Did you know? The home decor market is massive in the United States. According to Statista, the U.S. home decor market will grow to USD 202 billion in 2024, representing a 20 percent increase from 2019, when the U.S. market was $169 billion. Home decor and furnishing leaders in the U.S. include Bed Bath & Beyond, Wayfair and IKEA.
When you think about Southwest kitchen decor, you may wonder where it all started. Arizona and New Mexico are unique places where the southwestern style kitchen originates with warm and bold designs. You shouldn’t be surprised that elements of Native American and Mexican décor are common in today’s home decor.
Nonetheless, it is essential to note that these elements influence the southwest look. Intelligent kitchen designers look for innovative ways to combine historical ingredients with today’s design trends, whether a counter top or the dining room. A principal designer at EMI Interior Design in Southern California, Erica Islas, says she’s always drawn to mixing old and new designs. It tends to work very well when an ancient and modern element is combined. It emphasizes the casual feel for a lifestyle that inspires many fantasies.
It means you can mix vintage and new items like appliances, hardware, lighting, and cabinetry with ease; you can also step out of the accepted Southwestern “look” to create your unique style. There is a wide range of colors associated with Southwestern decorating ideas: sky-blue, turquoise, cobalt, and terra cotta, to name a few. In addition to the handcrafted stoneware, copper, and ceramic tile accessories typical of Southwest design, the kitchen is also an ideal place to display them.
This style has a common theme with a cathedral ceiling, hardwood styles, large rooms, and bright colors such as a yellow kitchen, which is a nice finishing touch for typical western kitchen decor.
Table of Contents
- Restaurant Style Kitchen Decor
- Make Your Space More Enticing by Decorating with Animal Skulls
- Make Use of Handcrafted Items
- You Can Grow Cacti and Desert Plants
- A Casually Comfortable Kitchen
- Use Ceramic Art to Create an Accent Wall
- Woven Baskets are a Great Storage Solution
- Choose Wooden Furniture for a Natural Look
- Lighting as the Main Focus
- Choosing Window Treatments
- Art Pieces of a Large Size
- Natural and Rugged
- A Taste of thr West: Southwest Kitchen Decor
- A Few Tangents and Quirks
Restaurant Style Kitchen Decor
Think outside the box if you want a room like this. At the cabinet’s end, for instance, use a curve instead of a corner. Make the pillars of the cabinet style resemble those curves. Shape your counter to resemble your favorite restaurant table. There are plenty of Pinterest examples of a kitchen photo that will resonate with you. Don’t forget to add those accents like pepper shakers or a Southwest spoon rest. You can find many examples on Etsy.
It’s important to remember that Southwestern country stools work well with this style. You might want to replace old, worn-out seats instead and then upgrade them with plush covers of color: gold, purple, or red.
Within the narrow cooking zone, the use of hardware is nearly nonexistent, but you may find the typical ceramic tile backsplash material near the kitchen sink. For a modern twist, you are likely to find the stainless-steel wall oven with familiar brick walls that may surround it. Accents may include cow skulls.
This kind of elegant Euro look works better with glass-block windows and vertical blinds on glass doors. There are cabinets on either side of the peninsula which provide counter space and storage.
With all the colors and gradations in the stone tile, they add a little extra spice. It’s an elegantly modern kitchen with a vintage vibe, but you can also draw inspiration from vintage styling.
Adding painted furniture to your kitchen will make it look brighter, as would large open windows which help bring natural lights into the space. The ceiling design is complete with wood beams or Southwest ceiling fans from the numerous options at Wayfair.
Southwest kitchen design is about the large kitchen with barn-like proportions features knotty pine cabinets with dark molding that create a homey feel. Pine doors and simple black wrought-iron knobs and pulls work together with the high ceiling and wood floor to give this house a traditional country appeal without being too cute.
The cabinetry doors have frames that enclose glass. Oversized tiles provide the perfect backsplash for the gleaming stainless steel stove. However, other appliances, such as refrigerators, are hidden behind matching walls.
A well-designed island surrounds the work zone without obstructing traffic at either end, enhancing the kitchen’s pull-up-a-stool appeal. Green wainscoting and cabinet trim complement the counter front, thereby avoiding monotony. Counters with raised height conceal lower counters and sinks where dirty dishes may end up.
