Style of the Southwest – how you can incorporate it in your home

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by Beth Wegener, October 2021

Southwest decorating style is the liberating option you’ve been longing for. Southwest interior design embodies many popular trends on social media right now, meaning you have a wealth of ideas and products available with a few searches, such as this.

As an interior design strategy, it works because it is flexible enough to remain relevant to design trends, while maintaining a depth of timelessness. Southwest style is imbued with a deep history stemming from architecture and textile styles of the American West and Mexico. It pulls from Native American and Spanish influence, as well as years of innovation through generations of designers including architects like Frank Lloyd Wright. And it can be used subtly with unifying pieces or as an all out theme for your whole space, giving you complete control over your style rather than it controlling you.

Style modifications

The architecture and pallet of this style allow for great adaptability. The architecture of the style is exemplified by natural, soft lines. It imitates the geography of the American south west with symmetry and unexpected gentleness for such harsh environments.

The palette tends to be rugged and earthy in tone, but it can pull out the playful colors of native textiles, desert sunrises, or even the bright saturation of the Texas flag. Southwest style can bleed over into a more modern tilt when it is combined with dark accents and the geometric elements are emphasized. It can also lean boho because of its reliance on textiles and natural materials. Or it can lean minimalist with neutral tones and a reliance on simple geometric shapes. This makes it an adaptable style which can be easily individualized, depending on the design emphasis.

Southwest Style for You

Alpaca blankets from Los Andes align well with Southwest decor style for several reasons. The colors align with the natural colors of this style and the variety offered at the shop means you’ll find something to fit any palette. Additionally, the patterns of these blankets frequently depict geometric designs popular in Southwestern art and decor. Finally, Los Andes works to bring responsibly-sourced, handcrafted products to consumers. The company’s commitment to sustainability and maintaining relationships with native Chilean artisans mean their products are beautifully made and contribute to a process with longstanding traditions just like the Southwestern decor style! Their pieces include throw blankets, which can unify a space, and southwestern bedding, which can accentuate your style with a big impact.

Los Andes Blankets

One important aspect of Southwestern decor is its ability to tell a story. As you look at various rooms decorated in this style, they pull you in with an element of history—they are full of pieces you look at and wish you knew all the stories they hold. The blankets at the Los Andes shop also carry a story. You can read the journey of Los Andes here, giving you a depth and an added layer of richness to these artisan pieces.

 

Make sure to check out @ursulastrailofturquoise on Instagram and see all the beautiful Southwestern furniture in Casa de Myers!

Giving Blankets as Gifts – Honoring Native Traditions

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In North American native cultures, blankets are traditionally given to mark important events or life passages. While the practice has changed over the years, several Native American customers have purchased Los Andes Shop blankets for just this purpose!

Our blankets are Native-made, but South American Native-made. . . the first nations of the Andes continue to practice and develop this craft with great creativity and pride.

The Weavers of Otavalo

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While the artisans of Otavalo are no longer forced to produce cloth by the Spaniard colonizers like their ancestors, the cottage industries of textiles in Otavalo continue to undergo change.  We strive to support both the maintenance of traditional techniques as well as creative expansions by the younger generations. We also enjoy working collaboratively with the makers to create custom designs for our U.S. market.

Here are a few videos (in Spanish) detailing some aspects of textile crafts in Otavalo. Even if you don’t understand Spanish, the visuals give you a good idea of the weavers and their art (and hard work). Sadly, many of the weavers interviewed are no longer living, so these videos have captured important historical and cultural information.  The use of these videos was generously authorized by Frank at www.otavalovideos.com – check out all their videos on many aspects of Otavalan culture.

Tio Mario Tontaquimba and his wife offer demonstrations at their workshop, “La Casa de Mis Abuelos”

Ecuador’s most famous weaver, Miguel Andrango offers us his vast knowledge

 

Tio José Cotacachi recounts his childhood experiences and the “business” of weaving back in the 60’s before tourism changed the business of the weaving community forever.

Luzmilla Andrango, daughter of Taita Miguel Andrango, speaks of the need to preserve the ancient technique.

 

Los Andes Shop

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doña Rosa María with a selection of her wares at the Plaza de Ponchos in Otavalo, Ecuador

Retail store of alpaca wool imported from Otavalo, Ecuador.  We also participate in special sales in fairs and events throughout the state.  Check our calendar of events to see when we are near you!

Our handicrafts are not only beautiful and unusual, but they also tell a story of success for the people of Otavalo.

After Independence from Spain, the Ecuadorian people took advantage of their skills for their own benefit.  That is why when you acquire an original craft, you are certain that you are giving some help to the creators.

Our handicrafts are imported directly from the town of Otavalo, and your purchase assures that we continue doing business directly with the artisans without any middleman.