The desert has a mysterious charm about it. Dry, hot days and cool nights with a blanket of stars overhead. A monochromatic tapestry of beiges and soft greens accented by the beautiful warm colors of a sunset. With a spirit of solitude and serenity, the desert enchants us.
Desert style may have traditionally been associated with a certain Southwestern style with adobe walls, terracotta tiles, and an overuse of silver and turquoise. While there’s nothing wrong with those design elements, and you still see them in doses, the evolution of desert style is multi-dimensional.
Palm Springs, CA became a bohemian mecca for celebrities beginning in the 1920s. Since it was a short two hour trip to Hollywood, it was a convenient getaway for top stars to go relax and enjoy themselves. This surge in tourism funded an innovation in architecture and design which is still celebrated today. With the backdrop of the beautiful mountainous desert, modern architecture boldly stands out.
Palm Springs style is typically characterized by modern furniture with clean lines and polished finishes. The bold use of bright colors, especially emerald greens, fuchsia pinks, and golden yellows are accentuated by fun patterns in textiles and wallpapers. The entire aesthetic is whimsical, fun, and enchanting. Glamorous, yes. Stuffy, never!
Today, thousands of music aficionados, including celebrities, visit nearby Coachella for a giant music festival of the same name. For two weekends each spring, top name and up-and-coming artists entertain the boho chic masses. Floral crowns and fun times are had by all!
Another contributor to the desert art and design movements takes place within a remote West Texas town called Marfa. In the 1970s, a minimalist artist named Donald Judd moved to Marfa from New York City. Having recalled his short journey through the area during the 40s while in the army, the bare desolation of the Chihuahuan desert, and specifically Marfa, beckoned him to make a home there as a reprieve from the constant commotion of city life. After his move and subsequent purchase of large amounts of land and structures, the area became a mecca for other minimalist artists.
In 2005, an iconic label made a home in Marfa, sort of. Prada Marfa was built as a site-specific permanent land art project. Though officially unaffiliated with Prada itself, the artists were granted permission to use the design house’s logo and were even given pieces from that year’s collection as donations because founder Muccia Prada has personal interest in contemporary art. Ever since, a revival of interest has been sparked in the area. I’ve visited twice and so has Beyonce.
Simplicity reigns in as remote a location as Marfa. Adobe homes are the most practical choice due to the topography. Due to a scarcity of resources, Judd sought out lumber locally and created simple pieces of furniture that are useful in a number of spots in the home. Pieces of furniture that emphasize clean lines and natural light are still the mainstays of desert furnishings regionally. The result is a peaceful oasis free from stress and worries of big city life.
Whether you want to go retro chic or rustic modern, there are many ways to add an air of desert chic decor to your home. Golden hued mirrors or light fixtures, furniture with clean lines, or unique accents all contribute to creating the aesthetic. Here are some of our favorite GO Home products that could help you create your desert retreat.
Which of these decor styles speaks to you? Have you been enchanted by the desert? Let us know in the comments!