I have always had a dream of living somewhere in the Southwest, preferably with a few horses, a low slung house, and some gorgeous views. My dream also includes an abundance of outdoor entertaining in a bougainvillea canopied patio surrounded by colorfully upholstered furniture. The funny thing is that I have no connection to the region so I’m pretty sure this fantasy grew from the images and decor that appear throughout Los Angeles and the vibrantly flowered bushes that grow on nearly every home here. The city has a few fabrics here, colorful plates there, and an abundance of succulents everywhere, but needless to say, my little faux ranch home has never had the opportunity to flourish. I don’t think I’ll be giving up the palm trees and Hollywood sign too soon, but I have been overjoyed to recently discover that Southwestern style is is getting easier and easier to create outside of the border-lying states, mainly when it comes to entertaining.
Everyone has their own approach to entertaining and while the food and guests change with each event, the decor of choice can start to look pretty uniform. The rustic vineyard inspiration has held pretty strong and I will never turn down a sweet from someone’s perfectly styled dessert bar, but part of the reason I love that Southwestern look is that it’s inviting and undone. Tables are trending away from the clustered bouquets in mason jars and being replaced with petrified woods filled with hearty plants like agave and cactus, while floral arrangements are loose and accented with over-saturated blooms or even long branches cut right from the bush. I’m particularly enjoying how inviting the seating can be in this setup as seen in the printed poufs and painterly pillows showing up for sale. Most people don’t have a set of ten identical chairs or even a table to accommodate that, making eclectic seating, floor pillows, and a mingle while eating setup a great answer. The decor can also have the same gathered feel, so unique centerpieces, shiny metals, and natural elements fit right in. The colors range from fuchsia to bronze to earthy green to sunset inspired reds and oranges. All of the elements available are pieces that you can actually live with, then rearrange for a night cooking with friends, or even set up outside to create a little faux hacienda.
With all of the Southwest inspiration available I’m already visualizing my little desert patio, lined with bougainvillea, adorned with plants and colorful accents, even if the backdrop includes city buildings rather than orange sunsets.