Southwest design is an incredibly unique and specific style of home decoration, taking inspiration from southwest America and Mexico. States like Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of California are easily identified by the southwestern aesthetic, which, according to PhotoUp, is defined by desert-inspired colors (sand, rust, terracotta, turquoise, and green), raw and rustic wood, materials like clay and terracotta, and geometric textiles.
There are lots of stylistic variations within the southwestern aesthetic, too. For example, some people prefer a traditional western look, with lots of animal hide, missionary-style furniture, and heavy colors and wood tones. Some prefer a more modern, boho-inspired look, with layered textiles, bright shades, lots of macrame, and softer wood tones. Others like a modern look, with clean stucco and pale stone. There’s no one right way to do southwestern design, but there are lots of fun avenues and ways to explore the style. Keep reading for inspiration on how to incorporate southwestern design in your home.
1. Teal and rust
One of the most important aspects of southwestern design is the color combinations. One classic and foolproof duo is a rust or sunset orange paired with a rich and vibrant teal color.
2. Dark navy
A more modern color palette for southwest design is dark navy and cream. Pair with rich but not necessarily dark wood tones.
3. Modern southwest kitchen
The southwestern aesthetic tends to be quite heavy and historic, but it doesn’t have to be. For a modern southwestern kitchen, opt for light but slightly rustic finished wood cabinets and incorporate some classic textiles and patterns.
4. Bright throw blanket
Textiles are also incredibly important in southwestern décor — the brighter and busier, the more effective it will be.
5. Pattern mixing
By nature, southwestern design is a little busy and eclectic. Lean into this and have fun pattern mixing — Aztec prints, cowhide, chevron, etc.
6. Faux animal heads
Animal prints and imagery are very common in the southwestern aesthetic, especially faux animal skulls. They’ll add some textural difference and help fill up wall space, all while adding to the authenticity of the design.
7. Southwest bathroom
Southwest design can extend to any room in your home, including the bathroom. Add some rustic or vintage wood pieces, animal prints or imagery, and some dried pampas grass for the full effect.
8. Rustic wooden headboard
To easily add some southwestern vibes to your bedroom, swap out your simple headboard for a rustic and weathered wood one.
9. Hanging cowhide
Cowhide is one of the most popular textiles and prints in southwestern decor. It doesn’t just have to be used for rugs or upholstery, though — consider hanging it on your wall as an art piece.
10. Cowboy style
Another avenue of southwest design is to lean heavily into the western part, with vintage cowboy imagery, cowhide, leather, and even equestrian gear.
11. Southwestern nursery
For your little cowboys and cowgirls, consider adding some southwestern flair to their nursery. Incorporate some rich cactus greens, rustic and weathered wood, and even some (fake) cactuses.
The previous sentiment can also apply to your children’s playroom. Incorporate Aztec prints, weathered wood, and some fun cowboy imagery.
13. Patterned backsplash
The Aztec pattern is lovely on pillows, blankets, and artwork, but it can also be recreated with tile for your kitchen’s backsplash.
14. Vintage posters
For a subtle touch of southwestern wall art, frame some old cowboy movie posters or photographs. Opt for a warm-toned wood frame for the full effect.
15. Cowboy hats
Cowboy hats aren’t just for wearing — they can also be incorporated into your home décor. Use nails or tacks to hang them on the wall.
16. Patterned shower curtain
On the other hand, you can be very obvious and have fun with southwestern-inspired images and patterns. Cactus and bullhead prints immediately invoke a sense of the desert and work great on shower curtains, throw pillows, or blankets.
17. Traditional western style
For a more traditional, toned-down look, look for vintage furniture pieces. They should be sturdy, and the wood should be warm-toned. Decorate with vintage southwestern finds.
18. Bright and clean
If you prefer brighter and slightly more modern styles, look for white-washed stone, exposed beams, and lighter sand tones.
19. Simple throws
A simple throw blanket or pillow can immediately transform a plain room into one that is clearly inspired by the southwest. Look for bright and vibrant colors and busy patterns.
20. Regional plants
Last but not least, the southwest is heavily associated with its nature. Add lots of cacti and other desert plants throughout your home, preferably in clay or terracotta pots.