Create a Western Themed Bar

Interior design inspiration from the Wild West

For a bar with a difference, take inspiration from the American West and create an interesting, characterful space that is built for a party.

If you’re looking to create a bar with a difference, why not opt for a western theme? After all, the Wild West is known for its raucous saloons, and with some clever styling and accessories, you can bring this exciting period of history into the twenty first century.

Rustic finishes

A great western-themed bar is all about the rustic finishes, so avoid adding anything that looks too modern or polished. Reclaimed or distressed wood is perfect for the flooring and, if possible, add some wooden panelling to the walls to create a rustic, ‘spit and sawdust’ atmosphere. And don’t forget about your ceiling! A pressed tin ceiling will help to give you that authentic western vibe, and it’s easy to fake with lightweight tin-effect tiles that are simple to install, and look as good as the real thing.

cow hide bar stoolEclectic furniture

To really get the look and feel of the old Wild West, try combining your rustic surroundings with eclectic furniture. We’re talking round wooden poker tables, reclaimed wooden chairs, rustic cowhide bar stools, and even some swinging saloon doors if you can get hold of them. If budget and space allows, you could also add an old upright piano – perfect for an end of the night singalong.The great thing about this look is that your furniture doesn’t have to be in perfect condition. A few dents and dings will help to add to that authentic atmosphere.

Antique accessories

Rustic finishes and authentic furniture may form the backbone of your bar, but to really bring it to life you need to embellish it with interesting old and antique-style accessories. Source items such as western style antique mirrors, brass spittoons or crystal stemware, and stock your bar with vintage brandy and whiskey bottles. You’ll be surprised at the difference these little changes can make to the finished room.

Interesting wall décor

On the walls is where you can really go to town with the décor and accessories. Liven up the room with replica tin advertisement signs for alcohol and tobacco products, posters for circuses and wild west shows, mounted deer or elk heads, and black and white photographs in ornate vintage frames. For a fun twist you could even take black and white photos of friends and family and turn them into ‘Wanted: Dead or Alive’ posters.

Vintage lighting

Lighting is an important element of any room, and your western bar is no different. Stick with the theme and opt for vintage-style lighting, such as old kerosene lamps or replica antique oil lamps with hurricane shades. These can be freestanding or mounted on the wall or ceiling, and if the thought of using oil or kerosene concerns you, you can always opt for electric versions, which look just as effective. If you’re after something a bit more eye-catching, go all-out with a chandelier made from a wagon wheel or elk antlers. This may be a pricier option, but it will certainly make a statement!

Once you have your décor and furnishings just right, your western style bar is ready to go. So, invite around all of your favourite cowboys and cowgirls, and get ready for a wild time.