Just purchased our first home in AZ. While we want to make a curtsy to the beautiful environs and the rich history of the area, our style is contemporary. I'd love to hear thoughts on how we can manage both. It seems like anything I find on the pages from other readers is beautiful, but TOO southwest....should I maybe go for the contemporary/moderne style we love and say hello to the SW in my accent pieces?
I think it's completely up to you. That's what makes your style "yours".
I'm getting ready to renovate my kitchen and I like traditional, contemporary, rustic and tuscan styles. I'm having a hard time because I can't pick just one style. I'm going to just go with things I like, no matter what the style.
Happily married and mom of 4
Central maryland - Zone 7
Or perhaps you could go completely contemporary/moderne style and take a cue from the SW in wall colors or upholstery colors or bedspread colors --
When I think of contemporary/moderne I think of white and black furniture . . . and I think a perfect foil would be walls in terra cotta, that soft aqua one seems to find in SW things, the gold of a dessert sunset, the dusty rosy pink of a cactus bloom.
Native crafts, I think might be used for some accent pieces -- but not a lot because you would then be getting away from your style and your rooms would become too SW.
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I can see your home decorated the way YOU want it.It will totally shock your new visitors and see a SW home decorated different.In a GOOD way Keep the outside in it's natural enviroment thou.I'd walk in and be amazed.
I have saw several tv shows feature a home decorated this way.A few homes was SW too.It looked amazing.
I like what Linderhof said.Use SW colors in decor items or on the walls.Not in decor.Just my thought.
Forensicmom is correct it is your home.You have and want to be happy,right?
Keep in mind that the geometric textile patterns that are so indicative of the American Southwest can be replaced by other "ethnic weaves" from Morroco, Turkey, The Russian Caucusus, ect.
There is a history of using coarser, rustic hand woven textiles, and primitive art with sleek contemporary furniture that goes back to the 1920's.
Using Ikat's, Suzani's, or Kilim patterns can give you a very southwestern friendly style without being as obvious as say a Navajo rug.
I like those suggestions. The furniture can be all modern and then accessories (with a few feature pieces of featured furniture) can really make a great interior.
Even Modern country is an interesting style.
I would start by reading a couple of books.
The first one is called "The New Traditional", by Darryl Carter. Darryl Carter is a designer that believes in a simple "envelope", or walls, ceiling, and floor as a back drop to furniture and antiques. The contrast highlights furnishings and art beautifully. Even though he works with traditional architecture and furniture forms, he creates a very modern clean look. His ideas could easily be translated into modern with Southwest.
The other book I would recommend is "Creating a Home" by Katherine Ireland. In her book she documents her restoration of Libby Ranch in Ojai California. It is a great study of rustic southwest style.
I feel that the two books could give you style ideas that you could use to build a design on.
It's been very helpful to get your feedback---thanks. I have never had such a decor-block before. I think it's because over a two year house hunt, we've seen sooo many houses and I had to spend a lot of time looking past the decor to the bones of the house. This sounds terrible, but of the 50+ we toured, I can only remember one where I was like "wow" when I walked in. Seriously, the house was not where we wanted to be, wrong configuration, needed some updates and maintenance, but I loved the owner's style so much I wanted to make it mine. (So did someone else---she accepted an offer the same afternoon we saw it!) Believe me when I tell you I am not criticizing anyone's choices---decorating is like art and is in the eye of the beholder---but in our endless house-hunting, we were surprised at how there was a certain typicality to the style of the homes---even if they were very traditional southwest on the exterior, the insides were almost neo-classic, with lots of heavy draped materials, ornate carvings, dark jewel-colors. Like the anti-thesis of my aesthetic. And then there were the "Mexican houses" as we called them---at least they were fun and had personality, but waaaay too colorful and rustic for our taste. So you get used to looking past all this, and then when we found our dream house, it's like all I could see was the bare bones. I just couldn't even get a sense of where to start. Just your thoughts and tossing out of ideas has been a great little catalyst....I feel my creative juices starting to stir. I am very excited, actually, this is the first time in several years I have gotten to start decorating from scratch. Our new dream home is a totally blank canvas---but with incredible views of the Sonoran desert that I need to make sure is a feature in every room. I did find one picture on HGTV I liked---it's not exactly right, but it did make me nod....it's just a little subdued---I like a little more whimsey and lightness... Thanks so much for your input. I know I'll be back for words of advice and encouragement. I love DH, but his idea of decorating is to fold his bath towel and hang it neatly after a shower! (And I love that because I have free reign!)
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