Western Style Decor

by Erika Woelfel

Following on the heels of the adobe post focusing on exterior southwestern color, I thought it might be fun to explore color and design inside an adobe! The southwest style you remember from the ‘80s has evolved since then, becoming a bit more modern and leaving the rodeo at the front step! 

Entries are often small and shaded on the outside, but colorful once you pass the door.

The modern adobe home has abundant natural light, and feels spacious with an open floor plan. Great rooms on the first level incorporate kitchens, dining rooms and living areas. The décor is either rustic or modern, and sometimes a combination of the two.

Behr Trend Colors 2012 – Modern Version of Southwestern Style

Just as there are mixed materials in stone, concrete, stucco and wood on the outside of an Adobe house, similar materials are also found on the inside. Expect to see dark wood treatments and heavy hardware in warm bronze, polished nickel and distressed wrought iron. Materials include tooled leather and animal hides. They feel right at home with Native American motifs, artwork, pottery, handcrafted baskets and cowboy paraphernalia. Often very modern streamlined furnishings mix with antique pieces. I’ve sometimes noticed an element of Arts and Crafts that works its way into southwestern décor as well, especially in lighting accessories.

Plenty of light fills this Western-style living room.

Tinted neutrals are often used for the walls, and can be found in lighter or darker versions. Greens are dusted versions of olive or avocado. Brighter color is reserved for furniture and accents. Blue, turquoise, oranges, red and purples look great with modern furnishings.

A Navajo pattern Don’t: Layering geometrics makes it busy. Use sparingly, because a little goes a long way!

Native American motifs are well known as geometric triangle and diamond patterns. Animals, arrows, keys, stripes and pictograph designs were also found on blankets and rugs. Original woven pieces dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries are now incredibly expensive and most often displayed as art. For those with a smaller budget, those famous Navajo patterns have now found themselves interpreted into new colors, and applied to everything from upholstery fabric to bedspreads. Used sparingly, they are the perfect accent in color and pattern for the southwest styled home.


Colorfully Yours,



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Instagram @BEHRPAINT