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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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Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Ideas

7 Tips for Designing a Mid-Century Modern Bedroom

Even if you’re not obsessed with mid-century modern interior design, chances are you know what it is. A style popularized in the 1940s and 60s, the Mid-Century Modern design movement was born out of the romantic idea that “good design could change lives.” It was a style that was all about functionality, accessibility, and modern simplicity.

Still an incredibly popular style today, the mid-century modern look is great for anyone living in a smaller space; who likes a clean, modern aesthetic; or if you just want to embrace that Mad Men look in your home. And while this is a style that you can bring to life in any room, today we’re offering up some tips for designing a mid-century modern bedroom.

If you’re looking for bedroom design ideas, look no further than these mid-century modern bedroom ideas!

Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Ideas

1. Look for Tapered Legs

Not sure how to spot mid-century modern furniture in a lineup? Check out the legs.

Round and slender, the tapered leg is a signature of mid-century modern furniture. Distinctive and sleek, these legs give the sense that your furniture is floating. This is great for small spaces, as it won’t clutter up the visual plane, and helps your room look more open and airy.

If you’re looking for mid-century modern bedroom design tips, shopping for pieces atop tapered legs is the perfect place to start.

Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Ideas

2. Add Natural Woods

The 60s, in particular, were all about going natural, and the furniture of this period reflected that philosophy. Natural and unstained woods are a huge part of mid-century modern design, so look for pieces that aren’t painted and unafraid to show off their grain.

Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Ideas

3. Opt for Organic Forms

Curved lines, rounded shapes, and asymmetry, were another defining trait of mid-century modern design. Designers embraced curved, clean, and sculptural forms that evoked the natural world and even the human body.

One of our favorite mid-century modern bedroom ideas, bring organic forms to your space through lamps, chairs, and artwork that are sleek and free of frilly ornamentation.

Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Ideas

4. Go for Graphic Patterns

Hand-in-hand with organic forms, geometric shapes and patterns were just as important to the designers of the Mid-Century Modern era. Nothing spelled groovy more than graphic patterns – imagine wild curves, boomerangs, kidneys, and spiky starbursts.

For your bedroom, don’t be afraid to experiment with pattern. Invite geometry into your space through your art, pillows, or even wallpaper.

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Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Ideas

5. Mix Your Materials

The mid-century was all about shattering norms. No one wanted their mother’s matching bedroom set anymore. Designers were embracing new materials like plywood, metal, glass, and even molded plastics. These materials were often mixed together and juxtaposed in the same room or even same piece of furniture.

Mixing materials and even different kinds of furniture are great mid-century modern bedroom ideas. Incorporate pieces made of wood, metal, leather and even fabrics that appeal to you. Don’t be afraid to use pieces in creative ways, like a chair as a nightstand, or a bench as an accent table.

Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Ideas

6. Incorporate Earth Tones

When bringing mid-century modern bedroom ideas to life, be sure to play with color. If you want a more authentic take on a mid-century bedroom, skip the pastels or jewel tones. Instead, embrace the colors of choice of the Mid-Century era.

Mid-century designers loved earth tones like brown, rust, and green combined with the primary colors of red, blue, and yellow. Play with these hues in your accents (like pillows and art) or even invite them in bolder ways (like wall color or a statement rug).

Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Ideas

7. Add Retro-Inspired Accents

Create your special mid-century modern signature by infusing retro-inspired accents into your space. It isn’t difficult to find contemporary pieces with a retro edge, items like a Sputnik chandelier or an Eames-style side chair are sure to do the trick.

 

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