A childhood love of color turned into a college-age fascination with the interaction of colors, then into a career of color trend forecasting and product development. Today, Kate Smith, CMG, CfYH, is president and chief color maven at Sensational Color, a company that provides color knowledge and know-how to corporations primarily in the home industry. Kate is an inspirational keynote speaker and seminar leader, blending color theory and psychology into entertaining and informative talks that bring color to life.
Thinking out of the traditional box is always a fun, inspiring way to decorate your home. With Navajo prints becoming hot in fashion this year, we're seeing Southwestern design pick up speed in home décor.
With its natural elements, open floor plans, and mixed Spanish, Mexican, and Native American flavors, there are endless options to infuse a little (or a lot) of this beautiful style into your home. Here are a few tips on creating flow and functionality in a Southwestern style design scheme.
A Southwestern-inspired home incorporates a more subtle, quieter color palette. Earth tones (terracotta, brown, cream, tan, and white) become the background for pops of brighter greens, reds, yellows, and oranges. This can be an equally stunning combination in a kitchen or a living room.
Elements from nature have always had a strong influence on Southwestern style. Furniture is always cmade from wood, featuring decorative carvings and other natural materials. Untreated textiles and soft, buttery leathers are perfect to incorporate into your design scheme. Use pillows and throw blankets to bring softness, color, and pattern (think geometric Navajo prints) into your decor, while clay earthenware planters are perfect for potting cacti and succulents for a pop of fresh greenery.
Traditional terracotta tiles are a mainstay of this style, whether used on the floor or interspersed throughout a space. Bathrooms, kitchens, and stairways are great spots to have some fun with tile and clay elements.
Southwestern-style outdoor spaces aren't complete without a clay or earthenware fireplace. A built-in model is a luxurious touch. If that's not possible, try a freestanding firepit with an elaborate tile design. It's a beautiful, fun nod to the rich history of handmade items of this style.
However you create the look, Southwestern style offers endless possibilities for interest and creativity. Give it a try and let me know how you incorporate it into your spaces.