Southwestern Interior Design Style, Characteristics and Ideas


Have you ever seen the Southwestern interior design before? If you haven’t, the picture below is an example. What do you think? Looks very inviting, isn’t it? At glance, it may look old or rustic. And yet, somehow it has a very beautiful look and so artistic.

The Southwestern design characteristics is unique. It comes from a blend of Spanish, Mexican, and Arizona cultures. Despite its old look, the Southwestern design is actually a timeless design. That’s right. It looks inviting yet relaxing when you see it.


How to Achieve The Look of Southwestern Interior Design

Southwestern Home Design Style Characteristics and Ideas

There are many things that make the interior called southwestern interior. Do you want to know what these things are? If you do, just read on. We listed 9 things that make the achieve of Southwestern interior design look. Let’s get started!

1. Warm and Earth Tone Color Usage

Take a look at the picture above and notice the colors. The southwest interior paint colors uses warm and earth tone colors. Of course, this does not happen randomly. On the contrary, the use of warm and earth tone color palette is one of many things that make the Southwestern interior design looks perfectly beautiful. Mostly, but not all, the houses with Southwestern design concept will use warm and earth tone colors.

You may wonder why warm and earth tone colors are used. There are reasons for that. According to Spanish and Native American beliefs, colors can protect us from evil spirits. Native American beliefs also held the Mother Earth in high regard. Not surprisingly, the interior influenced by Native American culture like the Southwestern design uses warm, earth tone colors. In a way, it reminds us of our connection with the Mother Earth.

Colors like light brown, brown, dark brown, white, yellow, and red are commonly used in the Southwestern interior design. You will be able to find furniture and other items in these colors in an interior with Southwestern design. These colors are easy to the eyes, warm, and give off a calm and relaxing vibe to the room.

2. Wooden Furniture All Around

Another thing that is common in the Southwestern interior design is the use of wooden furniture. When you see a Southwestern interior, you will see wood furniture all around. The number of wooden furniture is, of course, varies from one interior to another according to the budget.

Just like warm colors, there is a reason why wooden furniture is used. The abundance of wooden furniture in the Southwestern interior design is due to the locations where Native American people live. Native American people live in the high plateaus of the Rocky Mountains, in which there are many species of trees. The wood that mostly used is pine, oak, maple, birch, sherry wood and hickory.

Wooden furniture completes the look of Southwestern interior design. They look interesting and unique. Although the furniture doesn’t have to be rustic, some homeowners use rustic furniture for their Southwestern interior. You can do this as well in case you want to build a Southwestern interior.

3. Contemporary Metal Surface

You can see the impact of both 18th and 19th-century designs in the Southwestern interior design. The most obvious influence is the use of metal. Yes, in the contemporary Southwestern design, there are lots of metal surfaces involved.

So, if you want a Southwestern interior, you will need pieces of furniture made of metal. The color of the metal surfaces doesn’t really matter. What really matters is that there are enough metal surfaces in the room. You can use metal chairs, metal stair rail, a chandelier hanging from the ceiling, and even your stove to provide metal surfaces like in the picture above.

What about the shape? There is no exact rule in this. That means you can go for a piece of contemporary metal furniture with an unusual shape or a rustic one that has an antique shape. That is entirely up to you.

4. Beautiful Textured Walls

Walls are often neglected. Isn’t painting the walls enough to decorate it? The answer is no, it is not enough. In fact, in the Southwestern interior design, the walls are given special attention. The walls are not just painted, like in many other interior designs. Rather, the walls are textured. These textured walls make the Southwestern design stands out from the other interior designs.

How do textured walls create? Back then, the Native American people used adobe, stucco, stone or brick to create their walls. Due to these materials, their walls have textures on it. Today, this method is not feasible for most homeowners. What can be done about it, then? There are many ways to create textured walls. For instance, you can hang a painting on the wall, draw murals on your walls, or add wallpaper to it.

5. Rustic-Look Furniture

Do you love rustic furniture? Rustic furniture is a good addition to just about any interior. Yes, even one designed in Southwestern style. If you didn’t know it yet, rustic furniture is also used in Southwestern interior design. Although it is not a must, having pieces of rustic furniture will certainly make the room more interesting. If you love rustic furniture, you can incorporate them in case you want to make a Southern interior design.

