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BellaOnline's Southwest USA Editor

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Decorating Even If You Don't Live In Southwest

Guest Author - Debra Conrad

Southwest Style DecoratingLiving in the Southwest isn't a requirement for Southwest Style Decorating. Simple touches can give you the New Mexico or Arizona style to your home... even if you don't live near the Colorado River.

Southwest home decor and accessories are available at many big box stores... but what you really need to find is some great online resources. Did you know that a ton of online sellers actually import from Mexico... so we get great deals without having to travel to the interior regions of Mexico.

The use of copper wall decor has been of great interest lately, but copper accessories is never seen in true southwest style homes. Touches of copper is acceptable as an accent piece on a piece of furniture... but it should look handmade, not manufactured.

Some suggestions for adding Southwest style to the exterior of your home:

  • Traditional New Mexico homes have accents of Taos blue ( azul ). This can be added with paint... which is believed to keep out the bad spirits. So the idea is to use the blue color on all portals to the inside of your home. Doors, Windows and Gates.
  • Adding a blue glazed pot... with a plant or made into a fountain also adds a colorful Southwestern touch to your homes exterior.
  • Adding rustic... hand carved wooden furniture such as a bench next to the door... offers visitors a peek at what's in store for them inside. You could also add metal pieces, but stay away from the manufactured curly cue type decorations. Metal accents are best if they are hand made and heavy in rustic style.
  • Adding natural stone such as flagstone to the walkways adds a rustic touch to the outdoor living areas.
  • Southwest Lawn Decor might include, desert flowers and trees... you don't need to have desert landscaping or cactus to have the look of southwest. Lawn decor might also be a few large boulders and a broken terra cotta pot or two strategically placed in a corner... or next to the entrance.

Now... let's get some ideas for adding Southwest Style to the interior of your home.

  • Southwestern style uses many types of neutral furniture. These are the basics... such as couches, chairs and bedding. This leaves with lots of options to add color with pillows, accessories and rugs.
  • When thinking about paint colors stick to shades of brown and red as well as creamy neutrals. Giving the walls the look of hand plastering is a great option... of course you could have the walls plastered, but you can create a plaster look through faux painting.
  • Adding fake corbels and wooden beams is an easy DIY project and takes the room to a very Hacienda Style.
  • Saultio or Terra Cotta tile is a popular choice for western interiors. Stick with the red ( rojo' ) colorations instead of the oranges... this makes choosing wall and furniture colors easier.
  • Wood furniture is big in New Mexico style... natural wood. Either with new purchased pieces or antiques handed down for generations. The best solution is to mix both. All stained wood blends well together... so you won't have a hiccup in your decorating scheme.
  • Make sure to add some Spanish Style Art to your walls. Either paintings, prints or pottery.

Using the southwest style accessories and furnitings available at department stores is never advisable. You know the ones I mean... zig zag patterns in trendy colors. This will give your home a cheap, over done appearance. Southwest style is very understated. To many accessories will junk up the room... simple is better.

The New Southwest Home: Innovative Ideas for Every Room

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Content copyright © 2014 by Debra Conrad. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Debra Conrad. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Karm Holladay for details.

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