Southwestern interior design is distinguished by:

  • bold use of color
  • color is fundamental in creating a warm and vibrant room
  • orange, red, and gold prominent
  • sunsets, natural terracotta, cactus, desert sand and hills, and the colors of the sky all serve as inspiration
  • wall color primarily neutral with vibrant accents of color
  • walls saturated in vibrant colors create a room that radiates the Mexican Approach

The colors of this design style incorporate the colors found in the American desert:

  • Rust (or adobe)
  • Terracotta
  • Sand
  • Mahogany brown
  • Bright red
  • Sky blue
  • Cactus green
  • Turquoise
  • Cobalt blue
  • Azure
  • Salmon
  • Forest green
  • Slate blue
  • Taos blue – a mixture of sky blue and violet
  • Desert-toned neutral hues – tan, cream, beige, and white
  • Earthy tones with bright pops of color
  • Shots of bright yellow and/or dusty orange
  • Desert sunset colors – pink, mauve, and purple

Hints on choosing colors:

  • Stay within the warm, rich neutrals and the brighter colors as accents
  • Examples: terracotta floor tiles with brightly colored accent tiles in a border
  • Warm-colored walls with colored wall hanging and artwork
  • Natural wood furnishings with colorful throws and pillows
  • Use bold color patterns, typical in Mexican and Native American art