, single-story homes are popular in the more heated parts of the south. These beautiful homes, with their wide porches, often hold the most carefully curated furniture and decor pieces, having been hand-chosen attentively by their owners over the years.
Often, indigineous patterns are used in this style! Native Americans have incredible and symbolic patterns that can now be seen incorporated into a lot of desert-inspired designs. Glyphs of the sun, arrows, feathers and flowers are another common motif used to bring nature into the home.
Art-wise, try to avoid using minimalist and topography prints when planning out your rooms – instead opt for abstract prints, desert landscapes and other design pieces that incorporate nature in all its shades.
Our artists have put together a few beautiful scenes to give you talented Redecorators some inspiration! You can just feel the desert with those sandy curtains, pale wooden floors and the gorgeous “California Sun” throw! The “Grand Plateau” rug, pots and pillows add a warm and cozy touch. Don’t you just want to cuddle next to that throw?
Tip 2: Tones, textures and all that’s in between
This style tries to bring nature in through its colors, but also through the textures and pieces chosen, like woven rugs and baskets.
Try to use layering techniques that involve matching different patterns, whether it be pillows or rugs, to get a more complex and cozy feeling in the home. Textile isn’t the only thing you can layer though – another wonderful aspect of the Southwestern Desert style is how it incorporates old and new in all things! You can pair western-styled antiques with contemporary design pieces as part of your desert-inspired look. Mid-Century Modern pieces can add a great touch – but try not to overwhelm the space with them. Just a touch or two will do!
This scene our artists have created shows layering at its best! Notice how many interesting patterns and textures are in this picture – and yet it doesn’t clash! The beautiful rug ties in with the pale green curtains and throw, the “Coral Treasures” compliments the “Into the Horizon” upholstery, and the “Seagulls and Sand” plays off all the green tones in the room. Happy? C
heck! Feels like freedom? Double check! Layering? Heck yes!
Tip 3: Accents and trinkets
Try incorporating raw and warm materials in your designs. Natural woods go alongside more exotic wood types beautifully – balata, goncalo alves, greenheart, carved wooden pieces, and more, can add a touch of warmth and coziness to your designs!
Another great accent for a southern home is the beautiful native plants that thrive in this climate. Cactuses come in all varieties and shapes, and are a wonderful addition to any room! Succulents are quite heat resistant as well – and super trendy! If you’re decorating a larger space, like a yard, you can consider using palm trees for shade – they’re beautiful and sturdy trees that don’t require too much watering. These plants add a pop of green while keeping the room cool and modern.
Note that oftentimes, white walls are common in this design style, as they don’t absorb and trap the heat. The other pieces used in the room tend to bring out the subtle shades you’re aiming for.
A great way to add a small but significant accent, for example, is leather. Mid-Century Modern leather side chairs, leather cabinet pulls, all these little touches can add so much to the style. It should be noted that cognac leather is recommended here, not a very dark brown. This allows the design to stay light, yet cozy.
This scene has it all – beautiful wooden beams mixed in with a different kind of wood for the seating area, bold patterns that bring in some warmth (“Canyon Path”, “Yosemite Red”),and that gorgeous cognac leather on the “Road 66” upholstery! A truly peaceful scene to enjoy a cool breeze in the late afternoon, while enjoying the desert view.
Tip 4: Color palette
If you close your eyes and envision a desert, what do you see? Perhaps some sandy gravel under your feet, a distant olive-toned cactus in the distance, mountains and cliffs moving from different layers of brown to a deep rose pink.
All this beauty is incorporated into the Southwestern Desert style!
Caramel, terracotta, rust, clay – all of these options are your friend. They can be paired with lighter earthy tones like sand, taupe, beige, and more.
Pink gradients show up in the desert landscapes for a reason – if the ground is rich in certain minerals, that reflects in the shades it showcases. These pink tones tie the desert scene in beautifully together, so some dusty pink highlights can do wonders for your design!
Think of yourself as an artist, carefully choosing the color palette for your next masterpiece. If you’re unsure what goes well together, close your eyes and envision that beautiful desert scene we were talking about – if it works in nature, then it should work for your designs!
Our artist created this scene to show you that the desert has such a wide array of colors, you’ll never have to settle! From yellows, to browns and greens – you’ve got it all! Notice how there are over 5 different shades of green throughout the room, over 4 different shades of beige, wood and brown, and 4 oranges! In the little glimpse you get from the window, you can see these exact colors reflect. Talk about gorgeous! (By the way, are you as in love with the new “Scenic Route” rug as we are?).
Tip 5: Eclectic at heart
There’s no one way to get the Southwestern Desert style right. Like desert living itself, it’s very fluid and unique to each person. Since this style combines old and new, different textures and tones, and also has a tendency to change alongside the seasons, it can be easily classified as eclectic.
If there’s something you want to try – now’s the time! You can see if those two patterns go together, or if this art piece will do the trick. Experiment! Creating a cozy home that’s unique to your own sense of taste is just as much an achievement as nailing down a new styling technique. This style is so eclectic and encompassing that you’ll probably dabble with aspects of it without even meaning to at times!
It’s so natural to design this way when you’re thinking of desert life.
This stunning barn turned living room is true embodiment of eclectic! From the “Dashing Hat” standalone piece, to the “Wild’n’free” art, the different patterns in the rugs and sofa, the different colored wooden table and beams – it’s all so wonderfully different and refreshing. This scene is here to remind you – give it a chance! Try and be free this Season!
Come join us on this desert adventure! It’ll be our best Season yet! So are you coming? We’ll be in the van!