Your Guide to Eye-Catching Southwestern Interior Design

southwestern interior design

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The Southwest of the United States brings cacti, mountains, and terracotta pottery to mind. This warm and rustic aesthetic continues to be a popular design style, and you can achieve it within your own home.

We’ve rounded up some design inspiration to help you create your dream southwestern style, as well as a selection of budget-friendly products to bring the design to life. 

Elements of Southwestern Interior Design

Southwestern style should transport you to the sprawling landscapes of Arizona and New Mexico. This region has influences from Mexican and Spanish design and architecture, pulling inspiration from the mountains and desert. When embracing southwestern interior design in your home, be sure to keep these elements in mind. 

Desert Imagery

Wall art is a significant part of southwestern interior design. While it’s important not to saturate your walls with desert imagery, including several statement pieces can give your space a focal point. Photographs of cacti, desert animals, mountains, and plants can be a great place to start. Paintings and digital illustrations can also pull a space together. 

Hides & Horns

Animal hides and horns are a staple of modern southwestern design, and faux products typically do the trick. You might spread out a cowhide area rug or drape a faux fur pelt over a chair. But if this decor trend isn’t for you, consider finding wall art that includes these elements. 

Natural Materials 

Southwestern decor includes plenty of natural materials, mimicking the aesthetic of handmade goods (bonus points if the design elements truly are handmade). Consider adding wood furniturewrought iron products, metal accentsterracotta tiles, and leather upholsteryWood beams and flooring are also key elements. 

Warm Colors & Earth Tones

When planning the color palette of a southwestern-inspired space, imagine the true colors of the American Southwest.  Warm colors like rust, terracotta, and gold can work well in this aesthetic. However, cool tones like shades of blue can provide contrast. Earth tones like black, white, and various shades of brown are a must in a Southwestern color scheme

Whether you want your space to mimic the streets of Santa Fe or the sprawling desert landscape, be sure to use your own creativity in your design ideasSouthwestern home decor can be warm and inviting, and this is especially true when your personal taste is part of it. 

Inspiration for Your Southwestern Space

Ready to transform your space into a Southwestern haven? Here are some interior design ideas to get you started. 

This minimalist entryway is a calming corner within this rustic home. The geometric area rug, black and white photograph, faux cactus, and natural materials add warmth, while the white walls make the space airy. 

Top Tip: Mix patterns on a neutral foundation to add depth to a space. 

design it on a budget

Nicholas Modern Southwestern Area Rug (Home Depot)

Joshua Tree Art Print (Society6)

Remy Faux Leather Arm Chair (Urban Outfitters)

Aanya Fluffy White Area Rug (Wayfair)

A bright and cheerful living room, this space puts a more subtle twist on southwestern design. The leather, wood, and metallic details, along with the bright rug, give the space a southwestern feel without the desert motifs. The marble coffee table, modern light fixture, and large floor plants add more contemporary elements to the room. 

Top Tip: Use color and material to drive your interior design plan. 

design it on a budget

Monaco Orange and Light Blue Rug (Home Depot)

Moroccan Leather Pouf Ottoman (Etsy)

Marble and Gold Glam X Coffee Table (Target)

This inviting living room uses a mix of patterns to create a warm environment. The throw pillowsarea rug, floor cushions, and throw blanket provide a mix of warm colors and earth tones. The wall art pulls inspiration directly from nature and Native American design, honoring the origin of the design scheme. 

Top Tip: Find throw pillows with interesting pattens and textures to drive home your desired aesthetic. 

design it on a budget

Double Dash Burnt Orange Throw Pillow (Society6)

Southwester Minimalism Black Throw Pillow (Society 6)

White Owl Print (Etsy)

Moroccan Shattered Diamonds Tattered Rug (Rugs USA)

Moroccan Style Throw Blanket (Society6)

This Southwestern-inspired bedroom features statement pieces on a minimal backdrop. The bold wall art, unique leather chair, tree-truck bedside table, and geometric area rug and the focal points of the room, white the simple bedding and black headboard let those elements shine. Pulling from rustic architectural styles, this space also features high ceilings and exposed wood beams.  

Top Tip: Invest in a few statement pieces and keep the rest of the room simple, creating a bold yet balanced space.

design it on a budget

Desert Cow Skull Framed Art Print (Society6)

Ringwold Armchair (Wayfair)

Reclaimed Log Style Table (Amazon)

Tulsa Lea Southwestern Geometric Rug (Wayfair)

Whether you’re a home owner or renter, there are plenty of ways to execute Southwestern interior design in your home. With some bold pieces and the right color scheme, you can bring your decorating ideas to life. 

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