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modern southwest interior design

Style Spotlight: 4 Ways to Get the Modern Southwest Look

If you’ve been noticing—and loving—a lot of Southwestern design on your Instagram and Pinterest feeds lately, you’re not alone. In fact, Modern Southwest interior design is one of our favorite trendy styles of the moment!

Modern Southwest design features a mix of mid-century and rustic elements, combined in a way that recalls the desert Southwest. It’s a close cousin of modern rustic interior design and desert minimal design. The difference being that Modern Southwest puts more emphasis on desert and Southwestern motifs than modern rustic and is more eclectic than desert minimal design. In fact, this look is very rooted in the idea of being a literal world traveller, with a home that features collected objects from around the world.

In terms of color palettes, Modern Southwest features earthy palettes in saturated tones—like terracotta, brick reds, olive greens, and blues, as well as natural materials and heavy leathers (in more of a cognac that dark brown tone). You’ll also see a lot of deep, dark woods in this style. But it’s not all earthy, natural elements. There’s also this high-contrast element that brings in the modern side of this style. Many Modern Southwest rooms feature bright white walls and black accents in the furniture and decor.

Southwestern living is embodied in this warm and youthful, with rooms that feel inviting and lived-in. Global-inspired, geometric, and Southewestern patterns add a playful air to this style; you’ll see these patterns a lot in textiles and accent decor like vases and rugs. Shibori and ikat patterns are very big in Southwestern decorating, as are jute, Moroccan, kilim, souk, shag, and overdyed rugs. And, while these are popular motifs right now, this is a style that won’t feel tired or overdone in a few years.

Ready to explore some modern design ideas in the realm of Modern Southwestern design? We had our designers create four different takes on this style to show you the different ways that it can come to life. Which one is your favorite?

modern southwest interior designGiddy Up

This take on Modern Southwest really leans into Western-inspired design elements. This comes through in the decor—specifically the wall art, the hide stool, and the hide rug. Though the rug, with its gold flecking adds a playful and modern element to the space—as does the marble-top tulip table. This table, paired with the woven chair with their metal legs creates a lovely mix of modern and rustic in this dining nook. And the layers of textured pillows on the bench? It creates a very cozy and rustic feel.

The classic Southwestern color palette—full of terracottas, browns, black, white, and cream—is what keeps this look from falling flat or feeling too western. In fact, it makes for a very earthy, relaxing, and inviting palette.

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modern southwest interior designCool-Girl Vibes

This Modern Southwest living room has a very cool-girl vibe. Earthy tones throughout this living room give the space nuance and warmth, with the pale, dusty pinks reminding us of a desert sunset. And the natural, woven textures found in the textiles and accent chair add to the Southwest rustic vibe. While the base of this room is very Southwestern, some unexpected ultra-modern moments up the playful, cool factor.

When it comes to Southwest decoration, the wall art and literal cactus help set the vibe, as do the textiles. There’s some fun pattern play in the rugs, with the patterned jute rug layered under the kilim rug, and a hide rug under the accent chair. But then the modern elements come into play and give this room a really cool finish. The cascading modern pendant light adds a very unexpected and sculptural moment to this room. And you might not think to use a clear acrylic coffee table in a more rustic space, but it gives the room a very open and airy vibe—as do the sleek white walls. The cognac leather sofa ties together the whole look. It has a modern shape, but the color and finish of the leather lends itself to a Southwestern rustic vibe.

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modern southwest interior designMinimal But Eclectic

While this is a more minimal take on Modern Southwest, it still has the eclectic vibe that makes this style so fun. The bed is obviously the foundation of this space; it has very modern and minimal lines, but the spindles hint at rustic style. From there, the room gets a bit more rustic and eclectic, with the help of natural materials.

The woven rattan on the stools and the plush shag rug bring in that rustic element. But the stools themselves add an eclectic vibe, with their high-contrast black frames. The baskets on the wall also speak to the eclectic collector part of Modern Southwest design, with their global-inspired weaves. And the print on both the throw pillow and the rug add to the overall Southwestern vibe.

