Drawing Design Inspiration From Southwest Native American Style

Drawing Design Inspiration From Southwest Native American Style

navajo native american paintingThe house of my parents, where I grew up, has always had all the walls covered with paintings. My parents are obsessed with the culture of our people, the Native American Navajo of the Southwestern United States. My mother’s job is to make frames for paintings, and one of my earliest memories was listening to the sound of the hammer beating on little nails to fix the corners of the frames between them. My mum’s workshop is on the ground floor, while our bedrooms and the kitchen are on the first floor … so for me, this noise has always been the most familiar sound in the world, from early morning to late evening. After high school I started living away from home for University, I moved to many houses and different cities, and every time I went back to my parents’ house it meant to review all the paintings engraved in my memory, all the landscapes, the photographs, colors and characters that over time had covered every inch of the walls of our rooms.

This past autumn I moved to the United States, and I returned to my family’s home in Italy in mid-December to spend Christmas holidays with them. Getting home was almost a shock. I found all the walls completely whitewashed, the paintings that were previously hung on the walls away, not even the nails on the walls. The pictures of my childhood and my drawings that had been taken away from my bedroom, the paintings that over the years had bought my mother hidden somewhere, and in the air only a strong smell of fresh paint. I know there are problems in my parents’ relationship, and perhaps for my father to know that I was so far away meant having permission to enter my room and decide to take away all my memories. Whatever his intentions and motivations were, I do not even want to think about this, and I do not even want to feel anger or resentment towards him. Whatever his intentions and motivations were, he is my father, and he is the only father I have. But all this did not stop me from feeling the pain, and not feeling deeply hurt as if someone had hurt me until reaching the surface of my bones.

 

If you remove the paintings from the walls of these rooms, you are removing a part of our soul from our home. You are stealing our story, hiding our memories and all the familiar things we have welcomed and loved during our lives. So, without even trying to hang up the nails, we simply supported all the paintings we found on every type of wall, from tables, windows, bookcases, chairs. And it worked to make us feel the warmth of the characters of our travels, our postcards, and the pictures of our childhood again.

 

For a long time, I ran from the heritage of my family. I had no interest in my Native American roots and I couldn’t understand my parent’s fascination with it, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to realize that so much of who we are is made up of where we come from. Who my ancestors were and what they did makes up the fabric of my character just as much as what I choose to wear or devote my time to today. So my parent’s obsession with Southwestern culture was their way of paying homage to the part of themselves made up of those that came before them. And I’ve now realized that that’s a beautiful thing. And now I also look to that same style when drawing inspiration for my own design aesthetic. I look to the clothing, art, fabrics, and area rugs of the Southwestern United States to direct my own design style and personal relationship with art.

The Resurgence of Vintage Design

vintage photo

 

If someone were to ask me two years ago how décor mattered in my life, I wouldn’t have an answer to give them. To be honest, it didn’t matter to me. I lived in a cabin with a folding lawn chair for furniture and a kitchen table and bed I built myself out of 2×4’s. That was it. Nothing on the walls, not even paint. Needless to say, vintage design was the last thing on my mind. It wasn’t until I got married that I can say the thought of design even entered my mind. Going through pre-marital counseling, our pastor told me that the house was the woman’s pride. That was where she could express who she was. At that time, I didn’t really think much of it. My wife changed my view on this. I moved into an apartment in the city about six months before I got married. When looking for a place to live, this was not our first choice however it was what we could afford.

 

This apartment was old and tiny, had definitely seen its better days. After we got married, my wife moved in. With the move, I upgraded my folding lawn chair to a couch and loveseat. In addition, we added a (real) kitchen table, a bed with matching nightstands and dressers, a bookshelf and a desk. It was at this time that I realized our pastor was right because my wife started adding to our walls as well; pictures, crosses, and clocks. This old, run-down apartment was the same one I moved into six months prior, however it was at this moment that it felt like home for the first time. While I realize that a large part of that was my wife moving in, I also need to acknowledge that it was what was done to the place that made it feel like home.  You can buy a $3 million dollar mansion on the lake, but it won’t feel like home just because you bought the house. What’s truly important is what you do with the house. It doesn’t have to be fancy, I’ve learned that a little goes a long way, but adding design transforms a house into a home.

Why You Should Consider Upgrading Your Web Design

Entiri design

 

There was a time for me when design mattered to me. Back in fall of 2015, I had to move away from my childhood home because it needed to be rebuilt and fixed on. After nearly fifty years since built, the walls were weak and had holes all over. The roof was severely faded and was caving in on us. Our doors were old & were not fitting correctly as they should. I believe someone may have installed those doors over the years, but did not do a good job to make sure they fit. All of which, caused them to lean towards the right. So then, my mother finally got a chance to get things fixed. But, we had to move to a temporary apartment until done. During that time, I was filled with anxiety. Why? Because I did not know what to expect whenever I came back. When I finally came home, I was just in awe. The builders had redone everything differently. First, the doors were new of course and they fitted perfectly.

But the builders had redone everything differently. First, the doors were new of course and they fitted perfectly. But there was a twist, the doors now had a glass view at the top. Then, my living room was bigger than before. The builders had torn a wall down that separated the kitchen and the dining room. It did not just stop there. The dining room window was converted to sliding glass doors. All of which gives a beautiful view of the yard & help bring a lot of sunlight in the house. Then came the walls, which were all new and didn’t have any holes or cracks in them. I could not believe what I was seeing. On top of that, there were paintings and are hung all along the walls of the house. Even the bedrooms have at least one piece of artwork hanging up. It almost felt as if it were all a dream. At that point, I realized what decor and a builder’s idea can do to make a house into a home.

If you want to read about my favoritism to Native American design, read this.