Southwestern and Tuscan Interior Design Elements
Southwestern interior Design and Decor
Southwestern interior design embraces the natural beauty of Arizona interior design and New Mexico. It is inspired by the heritage of the Spaniards, Mexicans and American Indians who inhabited the area. The soothing earth-tone palette of terracotta, brick red, brown and green are traditional base colors. Colorful accents of yellow, orange, red clay and turquoise make southwestern interior design an attractive decor choice for nature lovers.
Rooms are designed to flow naturally and feel spacious. Furniture is simple in design and upholstered with natural woven fabrics, leather, suede or other animal hides. Floor pillows are commonly used as an alternative seating choice. Tables and shelves are traditionally composed of natural or distressed wood and metal. Decorative accents including ceramic tiles and vases, handcrafted items, traditional Native American art and blankets reinforce the earthy and natural heritage of southwest design.
Southwestern style embraces its organic roots. Architecture and design themes are easily recognized by the use of adobe walls and clay or terracotta roofs. The unique style is known for using large peeled logs, known as vigas, for ceiling beams. Latillas, or thin saplings, are frequently used with vigas to create a herringbone pattern. Vigas frequently protrude exterior walls and are also exposed on the outside of the structure. Arches and built-in niches are other commonly seen features. Traditionally, niches are used to display photos, religious artifacts and objects of art.
Southwestern style is rooted in its geography and does not transfer well to other parts of the United States most notable in New Mexico, Phoenix and Scottsdale Arizona and Palm Springs California
Tuscan design is characterized by rustic charm and warm colors that evoke the sun-drenched Italian countryside. The following are a few ways in which you can give even a modern home a touch of old-world elegance.
From the floors and walls to the window treatments and upholstery, choose colors that are earthy and reminiscent of the Italian landscape. This includes greens, golds, reds, and terra-cotta. The colors should be rich but muted as if slightly faded by the sun or with age.
The old farmhouses common throughout the Tuscany region were typically built with a combination of readily available materials, including wood, stone, and clay. Stone accents along arched doorways, hand-scraped wood ceiling beams, and rough stucco or plaster walls will give your home that gently aged feel of a quaint Italian cottage. If you are looking for less expensive options, consider creative wall stenciling or using color washes and distressed finishes to give your walls and cabinetry an aged patina. These touches should be done with restraint, however, to keep them from appearing kitschy.
The flooring should continue the rustic theme. Terra-cotta tile, stone, and whitewashed parquet wood floors are common in traditional Tuscan homes. Exposed wood beams, distressed or antique furniture, and reed mats or Oriental, Turkish, or Indian rugs will add warmth and soften the look of the room.
Although primarily functional, old Tuscan farmhouses were not without their decorative touches, Wood furniture pieces were often embellished with hand-painted or carved designs and would be combined with wrought iron pieces with simple, curving lines. Textured wallpaper along with tapestries and coordinating draperies can be used to bring in a touch of Tuscan color. When dressing a Tuscan room, the key is to remember to keep things elegant but understated. The decorative touches should never get in the way of the functionality and purpose of the room.
Finally, do not forget about your outdoor spaces. Because of the warm climate, Italians often treat patios and other outdoor areas as additional living spaces. Consider furniture and accessories with the same earthy colors and natural materials that you used indoors to create a comfortable outdoor entertaining area.