Southwestern style: powerful and warm tribal style

Table of Contents

We have talked about the retro girlish style and warm Nordic style in previous articles. In this article, we will talk about Southwestern style.

The origin of Southwestern style is the mix of American and Spanish culture. It often appears in Arizona, Mexico, and Spain. The impression of Indigenous Americans is simple and wild. This is what the southwestern style trying to convey.

The use of colour in southwestern style

Southwestern style: powerful and warm tribal style

Colour is boldly used in Southwestern style as colour is not only for decoration, but also a foundation for creating temperature and energy.

Southwestern style: powerful and warm tribal style

The main colour of Southwestern style are mostly earthy tones, with a natural, gentle, and thick feeling. This warm earthy colour is like a dusty earth which exactly represents the mother of the earth admired by the indigenous people. Don’t fear that the same colour system will look dull. When the light brown wooden floor, the wet dark brown earthy sofa match with the earthy pillow, the layers are still bright.

Southwestern style texture

  1. Wood

Southwestern style: powerful and warm tribal style

How can tribal style lack wood element? In foreign southwestern style interior design, wood is used in kitchen countertops, ceiling, sofa, door, window and even floor. A good piece of wood has natural colour, coupled with texture, it adds natural beauty to home.

Although it may not be possible in Hong Kong to have the entire house decorated in wood elements from ceiling to floor, you can consider having wooden floor or furniture. Choose a rustic wood dining table with excellent texture. Or to use sandpaper to upcycle the cabinet to have a retro look.

  1. Ceramic

Southwestern style: powerful and warm tribal style

Another representative material of Southwestern style is ceramic. Ancient people often used pottery items, such as walls, floors, and decorative objects. The rough and powdery texture gives the home a rustic retro atmosphere. The original pottery products were mainly made of terracotta clay. The indigenous people of Southwestern style believed that it was the colour of the sun, which was warm and energetic.

Southwestern style: powerful and warm tribal style

The 16th-century Mexican painted ceramics is very famous, bringing the earth-coloured home to next level. Hand-painted tiles can be used for walls, floors, countertops, and decorations. Whether it is natural or handmade ceramics, this decorative element is always essential in Southwestern style.

  1. Metal

Southwestern style: powerful and warm tribal style

In addition to natural elements, Southwestern style accidentally adds metal as a decorative element, balancing the heavy feeling of various large-scale furniture. When putting the pottery jar on the iron decorative frame, the collision of natural texture and industrial sense will bring unexpected effect.

Southwestern style: powerful and warm tribal style

Southwestern style decorations 

  1. Textiles and leather

Have you ever thought about putting the swaying clothing fabrics of Native Americans indoors? Southwestern style likes to use different natural materials as the decoration of the whole house, such as colourful tassel paintings, bamboo and rattan wall hanging discs. 

Southwestern style: powerful and warm tribal style

The hand-knitting skills of the Native American are awesome. So carpets and textiles with bright colours and complex patterns become the must-have items for southwestern style.

How can we miss leather as the Native Americans made a living by hunting? Unlike the leather used in modern styles, Southwestern style prefers a wild and free style with rough surfaces or suede with animal texture. You can make a leather chair, hang the leather pieces on wall, or make it as a carpet. You can easily match the leather in earthy and woody tones of southwestern style.

  1. Animal skull specimen

Southwestern style: powerful and warm tribal style

If you look for photos of southwestern style on the Internet, you will see decorations in animal skull specimens. The skull specimen is not terrible item. It records the long-term hunting career of the Native Americans. The skull specimen is a gratitude and respect for the animal.

In America, skull specimens are a popular collection category. In addition to showing wildness at home, the delicate structure of the skull is also an artwork.

  1. Feature Wall

Southwestern style: powerful and warm tribal style

In the past, Native Americans and Spain used pottery bricks, stucco, or earth bricks to make walls. Nowadays, it is rare to use these building materials to make a wall at home. Though it is impossible to have the earthy wall at home, we can create a feature wall in southwestern style through some creative painting or texture techniques.

In addition, Spain is also a source of southwestern style, so Spanish mosaic tiles also become a common interior decoration in southwestern style. You can use Spanish tiles to make feature wall, kitchen counter, window or fireplace, wall border, etc.


Southwestern style is warm and powerful. Compared with modern mechanical sense, it pays more attention to handwork and hand-painting. More importantly, you can participate in making the decoration. Southwestern style hopes to establish the relationship between people and nature at home.


(Images credit: dwellcandy, agirlandthedesert, lovetoknow, dwellmedia, bloglovin, CeTerra Interiors, impressiveinteriordesign, apartmenttheraphy, abeautifulmess) 


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