Southwestern architecture is characterized by adobe style houses and Spanish haciendas. Authentic adobe is a mixture of earth, water and straw formed into bricks and baked in the sun. Modern adobe homes have stucco walls.
Homes built in the Spanish hacienda style feature smooth plaster walls, interior courtyards, semicircular arched arcades, arched doorways and windows, terra-cotta roof tiles and decorative wrought iron trim.
Southwestern color schemes are influenced by warm, vibrant desert colors including yellow, orange, red, brown and gold, mixed with cool tones of cobalt blue, green, violet and turquoise.
Southwestern furniture is very rustic wood furniture in either a natural finish or painted in bright, vibrant colors with a distressed finish. Wrought iron is also used as hardware and for decorative accessories, much the same as in Mediterranean style furnishings.
Southwestern decor is comprised of many Native American arts and crafts such as Indian pottery, Kachina dolls, Navajo blankets and rugs, Indian baskets, dream catchers and other Native American artifacts. Southwestern designs are also heavily influenced by the native flora and fauna found in the desert environment including Saguaro cactus, Ocotillo, lizards, snakes, scorpions and coyotes. Brightly colored Mexican tile and ceramics mixed with rustic, Spanish style furnishings gives Southwestern style decor an eclectic feel.
For the passionate Southwestern style decorator, these authentic Native American crafts will fit perfectly in your home's decorating theme:
Visit my Native American and Southwestern page for more authentic Southwestern decor.