Category: southwest

Southwestern Living Room Design Ideas

Southwestern style is inspired by the beauty and romance of the Old West and the desert landscapes. You take the rugged and earthy styles of history and blend it with the modern conveniences of the new and create something magical.  More than almost any other style Southwestern is immediately recognizable the moment someone steps into your room.  If you love this style and aren’t sure how to incorporate into your home here are some Southwestern living room design ideas to get you started.

Using Color in the Southwestern Style

Southwestern style takes the inspiration for color right from nature and if you think there isn’t much color in the desert you couldn’t be more wrong.  Across this design scheme you will find rich golds, salmon, reds and turquoise that come right from nature itself.  You can take a neutral colored room and add splashes of rich accent colors or if you are brave enough you can splash color everywhere.  However keeping your colors to just too or three that work together ties your room together nicely.

Big and Sturdy Furniture

The furniture that you find in Southwestern designed homes tends to be solidly built and rugged.  There are lots of solid hardwood tables along with big leather couches.  It can have a tendency to get a bit overbearing if you don’t balance the heavier furnishings with smaller or more delicate pieces.  Painted and distressed looking tables look stunning when places against the heavier leather sofas.  Here is some help on putting a living room together.

Hand Painted Pottery

Pottery can be found in any style of design but Southwestern pottery has its own look and feel.  It uses earth tone color with simple, if any, patterns around the middle.  The pottery is often finished with a matte finish rather than a glossy glaze.  Look for pieces that have been handmade and painted while they may be a little pricier they just have so much more impact that mass produced terra cotta pots.

Play with Texture

There are so many different textures in a Southwestern home, from the exposed beams and trusses, stucco exteriors and the big stone fireplaces that are often the focal point of the living room.  When it comes to furnishings you have the buttery soft leathers on the sofas and the plush throws and area rugs.  Southwestern design is as much about the feel of things as it is about the visual effect.

Start Small with Southwestern Design Elements

One of the most popular themes in interior design today is the Southwest theme.   While to some it can mean a lot of pottery and rugs with the color turquoise dominating the color scheme, and to others it may be just incorporating a lot of rustic wooden furniture.  Decorating in the Southwestern style can be tricky it is very easy to cross that fine line between great design and tacky.  If you are new to Southwestern design then you might want to start off with a table or two.  Coffee and end tables can make a bold statement without being overbearing.  Here is how you can start small with Southwestern design elements.

Start with a Coffee Table

You can get a Southwestern coffee table in lots of different styles.  There are some exquisite pieces that are constructed with kiln dried pine that come with a beautiful rustic iron base.  There are color variations that will still fit the Southwestern look that you’re going for but keep each piece unique.  Pine is a great wood to work with, it has a smooth golden shade with plenty of knotholes that add character.  The iron base is what gives it its Southwest flavor and you can top it off with some great locally made pottery.  You can also add a Southwestern or Navajo rug underneath your table to make the room even warmer.

Adding More Color

If you want a table that is a focal piece and has a lot more color to it then adding a Talavera tile top to the table might be just what you’re looking for.  Using that same kiln baked pine as a base these table add a layer of tile to the top.  The tiles come from Mexico and are beautifully hand painted, you can add sun designs or nature seasons.  The table alone makes a statement so there is no need to find pottery to place on top.

It’s fairly easy to go over the top when it comes to Southwestern design, there is a pretty fine line between perfect and too much.   You can start with small pieces to have that authentic Southwestern look you love and add elements in gradually until you have reached that peak of perfection.  Start with a coffee table and maybe a couple of pieces of art throughout the room, combined with a high quality area rug and then you have reached perfection.