Design Style Spotlight: Desert Modern – DezignSpace

Design Style Spotlight: Desert Modern

Style Vibe: Collected, warm, earthy, relaxed

You may think you know Desert Modern, but you don’t know Desert Modern! It’s back in a major way, but with a huge stylistic and palette shift. She’s no longer wearing those tired peaches and yellows and is sporting a sexy and cool Moroccan Desert chic. She has grown up saying goodbye to patterns and hello to textures! Think casual but earthy, mineral tones, and vast open spaces. She’s playing Scandi while leaning towards the vast open desertness of Morocco. You could even call it a super updated Spanish colonial or a super restrained desert boho. Desert Modern is moving away from obvious modern stylistic statements to a more subtle, blended modern.

Want to know which design style matches the vibe you’re going for in your space? Take our quiz to find out!

What are the Hallmarks of Desert Modern Design?

The Desert Modern design style is easily recognized by its whitewashed walls, mineral tones, natural materials like leather and stone, kilim rugs, and occasional black accents.


Is Desert Modern Style For You?

This style is a perfect match for desert dwellers (obviously!) or those who wished they did.


What Does a Desert Modern Home Look Like?

The exteriors of Desert Modern homes mirror the beauty of the surrounding landscape through large windows and open interiors that enhance the airy desert feeling. Natural building materials like wood and stone are used and are often neutrally colored in whites, pale grays, and tans to keep the building’s exterior cool while blending seamlessly with the landscape.

How to Design Your Space in the Desert Modern Style:

Color Palette 

The whole story is a huge palette shift from the peaches, muddy clays, and yellows to crisp linens and soft whites with light woods and mineral tones as accents. The clay tone is still around, but it’s super softened. There’s also a washed-out desert sky blue which references the Moroccan sky.


Desert Modern furnishings have sleek frames and favor natural materials like leather, stone, wood, metal, and rattan.



Desert Modern style flooring includes lots of natural woods, whether warm in tone or unfinished. Saltillo tile is also popular. If you’re looking for more info on all things tile, check out Types of Tile and How to Use Them.

For even more details on flooring, check out this handy dandy resource in The Library: Flooring Fundamentals 🙂





Desert Modern decor embraces artisanal textiles for rugs, wall tapestries, poufs, and throw blankets. Plants (especially succulents and cacti) are staples of this design style.


Window Treatments

Window treatments are kept minimal if anything is used at all. This design style often benefits from being in the desert with large windows, so either forgo window treatments entirely or go very simple and clean, like light linen with a black iron rod and/or solar roller shades.

By the way, DezignSpace has your back when it comes to the ins and outs of window treatments; check out Drama-free Drapery: Your Detailed Guide to Understanding Window Treatment Basics

What to AVOID When Styling a Desert Modern Space

The Desert Modern design style avoids overuse of patterns, highly-saturated colors, clutter, and formality.


Is the Desert Modern design style totally your jam? If so, be sure to hop over to The Store to check out some Desert Modern goodies that we love! If you’re looking for more, check out these retailers: 



Check out another design style that might light you up!  We think you’ll love the Design Style Spotlight: Califonia Coastal.


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