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How to Showcase Modern Desert Style in Your Home

By: Amanda Lecky
February 15, 2017

It's easy to get the same soothing, nature-inspired style found at HGTV Smart Home 2017, even if you don’t live in the spectacular Arizona desert setting. 

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Photo: Amy Bubier . From: Amy (Bubier) Klosterman.

Sonoran Serenity

For a master bedroom addition set in the beautiful Arizona desert, designer Amy Bubier-Klosterman installed wide expanses of windows to maximize the views of coyotes, javalina, and the many muted desert hues of indigenous plants and trees. “The warm neutral palette is calming and classic, including four subtle variations of the main paint color,” says the designer. Note how the colors mimic the sandy shades outside, creating a visual link between indoors and out, a trick you can use in your own space to great effect.

Design and Photography by Amy Bubier-Klosterman, AB Design Elements;

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Photo: David Lauer. From: Design Platform.

Reclaimed and Reimagined

At first glance, you’d never know that this eclectic modern apartment was once an 1800’s blacksmith shop. But take a closer look and behind the clean lines and contemporary wall treatments you’ll see the reclaimed elements designer Jonas DiCaprio of Design Platform Architecture and Construction layered into the renovation. “The barn doors were the original doors closing the area where we installed the patterned lath wall,” says the designer. The lath wall was created from reclaimed wood from a different project, its pattern inspired by the strong graphic patterns of the Southwestern rugs and textiles the designers chose for the space.

Design by Jonas DiCaprio, Design Platform Architecture & Construction;; Photography by David Lauer 

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From: Lori Dennis

Hotel-Style Amenities

For the master bedroom of a Palm Springs retreat, designer Lori Dennis took care to create the luxurious feeling of a boutique hotel. “We chose over-scaled reading lamps and a dressing mirror that are stylish and very useful.  For all of the furnishings and fabric we used hospitality grade materials, which look fabulous and are extremely durable,” says Dennis. To emphasize the desert setting, Dennis used warm earthy colors, rich natural wood elements, and, of course the sculptural greenery of spiky cacti and low-growing succulents.

Design by Lori Dennis;

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Photo: PHX Architecture

Details Matter

Architect Erik Peterson of PHX Architecture gave this bright Southwestern office its contemporary look—without sacrificing architectural interest—by stripping down traditional design elements to their most simplified form. He notes the coffered ceiling as one example, and the wood panels as another. “Textured wall coverings soften the room and leather inserts in the ceiling coffers help quiet it. Light colors keep the relatively small room bright and light, for a bigger feel,” he says.

Design by Erik Peterson, PHX architecture;; Photography by Werner Segarra

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