The Southwestern lifestyle is a culturally rich blend of Native American, Spanish, Mexican and European heritage, a crossroad of cultures where many different traditions have met and combined into a unique tradition that defines the Southwest. The southwestern lifestyle is relaxed and informal.
As far as home decor goes, we can pretty much start in the mid 17th century when the Spanish arrived in the Southwestern United States, bringing their dark, heavy furniture with crude square patterns and occassional decorative carvings with church-inspired motifs. Along with the Spanish came Mexican Indians, who took the European style and added even more ornate religion-inspired carvings, hammered tin, and splashes of colorful paints. Blend in Moorish influences of adobe and iron scrollwork, and the colors, patterns and textiles of the Southwestern Indians, and you had the basis for southwestern decor. Rich in artistic endeavors, the colonial period witnessed a unique blending of Old World Indian themes and the New World aesthetics of the powerful Catholic Church in Spain.