Desert Chic And A Cactus Or Two

August 08, 2017
Many of you are great decorators and I have a question that I hope you can help me with today.
 I have been puzzling over this for awhile. It is about decor and the labels that are associated with it. Labels..labels and more labels and truly can decor be just one label? You can label a can of pears, you can label a species of a flower. But can we truly corral decorating into one style especially when there are so many fabulous colors, textures, accessories, fabrics, furniture, art, lamps, and more to choose from when decorating our homes. Not to mention so many styles are blended together now and just when I thought I had it all figured out a new label appeared or at least to me it did and I love it best of all!
 I grew up in era where our choices were limited and some of those colors and choices were just plain ugly!
I love the decorating and fashion choices that we have in 2017 there is pure joy in discovering new ways  of dressing myself and our home!
When we first purchased our land two and a half years ago and built our home, I was so certain that the style of our decor leaned towards French Farmhouse with a Texas flair.
I have the farmhouse sink.
It was decided...check. DONE.
But the longer we live here and the more in-tune I become with myself, nature, my gardens ( I do have jalapenos) and where I live (which is the Southwest) I do believe that I have discovered a style which is better suited for me.
Desert Chic...oh and Cactus.
But is Desert Chic really a style of decorating, a label, a decor choice, or an idea...will we ever truly know.
Or is it all as simple as finding the right fit, just as I do with a pair of shoes or a colorful blouse.
While reading a few decorating articles on-line, Desert Chic has been described as an interesting and whimsical style with shades of orange and pink that are easily incorporated into a neutral pallet.
I just happen to adore pink and I actually have quite a few orange accent pieces.
I truly feel that I may I have discovered my happy place with this decorating style.
It seems to be not overly ridged, but yet has enough direction to keep me on track.
Sometimes I like too many things and become distracted.
I really like the idea of a neutral backdrop, I like to infuse color with accent pieces and not so much on the walls.
Clean, bright and white with an interesting addition and contrasts of colors, copper, textures, lots of natural greenery and oh yes cactus.
Rugs, pillows, poufs, furniture, draperies and accessory pieces can be the flurry of color in my home, and quite frankly I need a little more color.
This past weekend the husband and I moved furniture around and drew out a plan for the beginning of our Desert Chic journey and we  purchased three cactus.
Our first "big," purchase to inspire and guide us along!
(Did I mention that purchasing new furniture rankles with me... its costs too much!)
I still have our original Thomasville furniture that has been sanded and painted quite a few times.
So I will let the furniture purchasing settle for a bit and grow accustomed to the idea and begin with purchasing some new art.
In the meantime, lets talk about the cactus....

Naturally Cactus go very well with Desert Chic as they are interesting, beautiful, and add texture.
While studying the care of cactus I have discovered that I will need to take a different approach, than I do for regular houseplants.
Here are a few tips if you'd like to give cactus a try as well.

Guiding Steps to successfully growing a cactus or two indoors.
Great Website for more Information.

1.  Water sparingly.
A cactus can survive without water for many, many months.
2. Find a Spot in the Sun.
If possible leave Cactus outside in the Sun from March to September.
3. Drainage is Super Important.
Drainage in the bottom and gravel in the pot.
4. Soil Matters.
Cactus do not like soggy bottoms.

I will  be on this quest awhile for verification of Desert Chic, so I welcome your opinion and also any decorating tips or shopping venues too.
Thank you for joining me today!
Up next this week is a sweet recipe!
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  1. Jemma!
    Desert Chic...I like the idea! I'm still defining my style, trying to listen to my heart. Do I like it because it speaks to me or because it's what is popular? We didn't grow up in a designer home...the furniture was what my parents could afford and wasn't any particular style. Anyway, I digress...is Desert Chic a spin off of Southwestern style? I love the description and I'm looking forward to seeing how you define it!

    1. Cecilia,
      This is comforting to me that I am not the only one still wondering what my "style," truly is. But I think this one fits the bill for me. Living among nature and my flower gardens has ignited so many new passions and viewpoints.

  2. I am not familiar with Desert Chic but I'm looking forward to seeing what you do!

  3. Okay well labels descriptions and all that jazz..... Let's just say I'm not there anymore and not sure that I ever was.. However with that being said I do believe you're onto something because all these new farmhouse styles are a bit bland.... or just boring and as you know I'm a fan of less is more.. I love the touch of color and it will be fun to see what you come up with..