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 modern southwest interior designModern Santa Fe

The walls in this Modern Southwest living room aren’t a bright white like the other designs we’ve shared—which gives this room an almost Santa Fe-inspired design. But it’s definitely a bit more modern than your average Santa Fe look. Curved shapes are big in this design—from the curved console and mirror to the arms of the sofa and the ottoman. The use of soft, rounded edges and arches are very sculptural and are reminiscent of classic soutwestern architecture.

But, while the furniture in this space skews very modern, the accents lean more rustic and eclectic. The saturated earth tones used throughout—from rusts and browns to terracottas—are very desert-inspired. And a mix of natural materials like rattan, wicker, and unfinished woods add to that earthy, rustic vibe and really shine in this space. The leather sofa and the woven leather seat of the accent chair mix nicely with the other natural elements in this space, and their finish bring the modern shapes of these pieces more toward rustic style.

While we opted to go more neutral and subdued in this space, you can get really colorful and playful with Modern Southwest design. All you’d have to do is incorporate brighter accent pillows and add higher contrast elements throughout the space—like olive tones, blues, and black metal accents.

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Mid-Century Modern trend

Then & Now: How the Mid-Century Modern Design Trend Has Changed Over Time

Mid-century modern design has been one of the most popular interior design styles for decades. It first came onto the design scene in the late 1950s, and it has been a pillar of modern interiors since. (If you’re curious about the full scope of Mid-Century Modern’s influence on design today, listen to our deep dive into the history of the style in our new podcast, The Render.)

Like many other design movements, mid-century modern style has changed over the years, reinterpreted in myriad ways to suit the interiors of the times. Most recently during the early 2000s, the millennial design aesthetic gave rise to a new mid-century modern trend that favored pared-down spaces, pastel hues, and traditional mid-century modern design staples. The look veered away from the traditional Mad Men vibe and gave rise to a more youthful version of mid-century modern that felt fresh, light, and anything but buttoned-up.

From that, we’re now seeing mid-century modern interiors move in the direction of embracing more boho touches, organic elements, and rustic notes.

Come along with us as we take a look and break down how the mid-century modern trend is taking shape now.

Classic Mid-Century Modern

Before we delve into the various new interpretations of the style, let’s take a look at its origins and some of the pieces that made this an iconic interior design aesthetic.

From the very beginning, mid-century modern design championed the use of new materials ranging from plastics to fiberglass. There was also a focus on geometric and streamlined forms in furniture, and the sculptural chairs designed by Le Corbusier, Eero Saarinen, and Harry Bertoia are among the iconic pieces that came to define the mid-century modern aesthetic. Today, these are still some of the most coveted designs in homes, whether it’s in a cool and airy minimalist living room or a warm and inviting modern dining space.

Mid-Century Modern trendAnother style that contributed to the mid-century modern movement was Scandinavian design, which adhered to the same modernist principles. Although it focused on furnishings with an organic approach inspired by shapes found in nature. These designs boasted materials, such as natural woods, like birch and ash, which are elements seen in many of the furniture pieces by Mid-Century designers, including Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, and Isamu Noguchi. Many of these iconic wood pieces, most notably the Eames lounge chair, are considered staples in modernist homes today.

But what does Mid-Century Modern look like today? Here are a few ways we’ve seen this trend evolve and take new stylistic forms!

Mid-Century Modern trendMid-Century Meets Boho

Mixing color, texture, and pattern into the mid-century modern look is what sets apart this look. It’s also a style that’s commonly blended in with the millennial interior design aesthetic.

Mid-Century Modern trendIt’s About Patterns

Part of what makes the mid-century boho look is its lively layering of patterns paired with modern design. From boho dots to kilim textiles and graphic stripes, it’s an approach to bold textiles and eye-catching prints that work beautifully in mid-century modern bedrooms.

