Far from being dull and lifeless, the arid landscapes of the American southwest offer the richest color palettes in the country. For those who have seen it, all you have to do is think “Grand Canyon” and the understanding is complete! Umber, ochre, copper, silver, gray and gold are ancient colors offered by the earth. Purples are found in deep shadows and bursting sunsets, while blues appear in the endless skies and vibrant turquoise stones.
Pueblo homes in the American southwest, particularly Arizona and New Mexico, have been around for thousands of years. They were built by indigenous people out of adobe, a material made of packed earth, clay, straw, sticks, and stone. Basket loads of adobe was plastered on walls and dried in the sun. Making adobe into bricks was a technique brought over by the Spanish, making the structures more resilient to earthquakes.
Today, these homes are commonly called Santa Fe or Adobe homes. Because the climate can be harsh in the desert, older adobes were often built low to the ground with small, high windows to keep extreme heat out in summer, and keep warmth in during the winter. Thanks to energy saving windows and climate control, newer adobe homes often feature larger windows that allow viewing of breath taking vistas and terrain.
Other hallmarks of the style are thick, round-edged walls well known for their thermal properties; flat rooflines and heavy timbers extending out of the walls. Natural materials and colors allow these homes to blend with the rugged and beautiful terrain.