Friday, September 20, 2013

Western Themed Decorating Ideas

Inspired by the grand vistas of the Western United States, Western themed decorating employs natural materials and earthy colors. The contemporary Western style of decorating combines the comfort of simple living with urban chic, the rustic with the elegant, the raw with the refined. This dichotomy represents the ingenuity of the earliest populations of the west to use what was at hand to meet their needs and the contemporary need for multifunctional home environments. Does this Spark an idea?


Express the concept of lean Western design by limiting yourself to a few pieces in the space. Basic furniture, such as a couch, two chairs and one or two cabinets, make up the bulk of the room's furnishings. Paint the cabinetry in rich earthy tones such as forest green and add bright red poppies or flowering branches as detail. Upholster the furniture in geometric patterns resembling an Indian blanket design. For accessories, add a few wrought iron wall sconces and candleholders.

Use no more furnishings than necessary, but allow each piece to have a large impact. Bright colors and bold patterns in your fabrics along side painted furniture and wide-paneled wood flooring express the simplicity of early life in the West, while color and pattern keep the style lively.

Mix of Cultures

Hispanic influence is evident in Western design. Ornately carved furniture, painted cabinetry and statuary all derive from the early mixing of Spanish and native Mexican peoples. These elements combine well with the geometric patterns and highly stylized pottery of the American Indians. The rustic elements of planed benches and tables developed by early pioneers combine well with the other cultural elements.

Step up the simple design scheme by crowding the space with artifacts of both the Hispanic and American Indian cultures. Group the pottery with statuary for unusual and visually tactile vignettes. Mix the geometric patterns of American Indian textiles with stone and metal accessories found in Hispanic design, such as ornately framed mirrors and oversized vases. Tame the frenzy of color, pattern and texture with antique pine cabinetry and benches.


The rustic appeal of Western themed decorating can play well with more elegant elements. Area rugs in American Indian geometric patterns can be combined with marble tabletops. An antique ceramic vase filled with flowers reflecting the colors of the area rug and placed on the tabletop will pull the two seemingly disparate elements together.

Combine the stylized pottery of both Hispanic and American Indian cultures with mid-century modern furnishings to create a new mix of cultural influences. Upholster the furniture in solid colored fabrics, choosing shades from the pottery. Add lamps with wrought iron bases and barrel shades to further the connection.

Electronic elements such as televisions, laptops and gaming consoles can be placed in pine cabinetry or on antique dinner tables. The merging of simple furnishings and high technology, of basic needs and quintessential comfort, are easily blended using a mix of cultural artifacts, tying them together with color and texture.

Tags: American Indian, geometric patterns, well with, American Indian cultures, both Hispanic, both Hispanic American, color pattern