Key Elements: Boho-patterned pillows, rug, and art, nightstands with tapered legs, woven bench, textural decor (colorful baskets, painted wood objects, two-tone ceramics)

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Mid-Century Modern trendIt’s About Bright Colors

Mid-century boho style also emphasizes a mix of colorful textiles. In addition to patterns, you’ll find a warm palette of rusty red, deep blue, earthy brown, and bright orange. If you love mid-century organic forms with a pop, the eclectic hues give this style a casual and hip vibe.

Key Elements: Kilim-style upholstered bench, layers of colorful pillows for comfort, rattan ottoman, walnut wood side table and chairs, mid-century modern sofa

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Mid-Century Modern trendIt’s About An Eclectic Mix

Alongside the vibrant colors and patterns, the boho mid-century look also highlights clean-lined furniture and sculptural forms. You’ll find tapered legs, organic silhouettes as well as key vintage styles, such as sputnik lights and Wishbone chairs, resulting in an eclectic design mix.

Key Elements: Vintage-style rug, Wishbone-style chairs, atomic light fixture, clean-lined walnut dining table, brass accents, smooth ceramics, tall greenery.

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Mid-Century Modern trendOrganic Modernism

In recent years, organic modern interior design has been a big focus in homes. Known as Organic Modernism, it combines mid-century modern design with earthy organic elements.

Mid-Century Modern trendThere Are Natural Materials

True to its moniker, Organic Modernism highlights the use of mid-century designs featuring natural materials. From light-wood and leather furnishings to natural fibers, such as jute, sisal, and rattan, it’s all about bringing out the warm textures and beauty of organic materials.

Key Elements: Jute rounded pouf, leather-and-wood daybed, shibori-upholstered swivel chair, light-wood coffee tables, handwoven rug, cotton sofa, glass and ceramic objects

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Mid-Century Modern trendThere Are Earthy Elements

Besides natural materials, you’ll also find colors and shapes that recall nature, from rustic brown and ocean blue to sundials and curvy modern design. These details give a sense of warmth as well as softness that help to set an inviting and livable tone in Organic Modernist rooms.

Key Elements: Minimalist maple-wood console, ornate mid-century round mirror, earthy color palette, two-toned modern chair, organic-shaped decor (sculptural vase, rounded bowl)

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Mid-Century Modern trend

There Are Organic Designs

From combining rich leather, textural woods, woven accents, and metal pieces, the emphasis is on mid-century furnishings with an organic edge. The result are spaces that play up the Organic Modernism look while still feeling livable, distinctive, and perfectly balanced.

Key Elements: Leather platform bed, mid-century-style rounded accent chair, grainy light-wood dresser, organic shape accents (vases, ceramic bust), simple patterned rug and pillows.

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Mid-Century Modern trendModern Rustic

Equal parts mid-century and rustic, Modern Rustic style plays up clean-lined designs that don’t sacrifice comfort for looks. It’s one of our most popular interior design styles among customers.

Mid-Century Modern trendThink Farmhouse Furnishings

What defines the Modern Rustic room is its mix of mid-century modern design with rustic materials and accents. It’s a streamlined slipcovered sofa paired with leather armchairs and graphic art alongside a raw wood bookcase. The result is a balance of style and big comfort.

Key Elements: Rustic vintage-inspired rug, natural-wood bookcase cabinet, leather-and-wood accent chair, hide ottomans, dark-wood tray-top cocktail tables.

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Mid-Century Modern trendThink Rustic Materials

Part of the mix includes rustic furnishings and elements with sleek materials and shapes. You can expect to find an industrial cabinet and an edgy mirror alongside classic mid-century seating and light fixtures. The idea is to play up a hard and soft contrast to create a bold yet livable vibe.

Key Elements: Log side table, natural-wood mid-century console cabinet, leather sofa with tufting and tapered legs, concrete-and-wood tables, glass pendants, rustic artwork.

