Southwest Home Interior Design Ideas


I recently traveled to Arizona, and after spending a few days there I now understand how being surrounded by southwest environment it becomes a part of your visual likes. The Southwest generally includes California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. However, the heart of the Southwest and southwest design lies in homes set in the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico. I’ve gathered southwestern home design ideas, trends and tips from various decorating sources. If you have a desire to surround yourself with a little or a lot of southwest style, this is for you.

STYLE: Southwestern style is generally characterized by earth-tone colors, rough textures, crafted objects, brightly colored woven fabrics, an abundance of terra cotta and clay tile roofs. It’s known for its relaxed, casual and rustic feel. A Southwestern home makes a person feel they’re still outdoors even when they ‘ve walked inside.

COLORS: Select a Southwestern color palette by watching a desert sunrise or sunset. Dozens of colors can be used in the home to reflect this style. Use colors of auburn, blood-red, cactus green, deep purples, sage green, adobe red, orange, salmon pink, turquoise and desert-toned neutral hues such as beige and brown. You can also add in bright yellow, light blue and teal.

FABRICS: Usually woven fabrics, suede or leather. Geometric patterns or images of animals such as eagles or rabbits are characteristic. Fabric designs can be found in throw pillows, bedspreads, blankets, tapestries and area rugs.

FURNITURE: For furniture that is not upholstered, such as chairs and tables, wood is the most common material. Wood used is usually rustic pine in a distressed finish instead of clean lines. Furniture may also be a combination of materials such as wrought iron, wood and leather. Tables are usually large and rectangular shaped and may be carved. Southwestern furniture is also known for its metal accents, especially the use of decorative nails.

ACCESSORIES: Highlight the room with American Indian handmade painted terra cotta pottery or weaving from the Pueblo and Navajo people. Woven baskets, colorful tiles, wrought iron candelabras and wall art or the use of rawhide lampshades add a touch of the Southwest in your home. A cactus garden placed anywhere immediately gives a southwest feeling.

VAULTED CEILINGS AND ARCHWAYS: You can showcase a space by opening it with an archway to create a large area. Or open your indoor space to the outdoors with a wide archway for a dramatic entry. Consider white or stonework columns to support the arches.


About Karen Carpino

Karen Carpino is an interior designer and founder of Chicago-based Karen Carpino Design. A professionally registered interior designer with over 25 years of experience, Ms. Carpino's clientele includes both residential and commercial projects. She brings you techniques, trends and tips in “Style At Home.”