The old days of Cowboys and Indians seemed a heck of a lot simpler. You’d pick a plot of land, bring in some livestock, and spend your mornings working hard and your evenings relaxing in your warm, cozy den in front of the fireplace. When the sun went down, so did you. Obtaining and running a cattle ranch might be a bit more difficult and expensive these days, but, luckily, you can still return to a home designed with that “hard day’s work is over” feel; you can bring the Old West to you.
Western style, most easily recognized in rustic leather sofas and patterned rugs or blankets, is incredibly popular today. Native American art and design — specifically Navajo, Apache, and Pueblo — has contributed to the warm aesthetic in western style furniture, as the colors and patterns are frequently replicated to achieve the same aesthetic of beauty and dedication. The Navajo in particular valued turquoise, so bright blues are often included with the bold reds and soft sands in western home designs.
While much of the western style comes from the peoples who lived in the regions originally, the other half comes from those determined ranchers and cowboys. If you’re settling out in the middle of nowhere, you’re probably going to need to build everything in your home from the environment around you; thus, nature is a crucial part of rustic and western interior design.
Wood and animal products, such as hide and bone, have become integral parts of the style. Exposed wooden beams and raw, imperfect wooden furniture (think lamps made out of driftwood, or slabs of timber serving as a dining room table) are staples in the design, in addition to tanned leather armchairs. Westward expansion didn’t begin in earnest until the Louisiana Purchase in 1802, but there were already more than 1,000 tanneries a half-century before that; moving West simply boosted an already booming industry.
Fortunately, you no longer need to treat animal bones and tan hides yourself to achieve the same western look. A variety of furniture stores are in place to suit your needs, and many specialize specifically in rustic and western design. What are you waiting for? Find a rustic furniture store near you and live those wild west cowboy dreams in full.