Western decor - cowboy hat as wall decor

Western Decor Ideas Fit for a Cowboy

Find a place to hang your hat. Then decorate it with the best of the West.

This might not be Texas or a hold-em, but you can still design a place fit for your “Cowboy Carter” era. Whether you’re renting a house in fast-paced Northeastern cities like Philadelphia or an apartment deep in the heart of San Antonio, TX, you can find the cowboy-inspired touches that give your house a rustic, down-home appeal that feels true to your lifestyle.

At Rent., we turned to the experts who specialize in Western design and curated our very best suggestions from them. Our roundup includes interior stylists, art specialists, lifestyle bloggers, and others, so keep reading to see their recommendations.

Image source: Hunters Camp, Krafty Photos

What’s cowboy chic? Why is it trending?

Western styles such as “cowboy chic” give apartment and home dwellers a mix of cozy, rugged, and lived-in that feels approachable. “After all, it’s the versatility of Western designs that makes this accessible trend popular in the first place, as Lacey Boyer of her eponymous Lacey Boyer Interior Design says. “The popularity of Western decor taps into a broader cultural fascination with nostalgia, authenticity, and a longing for connection to rugged landscapes and simpler times. The enduring appeal of cowboy-chic lies in its versatility. It’s not merely a fleeting trend but a timeless aesthetic that can be adapted to various design sensibilities, from modern rustic to eclectic bohemian.”

It seems that other designers agree. According to Alex Woulf of Sustainably Staged, ” Western decor is poised to make a stylish comeback, and there’s no better time to explore the intersection of heritage-inspired aesthetics and modern design principles. From rugged textures to earthy palettes, there’s a richness and authenticity to Western-inspired interiors that I find utterly captivating.”

Additionally, according to Dr. Jitin Chadha, Founder and CEO of AND Academy,  “the allure of Western decor brings captivating charm into your home. ‘Cowboy chic,’ with rustic accents and vintage-inspired furnishings, is an interior design style that infuses a spirit of adventure and authenticity into any environment.”

Laura Medicus of Laura Medicus Interiors, a premier home design studio in Denver, also weighs in: “When Beyonce sings about Levi Jeans and line dancing, we pay attention. Cowboy chic is a cool Western vibe that’s lived in, it embraces vintage finds and is pulled together with dark colors and metallic shine.  In 2024, this is inclusive of Western Americana with moody colors, fringe, denim, and worn leather.”

Western decor ideas - hang a photograph of a landscape from the American West

Where to find the Western look and its defining characteristics

While anyone can add elements of this aesthetic to their homes, it’s going to feel more authentic in Western or Western-adjacent areas, like the desert areas or the Midwest. With that said, anyone can introduce cowboy-chic to their interior design. No need to gatekeep here!

As Casey Coleford of the California-based design firm, Casey Coleford Interior Design, posits, “Western-themed elements will always have a place in interior design. Whether it be a cowhide rug, wrought iron hardware, or a collection of cowboy hats hung on the wall. Geography also has a lot to do with what you’ll find in any given room: It is expected in heartland states (think Cracker Barrel). Incorporating Western elements pays homage to our settlers, and won’t be affected by music trends.” she says.

According to studio mtn founder Sierra Fox, “Western influence is everywhere, permeating beyond interior design; models dating cowboys, beach girls in cowboy boots, and a vacation on a ranch to see a rodeo is reigning over tropical getaways and city stays.”

While Fox and her team are inclined to protect their own private Idaho, they are also embracing the Western movement as a whole. “For example, studio mtn loves seeing the resurgence of worn leather, the warmth of reclaimed wood and patinated metals, and the timeless allure of rustic finishes. Western style goes beyond just aesthetics — it captures the essence of adventure, resilience, and a connection to nature. When done right, any space can tap into the soulful energy of the American West.”

The characteristic elements of Western interiors can work anywhere, says Libby Palmieri of House of L Designs. Plus, they can be interpreted across many different iterations of the style, from Barbie-glam Western to Americana.

“If you think of Western as gash, think again,” she says. “Interior trends are embracing Western, with luxurious fringed suede barrel chairs, beautiful prints, and thick, ropey alpaca.  The new Western feel is all about a sumptuous reinterpretation of what has been a constant context in American vernacular.

Darker paint palettes of port wines, charcoals, and pine are the perfect backdrop for accents of bourbon and saddle. Shake it up, depending on the state, and a sub-context of relativity can be found: Urban Western, perfect in a modern loft, boho Western with touches of Navajo and macrame, and glammy Western for all those Barbie enthusiasts, because who can forget Margot Robbie’s sensational hot pink fringed jumpsuit? And while Beyonce has certainly kicked the dust up on this new trend – it started with Margot Robbie in “Barbie”! Look for the dawn of this in upstart areas such as LA, NY, Chicago, and Miami!”

Try Western rugs for starters

One Western decor idea to try is pretty low-commitment: Simply add a cowboy-chic rug to the floor to see if you fancy this trend. For example, cowhide rugs provide a fresh take on an animal print that feels more on-trend than, say, leopard print.