When homeowners use rustic furniture in their Southwestern design, many of them also incorporate rugs with Southwestern design on the floor. This adds not just more warmth and but also more Southwestern vibe to the room.

6. Unique Flooring Arrangement

The floor arrangement in the Southwestern design is quite unique. The commonly used floor arrangements include square, brick, and lozenge. Sometimes, terracotta tiles with dark brown color are used as well.

Similar to many other aspects in the Southwestern interior design, the floor is supposed to provide warmth as well. As such, it is not surprising if the commonly used colors are earth tone colors like light brown, orange, and brown.

There are many ways in terms of floor arrangement in the Southern interior design. For example, in the picture above, you can see that the floor has two patterns. One is large squares in yellow and orange color, the other is a smaller square with unique patterns. There is also a rug under the glass table, which adds even more warmth to the room. Of course, this is not the only way to do it. There are homeowners who only use one floor arrangement as well.

7. Indigenous Pottery Accessories

When you look into a room with the Southwestern interior design, there is a good chance that you will see at least one pottery accessory on display. The Southwestern design is not complete if there are no pottery accessories in it.

Although the exact reason why pottery accessories are included is not known, we can say that pottery accessories are amazing in and of themselves. And that’s a good enough reason to incorporate it into the interior.

In terms of the shape and color of the pottery accessories, there is no absolute rule for that. In fact, the most important thing is that there is at least a single pottery accessory in the room if you want to bring the Southwestern vibe.

Since there is no absolute rule for the shape and color of the pottery accessories, you are free to choose those accessories according to your liking. That is, if you want to use the Southwestern design for your interior.

8. Traditional Decorative Accents

Decorative accents are present in every Southwestern interior. Of course, how they are presented is different from one interior to another. As such, you will have the freedom to choose how you present decorative accents in your interior. That is, if you decide to have a Southwestern interior.

So, what kind of decorative accents are common in the Southwestern interior? There are many accents, but the most commonly used are painting, animal skin, beautiful tiles, pottery accessories, and dried plants.

In the picture above, you find painting on the fireplace, an animal skin on the table, beautiful natural stone tiles on the fireplace, and terracotta pot on the right of the fireplace with dried plants put inside the terracotta pot.

If you want to create a Southwestern interior, you can use the picture above as your inspiration for the decorative accents. You don’t have to include all of them. Some parts can be replaced by another. For example, if you prefer murals to paintings, you can use them and still get the american southwestern interior design vibe from it.

9. Mosaic Inspired Tiles

Last but not least, decorative tiles. When we talk about the Southwestern interior, it will not be complete if we don’t include decorative tiles. Decorative tiles may be used in other décors. In Southwestern interior, however, decorative tiles are not only used but also fully incorporated to the interior. Due to that, it is not uncommon to find decorative tiles become the focal points in a southwestern interior design style.

Take a look at the decorative tiles in the picture above. Very beautiful isn’t it? These decorative tiles are not merely used, but fully incorporated. Thus, they complement the overall theme of the room. They also become one of the focal points in the room and bring a warm vibe to the room as well.

Southwestern Home Interior Design Ideas

You can build varies of Southwestern home design style. There are 3 common design of southwestern style that you can consider; Modern Southwestern, American Southwestern and Contemporary Southwestern design. Here we have some example what the best ideas that you can save it for your next home improvement wishlist.

Modern Southwestern

American Southwestern

Contemporary Southwestern


Southwestern interior designs is a combination of Native American (Arizona Culture), Mexican and Spanish interior design style. The combination of it bring coziness, warm, and a restful vibes. The difference between modern southwestern, contemporary and traditionally american interior design is only on the minor accents. The Southwestern home interior design style generally is almost the same. The core of this design stylle is to bring back the cultural history and tradition of the United States to your home.

Interesting, isn’t it? So, does the Southwestern interior design pick your interest? An interior with Southwestern design looks inviting, interesting, and gives off a calm and relaxing vibe. If one of those southwestern interior design style above are what you want for your interior, then you can apply it for your next home impovement project.


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