Western interiors cowgirl magazine

Interiors that successfully integrate both rustic and refined influences depend on an artful combination of textures, textiles and natural elements. Design professionals are experts in the proper arrangement of furniture, lighting, and accessories to create casual western elegance.

For the rest of us, good intentions sometimes go a little too far! Study these rules, and enjoy the incomparable sense of contentment you feel when your home reflects your true cowgirl character.

1) Complement, don’t match:

When choosing furniture for your main living area and master suite, avoid coordinated sofa, loveseat, and chair sets, geometric sectionals, or matching cocktail, end, and sofa tables. Instead, choose quality items that represent at least three unique Western textures.

2) Create ambiance with lighting:

Showcase only one dramatic western or rustic themed chandelier, or one pair of fixtures per room. Then, add at least two other “layers” of light using either minimalistic, modern fixtures or traditional, formal fixtures.

3) Limit hide, horn, and fur textures:

Natural materials are a must for any rustic home. Keep it refined by using accents of hides and furs with restraint. Mix organic textures with classic, clean lines and contemporary styling for a look that’s fresh, not frontier.

The Horse Whose Name Was the Name of the Unseen Planet.” Painting by Mike Smith.

4) Art adds richness at any price:

If finances allow, splurge on at least one original work of art that moves you emotionally. Larger pieces have more impact.

5) Accessorize and edit:

Now your space is ready for a few fun extras! Remember, editing is just as important as adding items. The unused space in a room allow you and your guests to see and appreciate the beautiful things that are there. Consider adding fresh flowers, silver accessories, western coasters, candles, and western elements, such as saddles and bridles, for a bigger impact.

(Originally published in the November/December 2009 issue of Cowgirl Magazine).