Guide To Desert Home Decorating
When thinking of desert home décor, does your mind conjure up images of coyote and cacti figurines frolicking in a sea of turquoise and mauve? If so, those outdated images might explain your aversion to desert style decorating. Luckily, things have changed a great deal and desert decorating no longer means tacky decorating.
Let’s say we leave those hideous 80s decorating trends in the past where they belong. Today’s take on desert decorating infuses homes with a modern blend of history, diversity and style—all while maintaining a balance with the surrounding environment.
I would best describe a desert color palette as warm and welcoming. Imagine the colors of a Navajo blanket, a sunset as it slips behind the mountains, a garden of flowering succulents or the shimmer of sand in the moonlight.
The entire idea of desert decorating is to bring as much of the outdoors into your home as possible—in a subtle way, of course. Consider the earthy tones of adobe, terracotta and desert landscapes. Contrast the warmth with cool hints of sage green or ice blue.
Learn More About Desert Home Decorating
Tamara Hawkinson takes you on a pictoral journey through desert interior design. Use this book as your decorating inspiration.
Great ideas for living in harmony with the desert landscape.
Super idea book for decorating any room of the house!
Think of furniture for your desert home as a mix of casual, modern and rustic. If you use a combination of styles, your home will take on a relaxed feel. This way you can create your version of desert style without looking kitschy or themed.
Every desert home needs a piece of leather furniture. Go large with a sectional or more understated with an occasional chair or two. You can dine at a rustic harvest table or enjoy a dinner for two at your vintage Saarinen tulip table. Shake things up by pairing modern chairs with rustic pieces and vice versa.
Keep bedroom furniture simple and low profile. As with other rooms in your home, you will not want to detract from or obscure the glorious views to the outside.
I know from first-hand experience that carpet has no business in a desert home! If your home has an urban vibe, sleek tile is definitely the way to go. I prefer using varying sizes of large-scale tiles placed in an offset pattern with thin grout lines. Tumbled travertine is the perfect material for this type of installation as it echoes the color of sand.
Desert homes situated far from the madding crowd may be better suited to hardwood flooring. If you are really into becoming one with nature, consider natural products like über sustainable bamboo. Or better yet, check out wood floor tiles for the best of both worlds.
If you are looking for warmth underfoot, take advantage of local artisans. Nothing is more striking than a Mojave rug in the living room or bedroom. And don’t forget, tribal rugs can be great inspiration for your overall color palette, so you might want choose your rugs first.
Fabrics and Accessories
The use of fabrics and accessories make a desert house a home. Choose natural fabrics that are full of texture. Stick with nature-inspired accessories and add pops of color with native art pieces and textiles. Protect all of your furnishings from the sun by installing durable solar shades rather than curtains.
A Fun and Retro Twist on Desert Home Decorating
One of the best ways to get decorating inspiration is to tour desert style homes. And one of the best places to do so is in Palm Springs, California. You can tour model homes to your heart's content in new developments throughout the Coachella Valley.
Or you can concentrate on classic mid-century modern desert homes in the epicenter of Palm Springs. Below are a few examples of desert modernism -- but these are just the tip of the iceberg. Click on the links below to find out about specific events and interior home tours. Better yet, rent a mid-century modern home for your vacation!
Check Out Desert Modernism in Palm Springs
The Kaufmann House was designed by Richard Neutra in 1946 and is a great example of mid-century modern desert design.
Beautiful inside and out, this steel house will give you plenty of inspiration to decorate your desert home in the mid-century modern style.
There are a number of homes in this subdivision that exemplify mid-century modern design. A real must-see!
What a fun find! If you're a fan of vintage desert homes and Elvis, this is one you can't miss!
Another Neutra house that is an homage to glass, steel and clean lines. The interior is as sleek as the exterior.
This E. Stewart Williams home was constructed in 1954. With its stone facade and low profile, the Edris House seems to at one with the landscape.
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