Make Your Space More Enticing by Decorating with Animal Skulls
A cow skull or bull skull is a recurring motif in Southwestern design. It immediately conjures up images of cowboys in the old West and cattle drives when you place a cow skull at the center of your room. Even if you dislike using animal products in your decor, you can still achieve the look by decorating with a faux skull. Try decorating with wood, plastic, or metal pieces made from different materials instead of real skulls.
Make Use of Handcrafted Items
In Southwestern design, handcrafted items, like functional utensils, are combined with folk art that depicts Mexican, Native American, and Spanish cultures. Southwestern-style kitchens look great with hand-woven baskets, and they are functional as well as beautiful. Using dry goods as art pieces on the wall or storing them on the counter is an option.
You Can Grow Cacti and Desert Plants
Adding cacti to your home can create a Southwest-style atmosphere and make it feel like you live in a desert. Make your collection as diverse as you can by growing different colors, shapes, and blooms. There are tiny cacti for windowsills or giant ones for dining tables – be sure to keep your little ones out of danger by keeping them away from the prickly ones.
These also work perfectly with the outdoor decor, arranged around couches with a beautiful outdoor cushion or two that come in colorful accents or more earthy tones. You can further expand on this with rustic brown agave made of metal, colorful Southwest clay pots, sun wall art decor available in a variety of colors. Beautifully arranged outdoor lighting in rustic brown with pattern sun art on wall lights or sconces balances the space for ambient effect.
A Casually Comfortable Kitchen
One of those kitchens has the word “home” written all over it. The lively color palette, traditional cabinetry, and splashes of bright color convey a cheerful, sunny atmosphere. Or you could complete this kitchen with a Southwestern framed signage that yells, “Hello Sweet Cheeks,” with many examples easily found on Etsy.com.
The kitchen island will have wooden accents to super-charge the rustic vibe. Wooden beams for the ceiling in a Southwestern home are very common to support walls and ceilings. Wooden furniture is present and visible in other forms such as the dining table, chairs, and other storage dressers.
With a more finished space, you can enjoy a clean-lined look since many appliances sit behind matching panels. It’s a place designed for nurturing, yet there are brightly colored ceramics on the open shelves, comfy window seats, as well as exciting nooks and crannies, like a mini-breakfast bar for snacks. Granite countertops help expand on improvements for a contemporary space.
The kitchen is attached to a vast elegant room with a fireplace with its simple, down-to-earth aesthetic. Even though the two spaces share a wooden floor, they have very different personalities. This cozy kitchen is perfect for hot chocolate with marshmallows and cocktails by the handsome fireplace.
Use Ceramic Art to Create an Accent Wall
Look for Southwest art to bring colorful flair to your kitchen, like this example if you’re picturing it with many colors. You can choose from a variety of bright and sculptural wall hangings that are sure to make anyone smile. If you can group them on a wall, you can create a focal point in the room.
Woven Baskets are a Great Storage Solution
Wicker and woven baskets are great options if you need decorative accents in your kitchen or extra storage. Their versatility makes them ideal for holding almost anything while maintaining a cohesive aesthetic. In a paler tan color, these baskets have a neutrality that blends into the background. Their variety of sizes and shapes also keep the attention. You can store more oversized items in a beautiful container in a corner and keep some small baskets on the counter for fruits.
Choose Wooden Furniture for a Natural Look
You can create a rustic and mismatched look by incorporating wooden furniture in different colors and tones. By incorporating accent pieces and accessories, you can bring the details together. It’s great to see a Mexican restaurant that uses earthy, wood tones in its furnishings; the effect is a design that feels comfortable, earthy, and inviting.
Lighting as the Main Focus
Adding accent lights to your overhead lighting can make all the difference in a room with fluorescents or incandescents. There are inexpensive pendant lamps available at discount stores, thrift shops, and flea markets, which can completely transform a dark corner in a room into a luminous one. Place small accent lights below cupboards to bring a more modern feel to a room. Adding a statement lamp to your counter space will make an impressive statement while providing functional illumination.
