As I am traveling through New Mexico and Arizona, I am extremely inspired by the Southwest feel. The textures, patterns mixed with a western charm can be so inviting and colorful. The problem I see is that if you are looking to convert a room or even your home to have a Southwest charm, it can be easily overdone! So here are 5 steps to a Southwest start:
- Don’t over do it: Do not go out and by an overwhelming amount of patterns. Start with one base tone. Red is fun place to add some color, take this as your base and find a few accent pieces that pull that color, being careful not to attack the color with an abundance of patterns. A Pendleton throw blanket on your couch can really be a statement piece giving you the pattern and color you need, and can easily tie that in with some art. You do not need to buy 100 things, 3 things can really transform a room. Trust me, you’ll be surprised!
- Table Pieces Can Transform a Room: I recently saw a simple table setting that was unique yet beautiful. A simple tray with a Southwestern print and a few soft-sided books with one of my favorite artists Georgia O’Keefe, that’s all! It was nothing over the top, but really gave the user an interactive touch, pulled me in to want to read the book and gave the room that Southwestern love. We currently have an amazing piece that you could throw on a coffee table, what would you put in yours?
- Equal Mix: Ahhh, the battle between country and Native American. Make sure you create an equal balance, or choose to go in one direction or the other altogether. You do not want the room to become a hodgepodge mess, which it can easily go. I am half Cherokee Indian and have a lot of hand me downs, but I had to pull back as to not become looking like a flee market truckstop. I also don’t want my house looking like a saloon and keep the “western” motif down to a minimum as well. Using some solid natural wood pieces and a rough textures, I was able to keep what I have without going over the top.
- Lighting: It is amazing what natural lighting can do for a room. Most adobes and Indian dwellings really focus on minimalistic forms of window coverings using natural and light fabrics that are generally open, letting the natural light do what it does best and highlight the accent pieces you have.
- Research: My finalthought is research. You will be amazed what you find out about the great Southwest and all its superstitions and history. For me there are certain colors that I use that ward off evil spirits. I continually use a cactus or succulent by my fireplace as a way to keep them out of that space. Although I was raised with these beliefs, create some of your own that get into your core. Loving something for more that what it looks like, and gives it a purpose, will really help you love your new Southwest feel.