    Hope you have a great day - Carole

    1. Thanks Carole, I do believe the muted hues with a slight bohemian touch will fit the bill for our home and lifestyle.

  4. I like that label Desert Chic! It opens up various possibilities. I'm bad with cactus because I want to water them- it's hard for me not to! When I go out to shop I like so many things it's hard for me to be focused. I think it's important to go with whatever you like/gravitate to and then you are the happiest. I know you'll blend in some southwest touches and it will be great!

    1. Hey Liz,
      It does have a nice ring doesn't it! I have been googling all types of phrases to try and come up with what it is that I like. This is it. A little feminine, soft, yet rustic and earthy. Sort of like my flower garden. I did read the article on Jane Fonda's home and wow!

  5. I love the pot that says "Mom" on it...I have a hunch it was made with lots of love! Thank you for sharing, sweet friend. :)

    1. Hi Cheryl!
      My middle daughter made this for me when she was just a girl at home:) So yes indeed this little terra-cotta pot means very much to me!

  6. Succulents are super trendy right now & I am a fan!! As a bonus, the fake ones & the real ones look the same so I mix them together sometimes.

    1. I have been growing succulents for years, but never a cactus. Let's see if I can keep it alive. Practicing restraint in my watering regime:) Love the idea of mixing faux and real. Thank you for the decorating tip!

  7. You got me wondering... so I put "Desert Chic" in the search box on Pinterest and found lots of pretty home decor. I have been adding succulents (real and fake) to my tables- because they are pretty and low maintenance. Moving them outside for the winter works well since I have seasonal decor items to replace them for that part of the year.

    1. Thank you Eilis for the decorating tip, I am going to give it a whirl. Laura suggested this too and you both have lovely decorating styles.
      I think the Desert Chic is a splendid blend of rustic charm and desert hues.

  8. Hi Jemma, love your decor direction and I think Desert Chic is a take off of the former style called "Southwest" but with a new twist with the neutral background. It will be beautiful and how fun to use what you have in a new way. Adding cactus is perfect. The pops of color and pattern will take your style in this direction. Have fun dear friend. With your talent it will be amazing. Have a beautiful week. xo

  9. Hi Jemma,
    I love this decor style you are choosing. I also love that you are embracing what you love. I think that is the real key to being happy with our homes. Surround ourselves with what we love and makes us smile and not to follow anyone's fad decor style. I am looking forward to seeing more of your style. Love the flowering cactus. Beautiful.

  10. When I bought my previous house, which was not on the mountain top but still in upstate NY (in the valley) the previous owners had decorated the home in a southwest style, which baffled me! I think the style of your home should reflect the surrounding area, without a doubt, so your Desert Chic idea is perfect!!

  11. That's a new label to me. I still think our style is French Country. It shows in your house design. I thin anything goes now days. Mixing different styles is very acceptable. Embrace your new accessories and by means have fun. xo

  12. Desert chic, southwest style....what's important is finding the style you love and what you feel works. I may find I love a style but if it doesn't fit with my traditional/transitional go-to (and a bit of vintage fusion) norm, I find myself feeling contrived. It's then that I go small - a vignette - noncommittal. I think starting with the succulents will give you a great feel for the texture and color direction you want to go. And as readers, we'll get to enjoy it as you go!

  13. Hi Jemma! Love that blooming cactus. Its just so pretty! I'm terrible when it comes to labels. I'm all over the place. So, I have given up and just go with whatever makes me smile.

  14. Loving your Desert Chic decor. Girl, I do believe you could take any color you wanted too and make it look good cause you have so much creativity. Well, I guess I am the odd ball when it comes to LABELS, especially with decorating. Well, for that matter, most anything. LOL! I do what I like. I think every room in my home is different. I have friends that keep the same color scheme and decor all through the house and I think that is wonderful if that's what you like. Me, well, I think I've always been a rebel at heart. LOL! My granny used to love cactus. Lord, I bet she had tons of them. All different kinds and colors. Loving your pink girl! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  15. That yellow Bromeliad is so pretty! I had one a few years ago. Along with rd. Love to have another.

  16. Oh goodness- I have so much I want to say.
    I now live in a desert zone- in El Paso- in Southwest Texas.
    I am falling in love.
    Our new to us home- which we have lived in a week and a half- is a Santa Fe style house, and I had most of the walls painted a bright white.
    We live on the border of both New Mexico and Mexico and they both call to me.
    There is a ruggedness and a spirit in this kind of living and decor that I know fits you as well.
    It is about the hardiness of the gardening that speaks to me. I haven't had a garden this year with selling our home- moving here- and looking for a house but it will come.
    Desert Chic is zinnias and glorious succulents and dark beams and hot zinnia colors and white walls and fresh squeezed juice and storms.
    What a glorious journey this is.
    We now live closer to Phoenix and Santa Fe than we do to our former area of South Texas.
    Who knew?
    May I suggest Phoenix Home and Garden magazine and any of the Sunset books on Southwest gardening? My daughter found one for me on Amazon.
    And with all of your rain, do you have any Cenizo (purple sage) planted?

