Interior Design

Thank Georgia O'Keeffe for Your Love of Cacti, Plaster, and Terra Cotta

March  3, 2017

When we think of New Mexico, we immediately think pale shades of red, desert heat, cacti, and the one and only Georgia O’Keeffe. Interiors inspired by this landscape often reference the simple adobe walls of O'Keeffe's Abiquiú, NM home (also known as Ghost Ranch) and incorporate handmade terra cotta objects, ranging from organically shaped pitchers to unglazed pots.

Photo by James Ransom

An artist who focused on American modernism and who is best known for her paintings of New Mexico landscapes, O’Keeffe has been positioned as a trendsetter in the past several years. She showed up as a "style icon" on Design*Sponge in 2012, and was recognized on in 2015 for her influence on fashion design.

Beginning on March 3rd of this year, she'll move into the limelight again as the Brooklyn Museum tackles her “progressive, independent lifestyle through a self-crafted public persona” for a 5-month long exhibit.

Her brilliant paintings have consistently been a source of color inspiration in the past for designers and art-lovers alike, but we're more interested in looking at the New Mexican landscape she surrounded herself with, which showed its influence through her clean white adobe fireplace, relaxed lounge chairs, bright teal pillows, terra cotta palette, and a melodic juxtaposition of dark and light woods.

The current climate of the home and design industry has surely taken notes from O'Keeffe's look: Consumers are honing in on rattan rugs, round and subtly dramatic light fixtures, and earth tones. All while continuing to make sure that rooms are never without an abundance of natural light—and a happy green plant in a terra cotta pot.

Meghan Murray is an Assistant Buyer for the Food52 Shop.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Meghan Murray

Written by: Meghan Murray

Assistant Buyer at Food52


Jane K. March 6, 2017
awesome article! love the hues of pink
Rebecca S. March 3, 2017
More trend reports!!
Connor B. March 3, 2017
Amanda S. March 3, 2017
+2 = you're all signed up, Meghan!