Part of the fun of travelling to different areas is enjoying the local style of architecture and design. Western, or lodge, design creates a cozy and comforting feeling through the use of textural fabrics, exposed and weathered wood, hand forged iron and locally inspired artwork.
Like many other areas of the country that have a particular style associated with their state, (hacienda in Arizona and New Mexico, Victorian in San Francisco, Colonial in New England) western style decorating is very common in states such as Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. This style can be found in private homes, vacation rentals and most hotels and resorts. It is what we expect when we visit these places. Many of these resorts and homes are located in wonderful mountain or lake areas that feature views of the surrounding landscape. However, towering ceilings and large expanses of glass can make a room feel cold and uninviting. Incorporating warm touches of wood and fabric is what makes these rooms so appealing. Elements of this design style include:
• Exposed wood beamed ceilings, walls and flooring. Using reclaimed wood adds to the rustic look.
• Weathered stone is used as a fireplace surround, a towering chimney or on the exterior of the building.
• Hand forged iron can be found in fireplace tools, stair rails, cabinetry hardware, light fixtures and accent furniture pieces.
• Upholstered furniture is usually over scaled and comfortable. Using natural materials such as suede and leather add to the comfort. Cowhide is often used as upholstery on a club chair, bar stools, throw pillows or as a rug on the floor and nail head trim is common.
• Mounted heads, antlers and horns of local wildlife add to the western feel. These include moose, elk, deer, fox and even some birds.
• Western art is so appropriate for these spaces. Subject matter includes paintings of buffalo roaming the plains, wild horses, paintings or photographs of the Teton mountain range, a serene river, a snowy landscape.
• The Native American influence is strong and can be found in textiles featuring colors and patterns of the local tribes.
• Texture is important when trying to warm up a large space. Baskets, rough wood furniture, worn quilts, fluffy rugs, and objects of nature such as twigs, pinecones, seeds and logs are all common elements found in this style of decorating.
If you find yourself fortunate enough to be visiting one of these areas, be sure to take a moment to enjoy not only the spectacular views and the fresh air, but also the design elements unique to western style.