There’s no doubt that Western films, with their tales of fearless cowboys, horse riding and homes on the range, have romanticized the classically American way of life—and for good reason. Not only is the landscape a breathtaking sight, but their style—both personally and on their ranches—has become iconic around the world.
Case in point: The Shaw Ranch, located in the tiny town of Cora, Wyoming, 75 miles south of Jackson Hole. It has a four-bedroom, five-bathroom log cabin mansion spanning more than 8,600 square feet with interior features like massive stone fireplaces, a copper ceiling kitchen, and a home theater. It’s also surrounded by 230 acres of pristine land—framed through a wall of windows in the living room—with three ponds and miles of open pastures.
In this rustic, all-American setting, we show you a modern take on Western style and elevate ranch life to a whole new level. And if you’re so moved by the property itself, know that it’s on the market for $ 4.65 million.
Set the tone as soon as you open the front door. Create an entryway that’s orderly but not too polished, with a color palette inspired by the landscape: dusty reds and a range of blues to capture every shade of the sky, mixed with warm browns.
A rugged leather bench is the perfect landing pad for vintage Stetsons and work gloves, while utilitarian hooks, nailed right into the wall, hold fringe vests, denim jackets, and a lasso for good measure. Look for well-worn cowboy boots to line the floor and subtle colorful elements, like a cobalt flat-weave rug.
Soften your room with plenty of textiles layered over plump leather sofas. Continue the color story you started in the entryway with navy and maroon plaids, shearling throws, and an abstract area rug. Here, books from Wyoming-based authors and goods like ceramics, blankets, and cushions add a local touch.
Taxidermy can also be tasteful. When used sparingly in the right setting, a graceful buck bust, an elk with elegant antlers, or a noble bison—all friendly faces you’ll find at the Shaw Ranch—become statement pieces to be admired, not mocked.
The American West, whether you’re in the deserts of Utah or the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming, is gobsmackingly gorgeous. At the Shaw Ranch, set within the majestic Wind River Range, huge windows are strategically placed to frame the views, bringing picture-perfect scenes into almost every room.
But where views aren’t the focal point (or if you just don’t have any), large-scale photography can be used to bring the outside in. Look to the work of Ansel Adams, creator of some of the most iconic imagery of the American West, for inspiration.
In the study of the Shaw Ranch, a black-and-white photo of wild horses sits on the fireplace mantel. Elements like a candlestick crafted from a deer antler and a chair by a local artisan further celebrate Western riches.
Pair rugged, traditionally Western décor, like a cowhide rug and thick flannel throws, with elegant furniture, like a carved four-poster bed and an antique daybed, to add an element of luxury. Dress your bed with layers of super-soft bedding, blankets, and pillows to create the ultimate sleeping space. For a homespun feel, use a quilt or bedspread with woven detailing in a muted red and blue pattern to bring in your all-American color palette.
Accent the room with striped throws in washed-out hues and pillows featuring geometric diamond patterns. Warm, sunkissed neutrals make for a calming backdrop, while mason jars and ceramic pitchers filled with wildflowers keep the look grounded in the wild West.
There’s no doubt that clothing and accessories are a huge part of the Western aesthetic, and they make excellent props when outfitting a room. Consider vintage-inspired lace dresses as decorative window treatments, and lay out turquoise and silver jewelry on a tray. It not only utilizes your bijoux as art, but makes for easy access when getting dressed in the morning.
Vintage belts and hats add layered detail when strung over a mirror or chair, and cowboy boots look pretty when lined up underneath a fireplace or window.
Go for a look that’s part off-the-grid camping, part landscaped backyard. Instead of low-slung Adirondack chairs for fireside lounging—they’re comfy, but also ubiquitous—choose something more unique, like pieces made from rough-hewn branches. Layered fabrics and pillows bring the inside out, and will give guests something to cozy up with during cool evenings.
If a fire pit isn’t an option, recreate campfire vibes with a deck-appropriate grill. Whip up a batch of chili and cornbread (recipe below), and serve alongside spiked hot chocolate. And of course, no campfire is complete without s’mores. Heck, even if you can’t build a fire in your backyard, you can still roast marshmallows on the stove.
Campfire Skillet Cornbread
● 1 cup cornmeal, medium grind
● 1/2 cup flour
● 1 tablespoon baking powder
● 1/2 teaspoon salt
● 1 cup milk
● 1 egg
● 2 tablespoons honey
● 1/2 tablespoon oil
1. In a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt to combine.
2. Add the milk, egg, and honey to the dry ingredients. Mix with a fork until fully incorporated.
3. Over your campfire, heat the oil in your cast iron skillet. Swirl to coat the bottom (be sure to use something to protect you from the heat—the skillet will get very hot!). Pour the batter into the skillet, ensuring that it’s in an even layer. Cover the skillet with foil, crimping the foil around the edges, or cover with a lid.
4. Cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, then move off the head and let the bread rest (still covered) for an additional 5 minutes.
5. Cut into slices and enjoy with a big bowl of chili!