Though this great nation’s history is quite brief compared to other parts of the world, it is storied and vibrant nonetheless. As Americans continued moving west of the Mississippi, a new culture erupted: that of the cowboy. Bold and enterprising young men and women hitched their wagons and set out for a land unknown, one rich in resources and adventure. They were forced to fend for themselves on the great plains and expansive deserts of the western and southwestern United States, living a life of freedom and discovery.
Those days may be well behind us, but remnants of cowboy culture still remain. If you’re as captivated by nature as those original cowboys (and cowgirls!) were, you can bring that wild west into your home with ease. Keep reading to find out how.
Western style furniture interior design very much captures the essence of the wild wild West. Cowboys relied heavily on natural products to survive and thrive in their harsh environment, so natural elements should be the focal point of your decor. Wood, stone, and earthenware materials can bridge the gap between modern day- and cowboy era-style. By finding furniture that incorporates these materials, your dining room table, living room hutch, and even your bedside lamp can be transformed into the old west.
Animal products are even more important than natural elements. Cowboys were careful about using every part of the animals they hunted, making the presence of bones, furs, and antlers an absolute must in your home furnishings. The varying applications of these organic materials mean you can get creative: find tables and lamps that use antlers for legs, purchase bone-handled silverware, or take your time finding the perfect stag head to proudly display above your fireplace — you can even use one you’ve hunted yourself, in true cowboy spirit! Leather is also a favorite — find the durable material wrapped around leather armchairs, leather sofas, and other forms of western style furniture.
The western style is one of deserts and plains, both regions well-known for their rich color palette: reds and oranges replicate the evening light, earthy browns and warm clays remind one of the solid and stable ground, and bold colors like blue and green conjure up mental images of sky and cacti. Among a backdrop of more subdued, warm tones, bright colors will truly draw the eye. However, make sure that you’re using them sparsely or your home could become too busy.
So you’ve got the basics down… now let’s use them as a foundation to give some body to your home. Rooms can feel quite empty if they’re only holding a single leather sofa and a wooden coffee table. Fill the spaces in between with accessories that complement your color palette and rely on those same natural products: animal hide blankets and pillows make great chair ornamentations, silver pieces (such as candlesticks or bowls) will stand out, and tooled leather coasters will reveal detailed craftsmanship on a smaller, more subtle scale. Altogether, these individual accessories can really cement the western style furniture theme in your room.
Native American Accents
As an extension of the previous tip, your accents can definitely include Native American pieces, or pieces designed to replicate the look of Native American works. Southwestern Native Americans, like the Navajo or Pueblo, have historically created intricate works of art, from the iconic chevron blankets to one-of-a-kind clay sculptures and paintings. The addition of any Native American artwork will only add to your western style furniture aesthetic.
Soft Light Is Good Light
Last but not least, you must pay attention to your home’s lighting. From the brightness level to the fixture itself, this one detail can throw off the entire western theme and render your western style furniture obsolete. Avoid intense light, like that produced by LED lights, as the brightness will make your home feel sterile and cold. Instead, focus on warm, more golden tones. Not only will this lighting make your home cozier, but its similarity to a desert sunset will have you feeling like John Wayne at the end of The Searchers.
Individually, these interior design components can improve a home’s look. When they’re all put together, however, that home will take a trip through time. Though many people these days are uninterested in living a cowboy’s life (and who can blame them? Having to work the land from sunup to sundown is certainly an exhausting prospect), its simplicity is hard to resist. There was nothing to worry about except your own home and your own land; the urge to reinvent the feeling of such uncomplicated times through interior decor is fully understandable. Hopefully, we’ve given you everything you need to create some of this simplicity of your own.