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Mid-Century Modern trendThink Comforting Textures

Finally, with Modern Rustic style it truly comes down to the rich and nubby textures that give it that deep sense of homey comfort. These are the woven chair seats that add soft padding to the grainy wood table that looks and feels inviting, and the natural-fiber rug that opens up a room.

Key Elements: Rustic dining table, Wishbone-style chairs, organic shape tabletop accents (bowls, vessels), natural color palette, jute or sisal rug, mid-century-modern light fixture.

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Mandy Moore's new home

Get the Look of Mandy Moore’s New Midcentury Chic Home

Mandy Moore's new homeImages source: Architectural Digest

Terrazzo fireplace? Check. A pantry you could easily mistake for an art installation? Check. Brass finishes everywhere? Check. If you haven’t guessed, these are just a few of the swoon-worthy elements inside Mandy Moore’s new home, the cover feature of the Architectural Digest July-August issue.

Mandy purchased the home, which was originally built in 1950 by architect Harold Zook, with her fiancé Taylor Goldsmith in January of 2017. And after over a year of renovations (peek the house pre-Mandy here) the couple is finally moving in to the new space.

Mandy Moore's new homeTo transform the space, Mandy teamed up with designer Sarah Sherman Samuel and architect Emily Farnham. Together they stripped the pad of several awkward 90s architectural additions but kept the original quirky elements, like that copper fireplace hood. The style? Let’s call it mid-century chic with a California twist.

Are you drooling yet? Because Mandy Moore’s new home is basically the mid-century mansion of our dreams, we teamed up with our friends at Clever to reimagine the space with furniture you can buy online and get the look in your own space.

Get the look of Mandy Moore’s new home in your space

Mandy Moore's new homeLiving Room 1

What are we crushing on the most in Mandy’s eclectic, mid-century living room? The mashup of all kinds of materials that turn the space into a textural wonderland.

From the blue velvet chairs, to the woven leather bench, and even the exposed brick partition… The design teases at the home’s mid-century roots without feeling too steeped in any one decade.

Want to take Mandy Moore’s new living room look home?

Shop the pieces below or sign up for a Modsy design package to try them (virtually) in your space first.

SOFA | RUG | BENCH | ARMCHAIRS | COFFEE TABLE | TABLE LAMP | CREDENZA | WALL ART | FLOOR LAMP

Mandy Moore's new homeLiving Room Part 2

In case Mandy’s first living room didn’t strike your fancy, you can get the look of her second living space. (Although if it were up to us, we’d take both)

Living room number two features a more traditional layout. The tall and tapered mid-century legs on the sofa and chairs strike the perfect balance against the more visually dense base of the drum coffee table.

Style your space like Mandy’s!

We swapped in a few more budget-friendly alternatives into our version of Mandy’s second living space, which you can shop below or try on in your 3D room with Modsy.

SOFA | ARMCHAIRS | COFFEE TABLE | FLOOR LAMP | ACCENT TABLE | STOOL | BOWL | RUG | BENCH

Mandy Moore's new home

Mandy Moore's new home

Guest Bedroom

Sometimes the key to a great bedroom is as simple as a knockout bed frame. One of three guest rooms in Mandy Moore’s new home, the leather and wood number in this space is a real show stopper.

And while she’s not short on square footage, Mandy isn’t afraid to utilize a small space hack. For example, the wall-mounted brass sconce provides the perfect nighttime reading light but takes up zero space on the nightstand. Stars – they’re just like us!

See your bedroom outfitted in Mandy’s look or shop the pieces below!

BED FRAME | RUG | SIDE TABLE | DUVET COVER | SCONCE | WALL ART I | WALL ART II | WALL ART III | PILLOWS

PS – Mandy, if you’re looking for guests who can appreciate an out-of-this world bedroom, we’d be happy to help!

 

Ready to see Mandy Moore’s new home styled in your space?

