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4 Cliche-Free Ways to Bring Southwest Decor Home

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Interior designer Heather French, of French & French Interiors in Santa Fe, shares quick tips for incorporating Southwest decor into any modern home
porch in setting sun
What’s a must-have for every modern Southwest home?

An aged wooden bench for your front porch — and a little bit of dust and dirt! A big aspect of living in the Southwest is community; our porch is both where we entertain and a huge part of everyday life. A really good bench is crucial.

Color is an important element in Southwestern design. How do you avoid the cliché?

I’ve been pushing myself to stay away from what’s traditionally Southwest, instead looking at the transitional colors in Navajo rugs — really bright pinks, greens, yellows and oranges. I pull those together and add in a piece of black and white pottery to balance it out.

How can you incorporate vintage into a Southwest home?

Pottery is a really important part of Southwest décor. Timeworn wood is a great way to bring the feel of the desert home. We have so much brown here, so geometric textiles add a lot of warmth and texture.

It’s easy for Southwestern design to be kitschy. How do you avoid that?

The key is to find the real thing. Go to Taos and choose the authentic piece instead of the copy.

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