According to Alicia at Rodeo Cowhide Rugs, “Affordability has also made cowhide rugs more accessible, once seen as luxury items, they are now within reach for a broader audience. Additionally, they align perfectly with the latest design trends, including bohemian chic and Scandinavian minimalism. In particular, as Western themes gain popularity each year, cowhide rugs have become essential for creating an authentic cowboy-inspired decor, enhancing the rugged yet refined aesthetic of Western-themed spaces.”

Add some artwork

Want to display your Western decor more prominently? Dress up your wall with some tapestries or art.

“Western art portrays a unique time in history,” explains renowned Arizona-based artist Miguel Camarena. “The modern western look is trending because of the simplicity and elegance of the rustic modern decor and its simple use of muted colors such as warm and cool greys of the whole hue scale.

An example of this would be my “White Horse” painting. At the same time, there is the opposite end of the spectrum where whimsical and high key colors can add a pop of color and accent to most homes, which is why my “Donkey Collection” has become famous worldwide.”

Western decor ideas - rustic furniture in a kitchen

Look to rustic decor for inspiration

Rustic decor gives your space an unfinished look, whether or not you’re committing to a fully Western decor scheme. Think live-edge dining tables, reclaimed wood furniture, and well-worn leather when curating items.

This style exudes warmth and coziness through its use of organic textures and vintage-inspired furnishings, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of ranch side cottages or lodges set in the mountains. Some rustic decor bleeds into other down-home looks, such as modern farmhouse and shabby chic, allowing DIY designers to play around with different looks to find the self-expression sweet spot.

According to owner Shannon White of the Wyoming-based interior design firm, Shannon White Design, rustic and Americana add familiarity and accessibility to the Western trend. “In recent years, my firm has found that home owners in Jackson (and beyond) are interested in bringing Western elements into even more modern interiors. They’re seeking a more rustic Americana feel, worn in but not too distressed. Or they might bring in the cliche spaghetti Western poster blown up for a touch of fun. It’s a way of tying their home to this place and the cultural phenomenon.

We’re finding that Navajo fabrics are coming into play in even our most contemporary homes. Natural rustic elements, and shades of brown, blue and red provide elegant accents to any room. The American West “lifestyle” brings thoughts of worn-in comfort, nights around the fire wrapped in a cozy blanket, and kicking back with a good beer. It evokes homes as a place to relax, not as showrooms, and the western aesthetic leans heavily to worn and loved.”

Bring fashion into your Western decor

“We love seeing ‘cowboy core’ emerging in both fashion and home design,” says Patrick Burch, co-owner of Cave + Post Trading Co., an Arizona-based men’s boutique specializing in American heritage brands. “In our store and in our home, we like to use authentic Western pieces as decor. For example, we love to use cowboy hats from Spur Hats or Lost River Hat Co. as wearable wall art. Guitars mounted on the wall are another fun way to introduce a Western vibe.”

Similarly, Libby Palmieri of House of L Designs talks about how the runway’s influence is energizing the trend beyond the Western states: “As a designer, the usual requests for Western embellishments are typically found in dusty cowboy towns tucked away in Colorado, Montana, and Utah where home design can embrace the fantasy and bring the landscape strokes inside.

Now, however, the influence of runway fashion in the house of Louis Vuitton (for starters) with Pharrell at the helm and his Western-themed men’s spring 2024 retro cowboy collection and the music industry, with Beyonce’s new release of ‘Cowboy Carter,’ that is all about to change.”

Just how much will pop culture influence Western decor?

“As a roofer who’s seen a fair share of houses over the years, I’d say trends come and go faster than a Texas tumbleweed,” says Brendan Anderson of Montana-based roofing company Brix Systems. “Now, this Beyonce country album buzz sure is something new. I wouldn’t say it’ll cause a full-on stampede toward Western decor, but it could definitely spur some folks on the fence. Here’s why…”

  • Celebrity influence is powerful: Anderson continues, “Beyonce’s a huge star, and when she shines a light on something, people notice. It can spark interest in people who might not have considered Western style before.”
  • Rustic charm allure: “Western decor already has a certain timeless appeal. The worn leather, natural textures, and warm colors create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. This might resonate with folks lookin’ for a more comfortable, down-home feel.”
  • Subtle shift, not a roundup: “I wouldn’t expect folks to overhaul their whole house. More likely, we’ll see a sprinkle of Western influence – fringe on throw pillows, a rustic coffee table, or maybe some weathered barnboard on an accent wall.”

Anderson goes on to explain why pop culture influence might not supersede more practical considerations, like maintenance needs, location, or budget:

  • Maintenance matters: “Western decor often features natural materials like leather and wood. These require more upkeep than, say, laminate flooring or synthetic fabrics. Folks gotta be prepared to put in the extra effort.”
  • Regional appeal: “The Western aesthetic might not translate everywhere. Sure, it fits perfectly in ranch houses and cabins, but might feel out of place in a beach bungalow or a modern loft.”
  • Budget considerations: “Genuine Western furniture and antiques can be pricey. Most folks will likely stick to accents and accessories, which can be more affordable.”

Commenting on the recent interest in Western decor ideas, Patrick Burch of Cave + Post Trading also adds, “Shows like Yellowstone were already popularizing Western fashion and design, and Beyonce’s “Cowboy Carter” is feeding that trend. Subtle Western touches go with so many styles — just like in fashion. You can add accent pieces to your home that don’t overwhelm, but add a cool Western touch.”

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