Howdy Partner!!! It’s Stampede Time in Calgary. That means it’s 10 full days of western hospitality. The party has started and everyone is invited. Storefronts are painted and decorated, there’s hundreds of free pancake breakfasts and everyone is decked out in plaid and cowboy hats. Stampede attracts over 1 million visitors a year and features the world’s largest rodeo. There’s good reason why it’s called the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.
Since we’re all revved up for anything western, this week we thought we’d show how to bring a little cowboy into every home. But Beware…don’t over do it. It’s all about using a light hand and doing western tastefully. Unless you’re a theme park hotel. Then I guess it’s okay if you want to create a Wild West Room.
Western decor is all about rock, wood, and metal – it has a very manly feel. Which is good. We like the masculine touches. But all that manliness needs to be balanced by some pretty. I know I say this all the time, but every room needs a good balance of masculine and feminine. Notice in the picture below that the heavy wooden stumps are balanced with the delicateness of the china teapots and the airy table. We’ve also paired the rustic lamp and pine table with the elegance of a pretty gold frame.
If you live by the water, then a beach look is what you want. Put that home in the mountains and it’s out of place. Same goes for the western look. Unless you live on a ranch, don’t go overly crazy with the western accessories. For city dwellers, we like to do a nod to the west, not full blown cowboy complete with log furniture, hanging saddles and a mounted big horn sheep over the fireplace.
Subtle touches are best. Include some nailhead detailing, or a chair in leather, a rustic cabinet or a reclaimed wood accent table. Texture is always good and there’s no easier way to bring in texture then baskets.
What we love best is that you don’t have to rush out and buy things to get that natural and rugged look. Picking up pretty pieces of driftwood and displaying them is such an easy inexpensive way to add a rustic touch.
Antlers are another way to add that Western look. Antlers look great on a stack of books and we really like placing them in a more traditional styled room to add an eclectic touch. You might be lucky enough to find some on a walk, otherwise you’ll have to pick some up from Homesense.
Hide rugs are about as cowboy as you can get. We haven’t met a home yet that wouldn’t benefit from a hide rug. The best thing about them is the irregular shape. When you don’t want to define a space with a square or rectangle, a hide rug is the best choice. We love the easy care and attitude that a hide rug brings to a room.
Lately we’ve been helping our clients pick up some great pedestal tables off Kijiji. There’s nothing lovelier then a rustic dining table in your home. Think solid heavy wood, something that has a bit of wear. A table that’s been around. Some we get painted, some we leave in the natural wood colour, and some like the photo below, are done in a two tone. Mix in some pretty, like a sparkly light, a tufted bench and a bouquet of flowers, and you have created a beautiful balance of masculine and feminine.
Another way to soften the rustic look is to add a bit of cheekiness. I love the comic book coasters sitting on my wooden table. It adds some fun to the seriousness of the wood. Best of all, we use the coasters every day. They were a gift from a family wedding we went to last summer. You can see that post here.
If you haven’t been to Stampede yet, put it on your bucket list. Everyone needs to be a cowboy for a few days. You’ll come back with a new appreciation for the west and cowboy culture. Just don’t decorate by hanging saddles from the ceiling!
Karen Fron Interior Design is a Calgary based design firm. We believe that a well functioning and beautiful home makes life better. It's not about how much you have, it's about using what you have to create beauty.