Southwest Furniture and Mexican Furniture Styles are Most Definitely Related!

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Gringo Furniture Southwestern Furniture Blog Post

We traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico last December and I absolutely loved the rounded adobe architecture, the warmth of the interior design, the fabulous smell of the pinon wood fires, and the furniture! It amazed me to observe that many of the styles of furniture were absolutely similar to our Mexican furniture collections. I thought Southwestern furniture would be much different from Mexican furniture but that is not at all the case. In fact, these styles of furniture and décor are intimately related.

Historical roots of Southwestern furniture

When the Spanish conquistadores arrived in Mexico in the 16th century, they brought their ornate iron work and Spanish colonial jewel tones and style preferences. Through creative and artistic cross-pollination, Mexican craftsmen began incorporating these styles and mixing them with their own more traditional furniture and decorative objects. As Mexican people began to come into the American Southwest, they brought with them these styles (as well as some basic tools to earn a living) and they began to make furniture. Over time, the strong natural elements of the American Southwest (coyotes, cacti, warm colors, chunky woods, beautiful leathers and Native American designs) also became part of the imagery and styles used in the furniture.

Nothing says welcome home like Mexican or Southwest furniture

In the American Southwest, as in Mexican furniture the details such as rich tiles, ornate wood carvings and intricate iron work are clearly visible. Textures are hugely important, especially on dining room tables around which people will gather, tell stories and be nourished. These preferences and flourishes make these styles of furniture perfect for haciendas, ranches, log cabins and even spas and resorts. Add a warm, natural and inviting color scheme and some decorative touches honoring the history of the area and its settlers, and you have a mix that says “welcome home” like no other.

Mexican or Southwestern style? Not so easy to distinguish between them

During our December trip, as we met artisans in New Mexico and visited stores and galleries, we noticed a certain insistence on the part of owners and salespeople stating that their furniture pieces were not made in Mexico. Frankly, I had to wonder why they felt that was so important. My experience with Mexican artisans is that they are among the most gifted and careful craftsmen I have ever met. Perhaps Santa Fe furniture style has a point of pride in being Southwestern, not Mexican, which to an extent I understand. But the woods, the finishes, the leathers, the wrought iron details in bedrooms, consoles, buffets and even hutches were (or seemed to me) exactly the same as those made by our Mexican artisans.

Ultimately, both styles are great cause for celebration

The good news is that we have the richness, the beauty, the warmth and the extraordinary creativity of both styles available, alive and well and we can choose them for our homes and the interior design of our spaces. Both Mexican furniture and Southwestern furniture styles grace our living rooms with warmth, with inviting textures, gorgeous wood finishes, and fascinating objects. Whether you choose a copper and leather bed made in Mexico or a Star headboard with turquoise inlay made in Texas or Aspen, Colorado, you will have a piece of furniture that is unforgettable, warm, inviting and probably a conversation piece.

Hacienda Bed Gringo Furniture Gringo Furniture Antique Buffet Gringo Furniture Designer Armoire

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