A bit boho. A little modern. Even a touch rustic. There’s a cool new style that’s catching our eye in a big way and we’re calling it Desert Minimal. You may have caught glimpses of it in some of our recent summer designs, with its mix of warm desert tones, comfy clean-lined furnishings, and organic and natural accents. It’s the perfect blend of easy and eclectic that gives spaces a curated look as well as calming appeal.
Of course, we’ll be the first to admit that bringing together various design styles and all the right pieces can be tricky. What do you pair with organic-shaped side tables? Is there a good neutral color to bring in amid a sea of white and wood tones? How do you work in pops of patterns? We totally get it. So to help guide you along, our design team dreamed up this charming bungalow that showcases the desert minimal style and how it can all come together in a harmonious way.
Dive in and get our style tips as we break down the big and small design elements—from grouping organic shapes with sleeker furnishings to working in varying earthy hues throughout—for bringing the layered look home.
Mix In Organic Shapes
This is the foundation of the desert minimal look, so start here. You’ll want to nail down furnishings you love that have organic silhouettes, such as coffee and side tables with curvy bases, a cowhide rug, or a natural-leather sling chair.
Then, to balance the look, you’ll want to offset them with more modern pieces, like poufs, ottomans and sofas with soft rounded edges. Think of this approach to grouping furnishings as a warm and cool balance—for every organic element, like a leather butterfly chair, you’ll want to even it out with a clean-lined piece, like a mid-century inspired sofa.
The one exception? Lighting. You can go organic or modern here—think a textural fixture, like a fabric or rattan chandelier or try an ultra-modern armed pendant. The only requirement is that it should make a statement.
Think Warm Neutrals
It’s not desert minimal if there isn’t a mix of earthy colors and natural tones. The key with this palette, however, is to keep to mostly warm neutrals—think nude and terracotta, mustard yellow and dusty pinks. These hues will immediately bring to mind the arid landscapes of the American southwest and sunsets on the horizon, giving the home a rustic vibe that still comes off as collected and chic.
Another great thing about this palette is that because there is such a rich layering of pretty earth tones, you can keep your walls relatively minimal with little to no styling or graphic art with white backdrops that recede into the background. They’ll actually stand out more on their neutral canvas.
Let Natural Materials Shine
Choosing a few favorite designs made with natural materials is a great place to start with the desert minimal style. Since you want to keep the overall furniture look pretty minimal, pick pieces that really speak to you. The best part is that furnishings made with natural materials—think leather, cowhide, linens, raw wood, rattan, stone, and bone elements—will seamlessly play up the warm neutral palette in your space.
Even try mixing varying leather and wood tones, which is a stylish way to add bold visual texture throughout the space.
Get Smart With Geometrics
Once you have your foundational pieces, layer in art and objects to bring the look to life. We love geometric patterns for the desert minimal style.
Don’t be afraid to add pattern to even your furniture, like this inlaid console. Just be sure to carry this design element through to your art and accents with graphic prints and decorative objects that have strong shapes.
The idea is to bring these bold pops of patterns, even tribal elements, into your space through smaller geometric details that add visual texture without compromising on the overall airy, minimal look.
Keep it Light and Clean-Lined
What sets desert minimal apart from other spaces that feature a modern mix, is that this look is all about clean-lined furnishings that have a lighter, airier appeal. Think of it as mid-century meets relaxed, minimal design. Aim for pieces that have curvy silhouettes that play well with organic designs and light woods that pair easily with all the natural materials.
The key is to find streamlined pieces that have natural textures and shapes, like this dining room credenza with pretty wood graining and the dining table with a rounded top and legs. They help to balance out the organic pieces and smaller patterned accents, such as art, pillows, and decorative objects.
Make For Minimal
Because there’s such a richness in the materials and shapes in the desert minimal look, keep styling to a minimum. Unlike boho or eclectic styles, desert minimal is all about artfully arranged surfaces that put emphasis on a few unique designs, such as hand-crafted artisanal pottery, a beautiful inlaid tray, or a lamp base with subtle detailing that comes off as bold texture.
Don’t feel the need to fill out your console surfaces and bookshelves; instead lean into a leaner, sparser look with meaningful pieces.