Making the Old West New: Southwest Inspired Home Décor Ideas

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If you’ve lived in San Diego for any length of time, you know its history is part of its culture. If you went to school here, you probably did a mission project. If you walk the streets of downtown, you’ll see buildings like the Whaley House Museum or La Casa de Estudillo. And all of this history calls to mind one thing: the Old West.

Some of us are content to learn about it, but some of us love it enough that we incorporate it into our everyday life—cowboy boots, country music, and Southwestern décor. If you’re interested in the latter, check out our favorite Southwest-inspired home décor ideas.

Color Palette

interior design

A Southwestern color palette is as warm as the region—terra-cotta oranges, sunset reds, and brittlebush yellows. The beauty of a warm vs. a cold color pallet in interior design is that it adds a sense of intimacy to a space. However, that can occasionally leave a room feeling claustrophobic, so it’s a good idea to balance it with stucco off-whites and pops of turquoise.


The desert, more than any other terrain, calls to mind myriad textures. A few associated with this style include:

  • Leather
  • Wood
  • Woven textiles
  • Wicker
  • Animal fur or hide
  • Tile

Incorporating one or more of these textures into your design will evoke the Southwest. For instance, installing red tile flooring with warm-colored leather furniture and polished woodwork will feel Midwestern even before you add motifs.

Art and Motifs

With any theme, you have a choice of how far you want to take it. Some prefer to keep their theme to a subtle nod; others want their theme to be immersive. How far you go will depend on your use of art and motifs. Art is incredibly important to this region, so consider adding at least one piece. For example:

  • Woven blankets
  • Terra-cotta pottery
  • Decorative baskets
  • Paintings or photography of desert landscapes and flora
  • Statuettes of animals or animal skulls

If you want to keep your theme subtle, stick to one or two pieces. If you want the theme to go further without the room feeling “hokey,” try to choose a single, large piece to act as a focal point in the room with a few smaller pieces to act as complements.

Pro Tip

Desert flora isn’t art. Still, adding potted cacti, succulents, or desert flowers to the space will tie together your Southwest-inspired home décor the same way, along with adding contrasting color pops to the space.

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