Southwest Style

Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, built 1869

I’m not sure what it is in a person’s makeup that draws them to certain things, but I’ve always loved the art and architecture of the Southwest. Adobe homes, Spanish tiles, turquoise doors, Native American art and jewelry and pottery. I used to flip through the pages of home magazines to appreciate the various layouts and decor. I’d imagine having an adobe home with an interior courtyard complete with cobalt blue tiles as accents and a fountain. I think part of this may have come from some long-ago historical romance I read that had something to do with Pancho Villa and had a hacienda with such a courtyard described. Alas, I don’t remember the book or the author.

Palace of the Governors, built 1610

Back in the 1990s, I went to a conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico for my day job. I had one afternoon where I could just wander around the city and loved every minute of it. I visited the old churches such as the Loretto Chapel and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi; took a trolley tour around the area; admired the bright and beautiful art at the city’s many, many art galleries; appreciated the public art that was seemingly everywhere; and perused the wonderful works of craftsmanship by residents of the nearby pueblos — art, jewelry and pottery that they offered for sale outside the Palace of the Governors. The Palace sits on the city’s plaza in the middle of town. It was built in 1610 and is the oldest continuously occupied building in the United States.

It really is amazing how incredibly different even sections of the West can be from each other. Texas is different from New Mexico is different from Montana. They are all beautiful in their own ways and have their own distinctive styles and cultures. But the Southwest is perhaps the most distinctive because of its Native American and Spanish/Mexican influences. It takes on the brown and red earthy hues of the rugged Southwestern landscape and adds in incredibly eye-popping colors — blues, reds, oranges and purples. Adobes pots and trellises overflow with tons of vibrant pink bougainvillea.

I’d really like to visit Santa Fe again sometime when I have more than an afternoon to explore. There are things I missed and even more that have been added in the years since I visited.

Are you a fan of Southwestern architecture and art? What are your favorite styles? Let me know what you think for a chance to win an autographed copy of my book, The Rancher’s Surprise Baby, which releases next week. It’s the latest in my Blue Falls, Texas series from Harlequin Western Romance and the second book featuring the five siblings of the Hartley family. Yes, it’s my birthday today, but I’m giving away a present instead. 🙂

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17 thoughts on “Southwest Style”

  1. Happy birthday!!! My favorite style is eclectic. I like a variety of things. I do adore exploring towns and back roads country like you described.

    • Eclectic — I’m a bit of that as well, especially in my musical tastes. While I like the Southwest style of decor, I also really like the whites and pale colors of beach decor.

  2. I hope you have a wonderful birthday! Your post brought back so many great memories of the time I visited New Mexico when I was with my ex. I loved going to Santa Fe. I would love to go back again too. I loved everything about it. But one of my favorite things is the jewelry. I remember going from store to store trying to decide which piece I would buy. I still have the bracelet that I bought too. I love getting out my turquoise collection and wearing it. I recently found a gorgeous snake ring online to add to my collection. The combination of blue and silver is so calming.

    • I still have a bracelet I bought out there, too. And one year for Christmas, my husband bought me a lovely Native-made necklace from an artist in the Southwest.

    • Oh, and thanks for the happy birthday. Trying not to think about how fast they seem to come now and the fact that the universe thought it would be funny to give me the gift of my first hot flash yesterday. Ugh.

  3. Happy Birthday, Trish! I hope you have a great celebration. Love your blog. I love adobe houses and even lived in one for a while. It’s amazing how cool they are in the summer. That adobe is a great insulator. Plus, they are just beautiful, especially with the red tiled roofs.

    Wishing you much success with your upcoming release! Woo-Hoo! Cowboys rule. Nothing sexier than a cowboy holding a baby.

    • Thanks, Linda. I’ve always thought that the adobe homes must be cool and designed now they are to protect from the brutal summer heat. Thanks for the birthday and new book release wishes.

  4. A belated Happy Birthday. We visited Santa Fe in 1983 or so. My elderly aunt, 11 year old nephew, our two elementary age girls, and one year old son were on the tip with us. We got to see much more than I expected. My husband and I did manage to visit a few of the art galleries without distractions. I fell in love with a carved wooden sculpture of three Hopi Butterfly Dancers. I blew my budget for a three week trip on it, the third day of our trip. We love the Southwest. It has its own special beauty.

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