Choosing Window Treatments
You can update your room just by changing the drapes and blinds. Drapes and blinds often set the tone for the entire room. Cafe curtains are informal and easy to maintain. Roman shades depict a simple elegance and are modern again. Creating a faux Roman shade can be time-consuming and costly, but you can do so with or without sewing by following online tutorials. You can hand decorative blinds or shades in bamboo, wood, or a decorative fabric for a simple, minimalist treatment.
Art Pieces of a Large Size
If you replace small decorative elements with a few big, bold ones, you can quickly make a significant change in your kitchen. For smaller kitchens or large expanses of walls, a large mirror will be ideal for opening up the room and reflecting light. An additional option for kitchen decor is chalkboards. You can spray two coats of chalkboard paint on a large, inexpensive framed artwork you can find at a thrift shop, frame included. Put it near friends and family to facilitate communication or bring attention to your art on it. A gallery is another option for grouping smaller pieces of art together. Hang your accent lights here for a striking look.
In what way does Southwestern Design differ from other styles?
Natural and Rugged
Nature is the source of the best of the genre, both in terms of materials and spirit. Flowing streams, colorful land formations, towering mountains, crashing waves, and wildlife may inspire this color. These images may capture the rugged wilderness or reflect the sky, the sun, or violent storms. Natural diversity appears through cultural expressions, with a style-can’t-hold-it-all philosophy that embraces it all.
Southwest and Western kitchen décor don’t hesitate to mix materials: This is by design where available resources make up all home decor and accents. It makes sense, and it seems appropriate. Alternatively, you can buy wall sconces fashioned from rusty metal and dripping with crystals, or you can hang a chandelier with blackened iron. Put a contemporary twist on what could have been a “frontier” solution by wrapping rustic beams with bare bulbs strung from exposed wiring.
Combining graphic weavings with calico and plaid is as simple as using soft leather or natural hides. You can use the vibrant colors of sunsets and cactus blooms in a piece or make a more subtle statement with muted hues from the prairies, the desert, and mountain valleys.
A Taste of thr West: Southwest Kitchen Decor
Unlike New Mexico Pueblo and Southern California Mission, Texas is not like Alaska, just as Rocky Mountain chic is not like the coast of Oregon. Western design is still influenced by the style popular elsewhere, and settlers from elsewhere changed the West in many ways. But despite this, there is a recurrent organic theme of integrating beauty, function, and value for age, usage, and history. A key characteristic of Western architecture and the Southwest is its ability to reflect history but not become enslaved by it.
The decorative arts of the western and southwestern regions have extraordinary influence from Native American and First Nation cultures. Choosing Navajo rugs for your home, covering your bed in native weavings, and finding North Woods blankets crafted in historical designs will lend your space aesthetic appeal.
Collect hand-thrown pots, decorated serving pieces for your kitchen table, and embellish your silver with Mexican motifs. Sinks, white countertops, kitchen tables, and kitchenware comes from hammered or weathered copper. The pieces of wood have been weathered and scarred, so you should collect them. The damaged and old wood are fundamental essentials to make something new.
The West is still influenced by what has been popular, such as the railroads and highways that settlers arrived on from the East.
A Few Tangents and Quirks
A significant benefit of Western and Southwestern kitchen décor is that it is not fussy and requires little maintenance. Emphasize comfort and ease when choosing the décor. The amount of time and energy you have available for spending time with friends and family will increase, and you will be able to enjoy your home as a personal retreat.
If you use colors from one region and a weaving or artistic accent from another, you don’t have to worry. Creative elements and natural elements blend to create a unique look.
A perfect match for your home would consider southwestern bedding and similar bathroom decor.
Go ahead and hang a Texas Star on your wall if you love its symbolism. Even that laughable howling coyote, or that rusting Route 66 sign, or a lifelike buffalo, mirrors your sense of style.
An individual’s taste and preferences are at the heart of this style. You should use it if it is suitable for your lifestyle. Your classy style will never fade away if you incorporate the elements you love into your home.
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John Thompson, Writer and Commentator, EvolutDesign.com
Soldier, writer, researcher, consultant, and bon vivant, John Thompson is the author of numerous columns, op-eds, reports, briefs, short stories and books as the “Felicity Files” and “Spirit Over Steel: A Chronology of the Second World War” (version III). Often found hunched over his computer, or in his garden, and now often found doing both. His diverse talent has led him to work in industries and projects such as energy, security and home construction and renovation.