When we think of the Southwest most of us think of desert, cactus and wide open space. When we decorate for Southwestern flavor, it is the colors of the Southwest that become important. The colors of nature abound in the Southwest. Blending into nature’s palette are the colors and design associated with the Native Americans indigenous to this area.
Before you assault the task of redoing your living room to a Southwestern motif, you need to decide what colors you would like to employ. Do you want neutral colored walls the color of the desert sands or would you prefer the rich hue of turquoise? The traditional decorator colors for the Southwest are shades of yellow, orange, red and green. It is easy to see the colors of the vibrant sunrise and sunset seen over the desert landscape in the colors of the Southwest. Even in the midst of the desert plants thrive. Green is the color of life in the desert. So, as you can see, the four main colors are highly significant to the Southwest and important for inclusion in your Southwest décor.
Should you opt for neutral, sand colored walls you will want to select furniture and accent pieces that stand out with plenty of color. Southwest flair is well known as laid back, bright, comfortable and extremely welcoming so you will want to capture this feeling with your selections. For instance, with neutral walls you can go with a brightly colored couch covered pillows to complement the color scheme. If the couch is patterned and multi-colored the pillows should be solid colored and be similar in tone to the wall color in order to “tie it all in”.
If your walls are painted in bright colors, your couch and chairs should be of more subdued, perhaps even neutral tones to break up the cacophony of color. In this situation wood is a very good choice to complement the bright colors; dark woods are especially good for setting a Southwest scene. For accent pieces, ivory and turquoise is perfect with bright colors.