Modernized Southwest Style Decorating

Hello again! Dawn here, from DesigningDawn.com, back with another mood board for your decoration inspiration.

Update traditional Southwest style decorating with these tips for mixing it up to be modern and fresh while still keeping the classic warmth and textures of the area.

I’ve lived in the Midwest my whole life, but growing up, I was surrounded by Southwestern influences. My mother spent her teenage years there, and my parents met and married in Mesa, Arizona before moving back to my father’s home state of Nebraska to start a family. So the warm earth tones, beautiful patterns, and rich textures made an impression on me via remnants that found their way into our home decor, as well as various trips to visit my mother’s family in Arizona and New Mexico during my formative years.

Southwestern inspired decor has always been a favorite style of mine in the way something is when you get just enough so as not to become immune to its charms. Behold:

Modern Southwest inspired decorating
Found on nesttogether.com
Modern Southwest inspired decorating
Found on domainehome.com
Modern Southwest inspired decorating
Found on apartmenttherapy.com
Modern Southwest inspired decorating
Found on rowhousenest.com
Modern Southwest inspired decorating
Found on apartmenttherapy.com
Modern Southwest inspired decorating
Found on designsponge.com
Modern Southwest inspired decorating
Found on sfgirlbybay.com
Modern Southwest inspired decorating
Found on designsponge.com
Modern Southwest inspired decorating
Found on decorartsnow.com

I love how all of these rooms use SW style in an updated way, mixing in some more modern elements to keep things fresh and now. This month, I wanted to bring some of that Southwest style to you guys, with a mood board for a warm and inviting living area. Here is what I came up with:

Update traditional Southwest style decorating with these tips for mixing it up to be modern and fresh while still keeping the classic warmth and textures of the area. See sources and similar products for this mood board below.

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I set out to create a mood board with a nice mix of traditional Southwest decor and a contemporary feel. I love the mix of clean lines, like in the coffee table or globe stand, with more rustic elements, like the rugs and woven baskets. Here are some things to consider if you’re aiming for a similar look:

(More) Modern Southwest Decorating Tips

• Eclectic – One of my favorite things about this style is how inviting and warm it feels. I think a big part of that is the eclectic, collected over time look that these rooms have. Mixing and matching vintage textiles with modern accents, or throwing coordinating but not matchy patterns together… that’s what it’s all about.

• Texture – Probably the most important element to keep in mind if you’re shooting for a Southwest style in your space is texture. Woven baskets, clay pottery, rough burlap, soft rugs and blankets— all these  textures work together in this space to create a natural atmosphere. To keep it from feeling too campy, I added  in some smoother, more modern textures for relief, such as the glass table and mirror, that help balance out all the more course textiles in the room.

• Pattern – Southwest decor is all about pattern. Geometric, woven fabrics, based on the beautiful traditional Native American art form, are almost a necessity in a space like this. Here, I’ve incorporated that classic pattern element through the rugs, pillows, blankets, fabric pouf, and baskets, as well as the pottery.

• Color – When I think of Southwest style, it is synonymous with warm, clay-toned earth colors: desert landscapes in reds, tans, and sunset oranges. I used this inspiration as my primary color scheme, but also added in a few accents of turquoise and green succulents to balance the overall palette and tie everything together. Overall, a color story inspired by nature will not steer you wrong in a space like this!

I hope you’ve enjoyed your dose of inspiration today! If you would like to see more of my mood board posts, you can view them all here. You can also visit me at my blog, Designing Dawn, or on the social medias (links below in my bio). Thanks again to the Remodelaholic team for having me back each month. See you next time!

-Dawn

See more from Dawn:

A nautical nursery design.
A nautical nursery design.

Updating a basic dresser with a bright paint job.
Updating a basic dresser with a bright paint job.

Vintage high chair makeover.
Vintage high chair makeover.

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More travel-inspired mood boards:

travel-inspired office decorating

Southern Charm Decor

Modern Americana Decor

Website | + posts

Dawn is one half of the team behind the creative blog, AD Aesthetic. By day she works as the VP of Creative for a design and marketing company (getting paid to make things look good!), while by night she renovates her Midwest home, refinishes thrift-store furniture for fun, and works with her husband on raising two tiny humans. Dawn believes in the potential to design your surroundings and your life one day at a time, and lives by the motto, 'Make everything beautiful.' Get to know her better by visiting her blog, ADaesthetic.com, or following along on Facebook and Instagram.

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One Comment

  1. Dawn, you did a very nice job of capturing the southwestern design sensibility without going over the top about it, and your design tips were spot on. The only idea I would disagree with is the use of animal skulls as interior decor. I live in New Mexico, and I have never seen an animal head hanging on anyone’s wall unless it was a trophy mount. Skulls, especially cow skulls, are placed outside. New Mexico is a big state so I can’t say absolutely no one has a skull on the wall, but it isn’t a common practice.