Friday, December 27, 2013

Guest Post: Jonathon Ensor a Home Design Writer

Home (Not) On the Range

I wish this was my view...

 (Image source)

Jonathon Ensor is a home design blogger writing on behalf of Empire Today.

 His favorite Western movie is 1939’s Stagecoach, starring the one-and-only John Wayne. Or Tremors. Does Tremors count?

 Jonathon is design freelancing while him and his wife are undergoing a very slow home remodel.

I’m seeking the fine line between Western-inspired home décor and straight-up rodeo-themed interior design. My wife and I are big fans of the rustic look, but would steer clear of something like…Holstein cow-hide patterned wallpaper or a full-size taxidermy buffalo.
Though we do reside in a fairly rural area, cowboys and cowgirls we are not. The goal is to get that ‘country’ feel without going overboard and veering into ‘costume’ territory. Small touches do the trick. We strive for a distinct melding of stylized elements – both vintage and modern. For instance, we won’t be tracking down an antique saddle to put in the corner, just for looks. But a horseshoe coat rack? Totally down.
Color schemes are an easy place to start. Earth tones in the sepia range, honey-colored hues, earthy turquoise, terra cotta and a sunset palette of reddish oranges all have that cozy feel – the color equivalents of fresh-baked bread. Accent walls or wallpaper trim are a great place to incorporate these warm tints.

Ceramic flooring tiles, particularly those forming geometric patterns, are a nod to classic Southwestern mosaic art. Hand-scraped hardwood floors can give that comfortable, down-home atmosphere – bonus if they’re a little rugged looking. Consider woven wood blinds, or gingham (even muslin or burlap) curtains in your windows.

We don’t live on a ranch or in a log cabin so finding key pieces to serve as accents in textiles such as weathered wood, softly worn-in leather, rusted metals or wrought iron are to be used lovingly but sparingly. Tarnished brass has an especially distinct effect.
Textiles like handmade bead work or bandanna prints can add a hint of flair. Patterned Navajo blankets are ideal for that rugged touch. Toss one over a corner of your couch or on the end of your bed for a cozy, country feel. Pendleton, the Oregon-based heritage company, makes new woolen versions that are wholly legit.
It’s far easier locating interesting embellishments to stick in your corners or atop your mantel. Old barn doors can be fashioned into an accent wall. Rusty kerosene lanterns, small cacti plants or dried flowers potted in antique terra cotta, sculpture-type pieces featuring antler and horn, beat-up wooden signs or anything made of picture agate are perfect places to start. Check out Shelly’s awesome antler crafts for a little inspiration!
Old ropes can be incorporated into many unique DIY projects or they can simply be coiled and hung on a wall. Travelling trunks, barrel kegs and woven baskets are excellent rustic knickknacks to add to the mix. If I can track down enough of them, I fully intend on building an old wagon wheel path this spring. I saw a picture of a house that had been wallpapered with real birch bark, but I highly doubt that’s something my wife and I will be able to pull off. What are your favorite Western-inspired design elements?


  1. Great word visuals for "getting the look" . Sounds like a great space. Love all of the texture elements,

  2. Wow what a view to wake up to! Log homes make me weak in the knees.

    1. Wouldn't that be a dream?!!!! Thanks for checking this article out JoAnn