June 10, 2013How-To
This Is Happening: The New Southwest
We know you saw this coming. Whether its the renaissance of Pendleton, and the heritage brand's assortment of Native American prints, or the proliferation of handcrafted wall hangings on every on-the-cusp boutique wall, or the shelter mags' embrace of LA design firm Commune--the masterminds behind Palm Springs' Ace Hotel--its abundantly clear that all things southwest-inspired are having a moment. But what separates this second coming from the original? The art is in the exclusion: rather than terracotta everything (with a howling coyote throw pillow), the New Southwest incorporates updated iconography, and statement pieces in moderation--making it the easiest trend to adopt this side of the border. Read on for our cheat sheet on how to nail this look.
It's all about embracing twists on time-honored textile motifs: the Capel Woven Spirits area rug offers a macro Navajo-inspired view, Lulu & Georgia's Pink Flamingo runner pairs an expanded zig-zag with a peach, mint and midnight palette, and Furbish's Aztec-influence print Konya Kilm has a color-way plucked from M.I.A's tour wardrobe.
When in doubt about whether something's "now," just add day-glow. Urban Outfitters' Magical Thinking Tent Stripe Duvet Cover abides by the contemporary-twist-on-the-authentic-rule and wins bonus points for its hot-pink base color, as does Pendleton's Southwest Contemporary Sham, which renders the Native American sacred cross in raver yellow. And Wind & Willow Home's neon-dipped wood bowls take a tried-and-true classic for a highlight-shaded dip.
Of equal importance to seeking out spotlight-stealing accents, is creating a backdrop for them to shine. Do this by favoring furniture with clean lines, like Alma Allen's cylindrical Black Walnut stool. Also worth noting: Environment's Edge Bed, a pristine rustic platform design with ebony-stained Mahogany inlays, and Andrew Mau's angular Palomino Chair, which nods to traditional southwest materials with its stretched cowhide upholstery.
Dreamcatchers and flowers in cow skulls will do the trick (if you're going there, we advise one, not both), but less-literal nods to this theme go a long way too: Justine Ashbee's one-off loom-woven Native Line wall hangings pay tribute to indigenous craft in shimmering gold-plated wire, bamboo fibers, and vintage metallic threads. Fredericks & Mae's thread wrapped turkey, peacock and macaw-feathered arrows make for a stunning art installation, and Brooklyn To West's gorgeous custom wood wall panels present age-old patterns in an unexpectedly rustic and textured medium.
Don't forget your desert rose: the scene is incomplete without a bit of arid landscaping, and succulents are a low-maintenance, full-proof answer with myriad display possibilities. Flora Grubb Gardens' vertical garden D.I.Y. kit delivers jaw-droppingly verdant results for your outdoor space. West Elm's self-watering Cult Pots sneak a touch of terracotta into the scene--and are brilliantly designed so that your cacti drink as-needed--and a well-placed terrarium such as Chive's Pill design marries modernity with scientific flair.
Photographs: 1. Angus Fergusson 2. Courtesy Joinery 3.Courtesy Elle Decor 4.Courtesy Commune Design 5.Courtesy Trnk NY 6-7.Jacinta Moore 8. Courtesy Blood&Champagne 9. Courtesy Lonny 10. Courtesy Mucho Bueno 11.Courtesy Fellah Hotel 12.Courtesy Trnk NY 13-14.Courtesy Commune Design 14. Courtesy Moon to Moon 15. Christian de Laubadere 16.Doug Aitken 17.Courtesy Houzz 18.Courtesy Leuchtend Grau 19. Courtesy Lifestyle Laundry 20.Courtesy Wookmark 21. Courtesy Modern Findings 22.Courtesy Pendleton 23.Courtesy The Brick House 24. Courtesy Houzz
|Capel Woven Spirits Rug, from $445, Rug Studio||Konya Kilm, $900, Furbish||Pink Flamingo Rug, from $120, Lulu & Georgia|
|Southwest Contemporary Sham, $108, Pendleton||Wooden Bowls, $16, Etsy||Magical Thinking Tent Stripe Duvet Cover, $89, Urban Outfitters|
|Cylinder Stool, $1550, Commune||Palomino Chair, price on request, Andrew Mau||Edge Bed, $4195, Environment|
|Arrows, $95, Fredericks & Mae||Custom Wall Panels, from $225, Brooklyn To West||Wall Hangings, from $360, Native Line Store|
|Cult Pots, from $30, West Elm||Vertical Garden Kit, from $79, Flora Grubb||Pill Terrarium, $145, Chive|