Southwestern-Style Living Room Decorating Ideas

If you’re a fan of rustic warmth, there’s no better interior design aesthetic than Southwestern-style. With it, you can call back to the impressive rocky landscape and unique mix of cultural influences from that region of the United States. But just what should you include to create that specific down-to-earth character that you want for your home? Take inspiration from our Southwestern-style living room decorating ideas to give form to your intentions.

Choose Natural, Unpolished Materials

When it comes to materials for your furniture, natural and unpolished materials are staples of the Southwestern look. The orange-tinged and chocolate brown hues, as well as the tans that are popular in this style, can appear somewhat flat if most of your furniture is composed of lifeless plastic or extremely smooth surfaces. To bring out the richness of these hues, you should go for the organic texture and depth that wood, leather, and stone can give. Each has its own individual grain or irregularities that cannot be artificially recreated to the same effect. The sofa is a great place to incorporate leather, with wooden chairs and wall fixtures to accompany it. You could play with stone in your coffee table or include it in purely decorative pieces as well.

Use the Bovine Skull Motif

There aren’t many homes that utilize skulls as adornments, so why not take advantage of that freedom when you are establishing a Southwestern style? An ox mounted on a wall will undoubtedly leave an impact and add to the cues your living room makes towards historical frontier life. A bleached skull works well because it has neutral tones that mesh with the Southwestern color palette, while also giving the room a point of contrast with its curved and sharp form. If you’re opposed to getting a real animal skull, you also have the option of finding a replica or piece of art that resembles a bovine skull. In addition to making the concept more palatable, an art piece may have different colors and designs painted on it to make it even more interesting.

Feature Bold Woven Patterns

A blog post on Southwestern-style living room decorating ideas wouldn’t be complete without mention of the bold patterns that are so indicative of the aesthetic. These find their roots in Native American art and feature an abundance of diamonds, rectangles, and other intricate shapes that possess radial or bilateral symmetry and straight lines. Each component within a design is punctuated by a color contrast with its adjacent neighbors. For instance, a dark red diamond may contain a smaller sky-blue diamond, which is then surrounded by an off-white rectangle. The best place to feature Southwestern patterns is within woven fabrics, where their visual order is offset by the irregularities and softness of the material. You can drape blankets with the bold prints on the backs of chairs, find throw pillows covered in them, or set a Southwestern-style rug on the floor.