This Is How You Decorate If You Love Modern Southwestern Decor

This is not the traditional Southwestern style of the past. 

Modern southwestern decor is more refined. More sophisticated. More minimalistic. Let’s break this home decorating style down and see if it’s the perfect match for you.

Modern Southwestern Decor Must Haves

Modern Southwest Style Home | Decorating Style | Rustic Southwest

via Domino

1. Southwestern Style Greenery: Think Agaves, Barrel Cacti, Aloes or any other succulent. The Southwestern style lady loves bringing the outdoors inside in a way that sets the tone of the room. Whether with a single, bold cactus like the image pictured above or scattered throughout the room in key places, native desert plants quickly define the southwestern style.

2. Neutral Earthy Tones: The modern southwestern home brings the outdoors inside to a greater degree with the use of rich and natural tones. Warm terracotta, rich browns, dreamy whites and even pops of bold red or orange are found throughout the space. Extremely modern southwesterners tend to stick to a neutral color palette and create visual interest with texture.

Modern Southwest Style Decor | Southwest Boho Decor | Decor Style

via Apartment Therapy

3. Rustic Elements: The Southwestern gal always incorporates rustic pieces in her space. She uses rich and supple leather, like the chairs pictured below. She chooses wood furniture or floors in warm, rustic shades and especially loves the knotty wood look. Cowhide rugs are another favorite of the southwestern decor lover.

4. Vintage Feeling: The modern southwestern style is not about the new. It’s about the feeling of time-worn pieces of furniture or accessories. A tarnished gold mirror, an antique wood chest or an imperfectly glazed vase. All of the elements in the room work together to create a space that feels curated over time.
Decorating Style | Modern Southwest Decor

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via Ralph Lauren

5. Southwestern Style Textiles: Perhaps the single most important piece of the southwestern style decor is the use of southwestern patterned rugs, throws and wall hangings. What qualifies as southwestern style varies depending on how strict your definition is. On the more traditional side of the spectrum are the serape style blankets and rugs while the modern side uses any type of geometric, tribal feeling design.

6. Add In The Modern: What makes the “modern” in modern southwest decor? Infusing the room with elements of modern decorating style. Think of a clean-lined sofa, a mid-century modern pendant light or modern wall art.

Modern Southwest Decor | Global Home Decor | Boho Home Decor | Mudcloth | Midcentury

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Perfect Pieces In A Modern Southwestern Style Home

  1. Bronwyn Round Mirror
  2. Paiute Land Print
  3. Vintage Mexican Falsa Blanket
  4. Joshua Tree Print 
  5. Mustard Mudcloth Pillow
  6. Black And White Stripe Lumbar Pillow
  7. Beatnik Oxford Leather Sofa
  8. Cactus
  9. Kilim Rug (use code ST2016 for 5% 0ff)
  10. Southwestern Pillow
  11. Tree Stump Table
  12. Large Rattan Basket
  13. Mid Century Show Wood Upholstered Chair

How Do I Create A Modern Southwestern Space?

  • Use a modern style sofa and other furniture to anchor the room with a modern look.
  • Add your favorite succulents and cacti.
  • Layer southwestern style rugs and blankets in the room.
  • Choose one or two rustic accents for the space.
  • Stick to a color scheme that can be found in nature, especially the southwest.
  • Don’t pick shiny metallics or items that look brand new.

Are you a fan of modern southwestern decor? Let me know in the comments below. 

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  1. November 29, 2016 / 8:15 pm

    Hi Sam! I came across your blog today and it’s great. I love the mood board that you created here – I love the colors. I actually just posted a modern southwest mood board on my blog the same week but I think yours looks better! I am also a rule follower and I’m trying very hard to break some rules. Anyway, just wanted to say hi and that I enjoy your blog. Happy holidays!

    • SamThomason2716
      November 30, 2016 / 11:35 am

      Hey Melissa, thanks for stopping by! I peeked at your SW mood board and think it’s totally adorable; I’m pretty sure we’re all our own worst critics!! I love those wishbone chairs too. I need to find somewhere in my house to put some of those! Happy holidays to you as well.

  2. April 11, 2017 / 4:06 am

    Absolutely obsessed with this look. Being from Arizona, I pull a lot of Southwest textiles and prints into my home. The mood board you’ve created makes me want to re-do my entire living room. Really beautiful!

    • SamThomason2716
      April 20, 2017 / 1:32 pm

      Oh, thanks! Living in AZ currently, I can appreciate this design, but I always lean towards mountains and trees (probably b/c we don’t have many here).

  3. Cynde
    July 17, 2017 / 3:15 pm

    Over 40 years ago my husband and I fell in love with Southwestern!! That’s way before it was a “thing” haha. We’ve altered and changed it up…. added and redone this look over the years. But still in love!! With decor and each other!! So now it’s time again to make a change but I wasn’t sure what to give up and what to keeps how to begin. Your page has begun my creative juices flowing and now it’s all about getting hubby on the same page since he’s finances my whims. Totally excited again….. thank you thank you thank you!!

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