Our family recently traveled to Tucson, Arizona for a vacation. Not only was the climate different from Wisconsin, but the housing and landscaping was as well.

Some years ago, there was a decorating style called “Southwest.” Wall paint colors were rusts, yellows, browns, and turquoise.

These colors work well in the desert, but I am of the opinion the decorating should reflect the style of the house.  So what is a Southwest house style?

Houses are generally made with stucco or brick because they can absorb more heat or cold than wood. They are usually one-story because heat rises. The floors are tiled. Every room has a ceiling fan.  There are different outdoor seating areas around the house’s exterior so you can move either toward or away from the sun, depending upon the season. The windows are large and coated to reflect heat.

The large patio doors can be folded onto themselves to seamlessly integrate the inside with the outdoors.  It is not unusual to see many houses with pools.

I find the landscaping intriguing. Yards are landscaped with different colors of rock or brick, and succulents replace grass.  Spring rains bring enough moisture for these succulents to flower.

While many species of cacti are found throughout the world, the Saguaro catus is found mainly in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico.

From the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, “Saguaro are very slow growing cacti. A 10-year old plant might only be 1.5 inches tall. Saguaro can grow to be between 40-60 feet tall (12-18m). When rain is plentiful and the saguaro is fully hydrated, it can weigh between 3200-4800 pounds.

After the saguaro dies, its woody ribs can be used to build roofs, fences, and parts of furniture. The holes that birds nest in can be found among the dead saguaros. Native Americans used these as water containers long before the canteen was available.”

There are many hiking trails in the Tucson area where you can experience the various species of plants and small animals (roadrunner). In the spring, water flows through the valleys.  There was still snow on the highest peaks in March.


We took time to attend a Cowboy Cookout at Tanque Verde Ranch, complete with a live band and line-dancing.

Another treat was attending a Milwaukee Brewers spring training baseball game in Phoenix.

We fully enjoyed our time in Tucson.  Every place has something to offer. When we experience different things from our “normal,” we learn and grow.

–Premiere Stagers & Realty, 608-345-9396