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by Kate Smith

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.

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  • Thinking out of the traditional box is always a fun, inspiring way to decorate your home. With Navajo prints becoming popular in fashion lately, we're seeing Southwestern design pick up speed in home decor.
    With its natural elements, open floor plans, and a mix of Spanish, Mexican, and Native American influences, 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 for a Southwestern-style design scheme.
  • Colors

    A Southwestern-inspired home incorporates a subtle, natural 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.
  • Furniture and Accessories

    Elements from nature have always had a strong influence on Southwestern style. Furniture is often made from wood, featuring decorative carvings and other natural materials. Untreated textiles and soft, buttery leathers are perfect to add into your space. Use pillows and throw blankets to bring softness, color, and pattern (think geometric Navajo prints) into your decor; clay earthenware planters are great for potting cacti and succulents for a pop of fresh greenery.
  • Flooring and Walls

    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 decor
  • Outdoor Spaces

    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 fire pit with an elaborate tile design. It's a beautiful nod to the rich history of handmade items found in 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!
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