Southwestern style homes provide a rustic atmosphere and are particularly appropriate in states such as Arizona, New Mexico, California and Nevada. However, the style can jazz up your living space no matter where you live, and there is no shortage of decorating options. As noted at Southwestern Dream Home, there is a variety of Southwestern style home decor, and you can choose one or mix and match various themes.
The Southwestern Style Homes Feel
The Southwestern feel is usually relaxed, rustic and comfortable. According to Southwestern Dream Home, there are four subcategories of Southwestern Style Homes design. The Western or cowboy approach utilizes Old West memorabilia and horses to emphasize the Wild West aspect of Southwestern culture. The Mexican route uses imports including Mexican blankets and pottery to decorate the home. The more modern approach simply uses Southwestern color schemes, as well as landscaping, to exude a Southwestern atmosphere. The Native American approach emphasizes the art and culture of Native Americans, with sand paintings, dream catchers and Native American art and pottery to set the scene. The true Southwestern is a melting pot of cultures, so a smattering of each is both attractive and authentic.
Southwestern Color Schemes
Southwestern color schemes tend to utilize pink, mauve, turquoise, purple and light browns (think of a desert sunset). According to Creative Home Decorating Room by Room, the most popular Southwestern color is Taos blue, a combination of light blue and violet. You may also choose to use bright and bold color patterns, as are typical in Mexican and Native American art. For a more subtle approach, use wood to create a rustic look, combined with smaller details such as Southwestern lamps or throw rugs. To recreate the desert, emphasize beige, brown, gray and sage green.
Lighting for Southwestern Style Homes
Lighting options should complement your overall Southwestern color scheme. Use dim lighting with a bold Southwestern color scheme to bring out any dark reds or browns. For a minimalist desert room, use bright colors and plenty of natural lighting to bring out beige and light colors. Mexican and Native American pottery make excellent lamp stands, and patterns with bold colors will further accentuate the ethnic theme. Cowboy lamps that feature a base with a cowboy riding a bull add character to any Southwestern room.
Southwestern Style House Accessories
The Southwestern Style Homes have plenty of decorating accessories that add to the charm and comfort of any home. Kokopelli Indian art, kiva ladders, Kachina dolls, drums and jewelry are a few Native American options. A Mexican blanket draped over a solid-colored couch brings a Southwestern feel at an affordable price. Skulls, longhorns and bones are reminiscent of desert heat, and wagon wheels and saddles accentuate a cowboy theme. You can choose to decorate each room with a certain emphasis, or mix and match accessories throughout the home.
No Southwestern style homes are complete without a bit of desert foliage. A cacti and succulent garden for the home exterior provides a solid first impression and complements interior decor. If you live in a climate that cannot sustain desert plants, use them as potted plants inside the home. Cacti and succulents are easy to maintain and will survive in most homes with regular care. Use well-drained soil and place in a well-lit area, such as a windowsill.