19 Jan Time For a Refresh: New Western Design
Western design needs a paradigm shift.
It’s time for an upgrade, refresh, an alternative to log furniture, antler chandeliers, brown, and wood, wood and more wood.
As a contemporary designer living in the American West, one of my biggest challenges is reconciling my love of bright colors, clean lines, beautiful patterns, and witty art with the expectation of tried and true traditionalism.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe a home should reflect its surroundings and it’s heritage. I love using natural materials and color palettes that reflect the time and place, but I believe that traditional Western design doesn’t properly reflect the beauty, light and bright colors just outside the door of every mountain home.
So, today, I’m defining a New Western design; a fresh take on the classics; a blend of old and new; a sexy twist on rustic. This is style that is anything but ordinary, but it’s also not an overwhelming departure from the past.
A Few Examples of New Western Design
My Favorite New Resources
I haven’t wanted to purchase an antler “anything” until now. I love Shawn’s contemporary use of antlers with the suspended bulb and cocoon-like application. It’s sexy, rustic, masculine, feminine and gloriously creative. ShawnRivettDesigns.com
The Tumbleweed is dynamic because of the instant visualization you get of an old Western movie with the tumbleweeds flying across the plains just before the shoot-out. They are relevant, whimsical and symbolic of the Wild West. This is a spectacular modern take on tumbleweed and has an ethereal quality to it that would work well in a mountain home or in an urban loft. OwenMortensen.com
I’m obsessed with this chair. It has contemporary lines as a stripped down piece, but saddled up with the broken down leather pillow and shaggy sheepskin, it’s a new modern classic for a mountain chateau. Horne.com
Wood grain style tile in a kicking color? Edgy, happy and beautiful, I love it even more without the pattern match! It’s a fresh take on the concept of old floorboards of an abandoned cabin. New Western design at it’s best. 14oraitaliana.com
Part of New Moon’s Luxury Lodge collection this is sophisticated and high-end but approachable. I love the looseness of the pattern as it reminds me of a Navajo rug but reimagined as a modern piece. This rug is totally versatile for almost any room in a home—living room, kitchen, master bath, bedroom. NewMoonRugs.com
Jeff uses natural elements in a masterful, artful way. Every detail is beautiful—from the edges to the feet to the artistic use of pulling the grain with colorful stain. Pair with a colorful, textured sofa or add it as a natural but modern element in a contemporary dining room. JeffMartinJoinery.com
I adore the imperfections of this tile. You can tell it’s handmade and the color variation creates such a soft look for a hard surface. This would be exceptional as a kitchen backsplash or in a master bathroom. FireclayTiles.com