Though the days of the Wild West are long gone, there are still ways that the style of the era can be brought home. Houston has many vestiges remaining of the cowboy days. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is just one of the remaining bits of heritage from the days of roping and riding. The popularity of Western themes does not stop at Houston food and events. This theme can be brought into the home with Western-inspired home furnishings and accessories. When decorating in a Western style, remember that less is more. A few accessories here and there will make a bigger statement than cluttering a room with furniture, and choosing the accessories option will be the cheaper route in many cases. These Western-themed furnishings and accessories can be found at a variety of Houston-area stores for those who know where to look.
Hours: Mon to Sat–10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sun–12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Just walk in the doors of The Arrangement near the Galleria and pick up anything you see. This furniture store specializes in Western-themed home decor and furnishings. Design services are offered to customers who do not know where to begin when decorating their homes. For a classic Western theme, stick with items made of leather or wood, or with horse motifs. This is one of the many places in Houston to find large metal star-shaped wall hangings, frequently used to bring to mind the Lone Star of Texas. For the budget-conscious, pick up some Western blanket-patterned throw pillows or bookends topped with sculpted boots to add a touch of the West without breaking the bank.
If cowboys drank wine in the Wild West, they would have a wine rack like the ones made by Texas Gifts Unlimited. These unique racks are made of horseshoes welded together. Wine bottles fit snugly inside the bend in each of the upward-facing horseshoes. These wine racks combine the distinctive look of horseshoes hung for good luck with a practical use. Be sure to check out the store’s other works of crafted metal art for home display, any of which will be sure to add a hint of the Old West to a home. Locally owned and operated, Texas Gifts Unlimited does its business through the internet because many of the items are handcrafted and require ordering ahead of time.
Hours: Mon to Sat–10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sun–12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Cierra Interiors is where to go to create an eclectic Western theme in the home. This store has items from around the world, but also has a fantastic section of Texas-themed decor. Like other fine home furnishing stores, Cierra Interiors offers design services, but customers are free to create their own look from the items available in the store. Even a single piece like a cowhide rocking chair with a rustic wood frame, or a cowhide floor rug, will help to enforce the Western theme in the home.
Every year in Houston, the first two weeks of March are reserved for rodeo. This is where cowboy and agriculture aficionados gather for displays of roping, riding, animals, and shopping. The shopping experience at the rodeo is second to none for Western-inspired items including home decor, clothing, and indoor and outdoor furnishings. Western arts and crafts found at the show can easily be incorporated into the existing decor, and by dealing directly with the vendors, bargains can be found. Part of the excitement of attending the rodeo for the shopping is not knowing which vendors will be there until that day. For 2012, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo will be held from February 28 through March 13 at Reliant Center.
The Rustic Mile
Hours: Mon. through Sat. — 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
A hallmark of Western designs in the home is wooden furniture with a rustic, weather-beaten look. The Rustic Mile is located just north of the Houston city limits on I-45. From the outside it appears to be a small store in a strip center, but big things are waiting to be seen inside. All of the wood furniture is made of real wood with the type of wood clearly labeled, which is a rarity in many modern furniture stores that specialize in particle board. The prices at The Rustic Mile are much lower than other sites closer into town, and the business offers what they call “Howlin’ Deals” when items are put on sale. If you cannot afford a whole bedroom suite, bring home a single rustic nightstand, or grab a couple of throw pillows and one of their bedding sets, to more cheaply turn your bed into a cowboy’s dream.
Crystal Hessong ia a freelance writer and a lifelong, fourth generation Houstonian. She is currently covering Home & Life. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.