Furniture Styles

Furniture > American > Rustic > Mexican

Rustic Mexican Furniture

Mexican furniture, with its gracious, honey-toned pine cabinets and armoires, sturdy dining room and country kitchen tables, and curved headboards, has become more and more popular as interest in Southwestern design has increased. Traditionally viewed as the poor cousin of sturdy maple, oak, and mahogany European-inspired pieces, pine furniture has come of age. Mexican furniture is identifiable by its rustic lines, its intricate carved details, and its use of dark iron hardware. Pine is the wood of choice in Mexican furniture, but walnut and cherry pieces are occasionally seen. Sturdy, antique pine pieces - both authentic and reproduction -- carry with them the rich history of the Mexican colonial days. Influenced by the parade of cultures and peoples that once called Mexico home, Mexican furniture design incorporates a little bit of Spanish, a little bit of Mayan, and even a little bit of Chinese style.

Caballero End Table Trunk
Caballero End Table Trunk.

Mexican furniture is a blend of formal Spanish colonial styling and native Mayan design. The rich ornamentation and iron scrollwork of the Spanish adorns simply constructed, straight-lined cabinets and tables reflecting the designs of the Mayans. In additional to the natural warm honey tones of pine, many Mexican pieces are brightly painted, usually in exciting colors, such as red, orange, and blue, mirroring the celebration of life that is Mexican culture.

Rustic Trunk
Rustic Trunk.

Natural materials: grasses, such as reeds and rush, fieldstone, and clay are frequently used in Mexican design to blend the line between nature and civilization, indoors and outdoors. Smooth leather, used for cushions, upholstery, and even tabletops reflects the ranching lifestyle of the southwest. Inlaid ceramic tiles and mosaics are used to give sold pine Mexican furniture a festive and playful air and are often seen on decorative table tops.

Southwest New Mexico Chair
Southwest New Mexico Chair.

The Colors of the Desert

The warm tones of the desert are reflected in Mexican design and in Mexican furniture. Warm sand-colored pine combines with earthy mustard, khaki, terra cotta, and sienna hues. Finishes tend to be rustic also. Textured stucco walls and rough, unpolished clay tile floors are a common theme. Modern faux-suede wall treatments are an interesting way to give a southwestern flair and soft texture to a room. Accent pieces tend to be bold and expressive, with primary colors, such as red, yellow, and blue favored.

Mexican Patio Furniture

The centerpiece of any southwestern patio is the chiminea, a clay outdoor stove, traditionally used for cooking and today used as a focal point and for warming up the cool desert night. These stylish, conical units come in all sizes and usually sit on a wrought-iron stand for circulation. Non-traditional uses for these attractive terra-cotta pieces include planting them with flowers or moving them indoors for such uses as a towel-holder or as a vase.

Merida Mexican Bench
Merida Mexican Bench.

Sturdy and rustic pine furniture pieces make an attractive patio grouping. Large, solid tables surrounded by benches and chairs welcome guests and invite them to share the "mi casa es su casa" southwestern hospitality. Mexican design lends itself to gracious entertaining and pine bars and bar stools are popular, often embellished by a mosaic tiled countertops and soft, leather seats. Thick blue and green glassware are a natural accompaniment.

Mexican Design

In contrast to the muted, earth tones of Mexican furniture, Mexican design favors colorful accents. Woven blankets, festive pottery, and vibrant artwork light up the southwestern room. Cactus plants in terra cotta pots bring a little of the outside indoors. Metalwork, such as iron tableware and candlesticks as well as tin mirror frames, complement the drawer pulls and hinges on the furniture. Colorful baskets, many woven in traditional designs and tinted using natural dyes, further add to the rustic ambiance. Symbols of the old west, such as leather saddles and iron farm implements also go nicely with Mexican furniture. Traditional Mexican folk art, with its colorful, somewhat primitive motifs, adds to the celebratory feel of southwestern decor. Soft lighting, with candles and shaded lamps, is a perfect way to bring out the muted colors of a Mexican design scheme.

Rustic Cross
Rustic Cross.

Mexican design and Mexican furniture give a home a welcoming, warm feel. Adding an impressive antique look pine armoire or a rustic honey-toned chest with black iron hardware, making it cheerful with a colorful blanket or terra cotta planter, and softly lighting the room for a rich, romantic feel, warms even the chilliest night. You don't have to live in the southwest to enjoy this friendly design style. Mexican design welcomes everyone.

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