I grew up in Arizona, a place filled with southwestern decor ranging from truly luxurious, to downright gaudy and tacky. Depending on a persons interpretation of “western” will often determine the overall results. I have found that those who grew up in the west tend to have an understated approach while those from the east coast tend to take it to the extreme because it’s a new look for them. Depending on your preference will determine the outcome. But it certainly makes sense to know how to get that uber high style look that Ralph Lauren has undoubtably made iconic and chic.
How to achieve a sophisticated western interior
- Color – The easiest way to achieve western chic is to have a clear blank palette of white, with plenty of earth tones, and plenty of turquoise. But the mistake that most make is to incorporate the colors on the walls. Instead keep the walls clear with bright white and emphasize color through rugs, accessories, fabrics, and art.
- Textures – Strong texture is a necessary component to western decor. Hand-tooled leathers, hand woven baskets, reclaimed woods, hammered metals, copper, and of course, turquoise!
- Indian motifs – In Arizona, most motifs are Native American, inspired by Navajo and Hopi Indians. Traditional in their culture, motifs can be found in rugs, pillows, throws, culture, and jewelry.
- Artwork – without a doubt artwork is by far one of the greatest gifts the southwest has given me. Beautiful options that range from painted sand, woven baskets, sculptural mosaics, hand painted tiles, hand made pottery, even jeweled skulls are common place in the southwest.
The goal is to keep your main palette clear, and white to emphasis the colors, textures and art that are filled with so much color and personality. Make each item a showpiece, allow it to breathe without additional clutter, and give it an eclectic, collected look to achieve a sophisticated western interior that good ol’ Ralph would swoon over!
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