How to Choose a Wall Color in a Western Room


The red rock formations, stately green cacti and multicolored sunsets are all signatures of the West. The muted, earthy tones and bright, vivid hues born from the Native American and Spanish cultures of the region can bring a sense of warmth and comfort to any room. When you want to decorate with a Western theme, here are some things to consider when choosing the wall colors for the room.

Things You'll Need

  • Paint samples
  • Fabric samples
  • Carpet or flooring samples
  • Do some research. Hit the local library or bookstore and delve into the interior-decorating books, those about Native American, Spanish and Southwest architecture and design, and magazines that feature Western and Southwestern design.

  • Know your limitations. If you are starting from scratch, with new floors, window treatments and furniture, you will have more freedom to explore a variety of color palettes. If the furniture and flooring are already in place, you will have to work with the existing color scheme when deciding upon wall colors. Consider accent pieces as well. Wall hangings, rugs, pottery and artwork can help give you ideas for new Western colors.

  • Choose neutral tones in the beige, camel and sand families if your accent pieces, flooring or furniture provide the focal colors for the room. Choose deep, warm hues if the accents and furniture are neutral in tone. A Western-themed room is not the place to try a monochromatic color scheme.

  • Take samples of flooring, carpet or a drapery panel with you to the local paint store or home-improvement center. You'll want to choose samples that coordinate or at least complement the samples. Gather paint samples in a variety of colors and tones, focusing on earthy tones, and warm, rich colors in a variety of reds, browns and brighter tones such as yellows, oranges and even turquoise.

  • Compare samples in the room. First during daylight, with windows open, and later as skies darken, then finally at night, with room lighting on. The appearance of wall color can change dramatically as lighting changes within a room. You'll be able to see which colors won't hold up under all lighting conditions, or don't have the right undertones to support the other colors in the room.

  • Use your brain. Envision each color on the walls. See, in your mind, how it will look with the window treatments, flooring and furniture. Imagine yourself enveloped in the room with that color and how it makes you feel. A Western decor should be warm and inviting, invoking a sense of calm and hospitality. If the color doesn't help to give you this feeling, keep looking until you find one that does!

Tips & Warnings

  • Enlist help from family and friends when picking colors. Everything is not required to match perfectly. Go with the colors that make you happy, even when they don't match other elements of the room.

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