    I could go on and on.
    Love to you my friend.
    Follow your heart:)

  17. Good morning Jemma!!!!!! I had a bit of difficult entering into your blog, again, but I think the glitch is on my end.

    WELL, if you want to stick with the French theme, your cacti and other hot-weathered plants are consistent with the SOUTH of France.....have you ever been there? France, like the USA, is varied in its regional specialties in food, crops, landscape and weather patterns. The South of France does have some desert-like regions, but there you will find cactus and other dry heat-loving flora. You can still keep your French inspired them, just take it down south a bit!

    Lovely as always!

  18. I think this suits you, Jemma cause of the bright colors of pink and orange. Many years ago the desert look was in, as my mother-in-law used to paint southwestern things on furniture. The colors were more muted though, and I think these colors better suit your vivacious personality. Although I'm not much of a cactus person, these cactuses with the pink and yellow flowers are quite pretty. Yes, do keep your furniture, it's so lovely. Have fun with the decorating in your home, Jemma. There's many things that I like, and it's hard to just pick one style, so I try to put them all together. Usually a house will reflect on the sweet person living there, like you. : )


    Wishing you sweet summer days, Jemma.


  19. Desert Chic ... sounds good.
    I think the colour of the cactus you show in your photographs is lovely.

    All the best Jan

  20. Well, I'd never heard of Desert Chic (but then, we don't have a lot of desert in our neck of the woods), but I like the sound of it and I sure like the colors and cactus, so I say you go, Girl! I think my world and label is "eclectic." If it's what I like I have it. Or sometimes if it's what I have, whether I like it or not and can't afford replacement -- as you said, furniture is expensive! -- that's part of it. I thought by now I'd be too old for all that, but the truth of the matter is, I think at this point, it's what it is!

    I love being part of your journey!

  21. I'm going to love to be looking in on your journey also. I do love that fuchia color on your cactus bloom.It would be convenient to not have to water so much, too.
    I haven't heard of Desert Chic before but you are very chic and it fits. Whatever you do you do it well.
    I'm like the older ones commenting and will be sticking to what I have and it is a hodge podge. When you have been married 46 years you'd rather take a nice trip than redecorate because it is tiring so go for it while you have the energy.

  22. This is so much fun, Jemma! It does take living in a house for a while to know what it and you need. Environment is so important and I bet you are very sensitive to it and will instinctually know eventually what direction to go. I'll look forward to seeing how you gather around you, inside and out, the things that suit you the most as time goes on.

  23. Mix-and-match is my favorite kind of decor but desert chic sounds cool.

  24. I'm not so much into labels and I couldn't even tell you what my decorating style is, because I pretty much like it all! I simply go with what I love. But desert chic? Never heard of that one! I think the splashes of color from the cacti you're bringing into your house - pink and orange - will be absolutely beautiful with your neutral palette.

  25. Here are my thoughts...you have a flair for fabulous decor. I have seen it over the years and I think if you fill your rooms with items and colors (and plants!) that you love, you will never be disappointed, regardless of the label. And who knows, you may just coin a new term or start a movement on your own! I'll look for your home in Southwest Living magazine. xo

  26. I've never heard of desert chic but then new things are coming along everyday. The term Eclectic has always been one of my favorite forms of decorating because you can combine so many different elements making the setting unique to each individual. An old lady told me one time "buy what you love and it will always go together" Over the years, I have found that to be true. I love your adventurous spirit and look forward to seeing how you are going to bring this new style together.....Hugs...

  27. I think desert chic is going to be great! Can't wait to see more.

  28. I've always said a house will tell you what it needs. It does take a while to hear it though ;).

    I believe our styles change. I know mine has, and I will continue to do so. So I just roll with it.

    I know you're not near Houston, but I hadn't gotten any updates from you in my inbox so I got concerned. Everything ok?


  29. Hi Jemma, at least you are narrowing down your decorating style and have come up with a name for it. I love it, btw. At the moment I find myself drawn to vintage, shabby, farmhouse and french country so I'll just add chic to that and hopefully it too will become a thing, lol! So for now I have no style and I'm ok with it.I do love succulents too so I may throw those into the mix as well. Lol!
    Hope all is well! Don't know how I missed this post from August!! Happy fall! Xo Linda

  30. I love cactuses...cacti? My great-aunt worked at a greenhouse when I was a kid and would give us one sometimes. I could never resist touching it. Ow!


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