Masterful Mixing And Matching: A Guide To Combining Rustic And Western Design Elements

As a homeowner living in the southern U.S., you’re constantly surrounded by great decor elements. From the cattle wranglin’ wild west to the natural open spaces provided by prairies and grasslands, it can be tough to choose what style you want to bring into your home. Fortunately, you don’t have to: by combining the rough and natural rustic aesthetic with the bold attitude of western interior design, you can create a living space that is as warm and cozy as it is expansive.

Many people believe that mixing and matching design elements is a decor faux pas, but reality proves to be a little bit more flexible. Though home design TV shows frequently stick to one theme throughout, it is possible to bring together different yet complementary styles. As long as they each have something in common (whether it be tone, material, or color palette), putting effort into mixing themes can actually elevate your home’s aesthetic into something truly unique.

Limit Your Color Palette

Too many colors can take away from the overall effect, making each piece feel as though it stands alone. In addition to being a bit of an eyesore, this can make the room feel chaotic and cluttered. Fortunately, rustic and western style furniture tends to already share a color palette, but sticking to it can prove to be difficult at times. Do your best to commit to the warm earth tones (which allow for the bold reds and yellows from western design to shine through) and resist anything too bright and gaudy. This way, your entire home will feel connected regardless of how individual rooms are decorated.

Unified Does Not Mean Identical

The key to pairing contrasting pieces is to focus on what they have in common. Rustic and western themes are much easier to match together because they share many characteristics: they both reveal the beauty of nature (whether through worn wood or animal products) while creating a space that embodies comfort and warmth above all else. Your rustic leather chair will look right at home with a western chevron throw blanket as it sits in front of a crackling fireplace.  

Match Wood Types

Wood is a staple of both rustic and western designs, but you need to put in a little bit of work to pair even these. Before you go pairing the cool tones of ashwood with the golden hues of mahogany, remember that tone is your determining factor; even pieces decades (or centuries) apart in design and manufacture can magically match if they contain the same type or tone of wood, so it’s vital that you focus on color rather than style.

Balance Is Key

As with most things in life, you must remember to stay balanced. Consider the size and feel of your rustic and western home furnishings: leather armchairs are extremely comfortable but will weigh a room down if there are too many present. You need to ensure that you’re properly accounting for the space to prevent your home from feeling too crowded and cluttered, or contrastingly, too empty and sterile.

Don’t Overdo

This falls in with maintaining balance but feels important enough to set apart. Everyone who decides to dip their toe into interior design can get swept up in the excitement; trips to your favorite furniture store always yield a purchase, and all of a sudden you’re up to your ears in stuff with no place to put it all, and certainly no way to make it look deliberate and planned. Take the time to be choosy about the pieces you want to feature — settle on one or two rustic leather sofas and resist the temptation to keep adding.

At the end of the day, your house is your own and you’re entitled to do whatever you want with it. Whether that means mixing a bit of the wild wild west with natural rustic elements or pairing Victorian furniture with modern design, the decision is up to you. Obtaining a final result that looks professional may take a little work and a lot of patience, but is always worth it in the end. The next time you’re relaxing in your leather sofa, surrounded by the effortless beauty of nature and the culture of the wild west, we’re sure you’ll agree.