A Marriage of Styles: Creating a ‘His & Hers’ Bedroom

Designing a home for you and your partner can be a challenge, especially if you have different tastes. What happens when one person’s love of Mid-century modern furnishings clashes with the other’s preference for eclectic glam?

Luckily, this is one of the most common Modsy design requests. Our style quiz uses an algorithm that sorts through the nuances of your personal tastes and blends them into one cohesive look. It’s a couple’s home design dream come true.

Here we break down the steps to combining different styles into one bedroom for a look that he and she can both agree on.

 

His Idea for the Bedroom

The Style: Mid-century and Minimal

On one end of the design spectrum, he harbors a love for simple design with a modern edge.

Mid-century style pieces combined with a simple black-and-white color scheme create a livable room with a modern finish. He’s a fan of a stark palette, which keeps the look minimal, so the vibe is crisp and collected; but there’s also room to bring in a little bold graphic punch, as seen in the hanging quilt, geometric pillows, and chevron rug. It all adds up to a space that’s cool, easy on the eyes, and decidedly modern.

His idea for the room also incorporates simple shapes and materials, like a leather bench and wooden nightstands with tapered legs – which reiterate the clean lines and overall minimalist vibe.

 

His Room’s Defining Design Details:

  • Modern designs with slender silhouettes
  • Black-and-white art and accents that ground that room
  • Natural tones, like wood, tan leather, and woven fibers, that add to the streamlined look
  • Graphic elements (but not too many) for just the right bold impact

 

Her Idea for the Bedroom

The Style: Glam and Minimal

Her ideal design for the bedroom involves a dash more color along with richer textures and finishes.  

A mix of plush upholstery, bright colors, and metallic accents result in a room that’s equally eclectic and glamorous. Here, the drama lies in the details, from tight tufting and bold art to gleaming finishes that captivate the eye, such as the turquoise bench, the polished dresser, and the floor mirror and lampshades.

Her dream room also incorporates graphic elements, such as the black-and-white art and the notes of yellow found in the pillows and window-side chair. The result is a space that’s simple and composed but still modern.

 

Her Room’s Defining Design Details:

  • Polished designs with curvy silhouettes and glamorous appeal
  • Accents in solid bright colors that punch up the drama
  • Reflective finishes and metallic touches that give the space some extra sparkle
  • Sharp details, such as geometric patterns, tufting, and sculptural lamps and vases, that add graphic appeal

 

The Modsy Take: A Bedroom That Marries Both Styles

The Combined Style: Mid-century Chic

The final look combines both the rooms’ modern aesthetics, touches of black and white, and mix of Mid-century design and posh furnishings. It’s the perfect union of retro pieces with a bit of old-school Hollywood glamour and sparkle.

The Bedside

Look to pieces that combine design details you both love to inform your decisions.

The nightstands have a Mid-century look with the warm wood and tapered legs, but rendered in a polished metal adds a pop of glam to the space.  A simple table lamp keeps with his aesthetic, while its sculptural form satisfies her love of  luxe details.

 

The Reading Corner

When it comes to choosing seating, let shape and materials lead the conversation.

This chair features the simple, straightforward lines of mid-century furnishings, but gets a glamorous facelift with the black velvet upholstery and brass detailing. The bench at the foot of the bed also strikes the perfect balance between simple and sumptuous. Clean lines and tapered legs capped in gold – something for him and something for her.

These pieces come together to create a window nook that harmoniously blends minimalist style and glamorous touches.

 

The Dresser and Vanity

This is a part of your space that needs to be highly functional, so balance finding a piece that looks good with a piece that is practical for everyday needs.

Keeping the essential design preferences of each person in mind, this dresser combines a simple silhouette and tapered legs with an unusual wood finish that adds a bit of personality. It also has plenty of storage so there’s room for her and him to stash their belongings. That’s something we can all agree on.

 

 

The takeaway? You both have great style.
Now let Modsy help merge your tastes into a look you both can love.