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Southwest Decor
colorful, bold colors; natural textures

Southwest Decor

photo source unknown

A natural and colorful tribute to the desert landscape and heritage of the southwestern states is the foundation of Southwest Style Decorating.

What comes to your mind when you think about the southwest?

Brilliant sunsets, natural terra cotta, cactus green, desert tans and browns, beautiful blues that are found in the evening sky...these are all elements of southwestern decor.

Combine that color palette with natural textures, hand crafted items, woven fabrics, distressed wood furniture and you have the foundation set for a handsome southwestern space..

The image below is a perfect example of the textures, patterns and elements found in a Southwest style home, courtesy of our friends at 

Look below any image to see my comments,

then click for a Gallery view!

How do you take these elements and put them together into a cohesive design that is truly Southwest Decor and Style??

1) Decide what your approach with color will be. You could take a bold and vibrant look, or a more subdued and soft interpretation. That is a very personal decision and there is no right or wrong answer - it is what is right for you, your lifestyle and your home.

Find a fabric, photo, paint chips...anything you can hold in your hand that includes the desert colors of your southwest color palette, and take it with you as you shop for paint, furnishings and accessories. You’ll never make a poor color decision this way.

2) After determining your interpretation of southwest style, you’ll have a better idea of how to apply the color palette.

For example, if vibrant speaks to you, a rich terra cotta wall color might be the perfect backdrop for your space. A more subtle approach might lead you to decide on Desert Tan for your walls with hints of vibrant colors in the room’s accents.

Here is an example of a truly colorful kitchen that is true to the Southwest Style of about those cabinets? I love the tile work behind the stove as well as the collection of bottles and shelving above it.  Photo courtesy of

Sherwin Williams Paint offers a very cool palette of colors from HGTV that could work very well in a Southwest Styled home:

Get the full PDF of this group of colors including photos and combination suggestions:

HVTG Rustic Refined

  • Decide on your larger pieces first. Upholstered pieces could include leather and suede with natural or rustic wood frames. Fabrics on upholstery might be the focal point, with vibrant patterns reminiscent of woven blankets. You might also find burnished metal accents on these pieces.Keep the lines simple and straightforward when selecting your frills and curves with this style of decor!

  • Natural elements are always an integral part of southwest decor, so as you select the smaller pieces and accessories, keep that in mind. Terra cotta pots, woven blankets, iron accents, hand-painted colorful tiles, painted ceramic pieces, rustic and distressed wood are all appropriate elements of this theme.

Take a moment or two and study the Living Room below, courtesy of

Select your pieces carefully, with authentic or quality reproductions being preferred.

Why? Your room or space will present the most authentic southwest decor and not an overused imitation of a theme.

If you put the effort into searching for the most unique accents, furniture and accessories that reflect this style of decor, you’ll find that just a few dramatic and authentic pieces make much more of a statement than an array of decorative accents that can be found in any department store.

It isn’t about the cost; it’s about the look, and how each piece fits together to make the entire space speak of a well thought out southwest design.

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Candi Randolphon