The Finishing Touch: Accessorizing your Southwestern Design

So you have the earthy paint on the walls and the Saltillo tiles lying under your feet. The big pieces are out of the way, but how do you accessorize your room to really complete the Southwestern feel? Here are some tips to bring the vibrant culture into your Tucson home.

When decorating Southwestern style, incorporate colors like cactus green, adobe red and desert-toned neutral hues. Shots of bright yellow, dusty orange and turquoise are also indicative of Southwestern decorating. These colors can be used in plants, textiles, or knick-knacks placed around the room. Keep in mind, though, that there's more to these pieces than just color—also make sure the object is itself related to the southwest. For instance, instead of African violets, opt for some Christmas cactus. Get rid of those Beanie Babies on your bookshelf and exchange them for some kachinas.

Using textiles like sturdy woven fabrics, leather, and suede for upholstery is a great Southwestern design idea. Another simple Southwestern decorating idea is to hang striped serapes for wall decorating. Accents and accessories like pottery, painted ceramic Mexican pieces are ideal for adding bursts of color and design interest to Southwestern decorating. Hand-painted tiles can also be used on walls, floors, and countertops, and wrought iron can be used for all types of accessories in Southwestern decorating.

As always with decorating and accessorizing, try to keep a solid theme throughout to create a cohesive look. It's also a good idea to step back and have a friend pop in to make sure you haven't gone overboard with the extra accessories.