So often, my clients ask me to include Native American motifs in the rooms I design for them. I'm happy to do it--there are some fabulous Indian inspired fabrics out there right now. In fact, Ralph Lauren makes some of the best of them.
I've used Native American motifs in tile work, on lamp shades, in wrought iron. I also love to pick up old Pendleton and Indian Blankets and have my workroom make them into curtains and toss pillows.
It seems that Western style has been a part of lodge decorating for most of this century. But there's one Western designer from the 1930's that really did it best. In fact, no one has come close since, Thomas Molesworth.
Molesworth and his colony of artists at the Shoshone Furniture Company in Cody, Wyoming made Western inspired furniture, decorative ironwork, lighting, floor treatments, Navajo inspired carpets, oil paintings and Indian artifacts. Molesworth, who studied at the Chicago Institute of Art, is best known for his use of bright colors, silhouettes, "pole" detailing, burls, large brass tacks, leather fringe and Native American motifs.
Molesworth's style was definitely influenced by the popular Arts and Crafts, Stickley and Mission style furniture movements of the day. However, he brought his own love of horses and all things Western to make his furniture his own.
Original Molesworth furnishings are highly collectable today. The chair above is an original Molesworth. Auctioned in 2007, it brought in an estimated $10-20,000.
If you love Molesworth style but can't afford to buy the originals, there are knock-offs available from several rustic furniture companies today. Above, a burl style pedestal table, silhouette chairs in Molesworth style available through the Santos Furniture Company of Cody, Wyoming.
Above and below, more Molesworth pieces currently in production at the Santos Furniture Company.
Perhaps, however, the most talented of the current Molesworth influenced artisans is Marc Taggart. Taggart's Molesworth inspired pieces move forward in a way that Thomas Molesworth himself would heartily approve of if he were alive today.
Above, Marc Taggart's Cowboy Entertainment Center.
A Molesworth inspired chair from the Marc Taggart studio.
And above, The Marc Taggart Plains Indians Credenza...stunning!
If you're interested in learning more about Thomas Molesworth, there's a gorgeous coffee table book out, and honestly, if you love Western design, you've gotta have this! It's called "Molesworth The Pioneer of Western Design" by Terry Winchell. Perfect afternoon reading for a snowy day--just throw a log on the fire and snuggle up in an antique Pendleton blanket, of course!