The unique look of rawhide lamp shades for kitchens and country decorating has been popular since the end of the great depression when women first began to look at their homes in ways other than utilitarian. This was the case with not only kitchens, but living rooms and later family rooms and dens as well. What is also now called southwest décor and western style as well as ranch style came naturally as the designs sprung from the use of everyday items. The same was true with country style homes. As the wealthier class began to have second homes called country homes, the working class began to use the same techniques in their homes too.
As lanterns and oil lamps gave way to the first rustic lamps it was rawhide that was one of the first chosen materials to serve as a shade. If you like the handcrafted work and style of a bygone area, the rustic texture and color tones of natural rawhide will definitely be part of what you want to incorporate into your country kitchen. There are also a few other elements that will help you create the country style look.
For a country kitchen consider the natural look of wood. It’s best to keep with a primitive or rustic style. Rough edges and uneven surfaces are desirable. If you have a large kitchen, darker woods can be used whereas lighter tones are better for smaller areas. Rawhide lamp shades should be used in any area where a table lamp or desk lamp would be placed. Depending on the layout of your kitchen, a floor lamp may also be utilized. One fabulous feature of rawhide shades is that they are available in light or dark as well as colors to fit your particular color palette.
As you use rawhide lamp shades and rustic wood furniture you will be delighted to see the dramatic impact they make. With these two elements in place the back drop will be set. Now, there are a few other things to consider that will bring the kitchen to life. Along with rawhide, lamps and rough wood furniture pieces in the kitchen, the single largest contributors to a country kitchen are area rugs. Not the machine made versions but real hand woven wool rugs with their rich colors and wonderful textures. This is where you can really shine. You have complete control at this point.
Play it safe with earth tones of tan, cream and rust or be bold and use a rich orange, red, blue or green. If you would like to have a western kitchen flavor just add dark red with grey, black and white. If you feel like a southwest kitchen, choose a southwest rug with a turquoise background or accents. Different patterns can be used around the space if the same color schemes are used. The great thing about wool weavings is they are so versatile. Not only great on the floor, they also make perfect wall hangings because they are of tapestry quality. Place a long narrow wool table runner or a small woven rug on your table as a centerpiece base. Carry the theme to floor runners in hallways, in front of the counter or behind an island. It’s hard to go wrong because woven wool rugs add so much to the overall design with the hand hewn wood and hand laced rawhide shades.
By now your room is coming alive and looking great. It just needs some accessories to give it the “wow” factor and pull the whole thing together. One of the best types of accessory is Indian pottery. Use clay vases on the table or counter with dried flowers or eucalyptus. Native American pottery is perfect for the look because it is usually hand coiled and more primitive in appearance. Place it around the room and use pitcher and bowl sets or painted dishes to set the table atmosphere. Add to the homey feel with hand carved wooden dough bowls, a primitive log ladder or wrought iron. As you will see, all of these elements build on each other for a wonderful country kitchen and with a few variations on color you can also include elements of western style or southwestern decor.
As you consider adding rawhide lamp shades to your kitchen, along with the other design elements, it may not be necessary to buy new lamps. Rustic lamps are desirable but it is the leather lampshades that make the difference. You may be able to use lamps you already have. It’s amazing what a transformation is made with rawhide lamp shades.
Craig Chambers is an expert on Rawhide Lamp Shades and rustic decor who has written numerous articles and built a website filled with information about various types of country style, southwest rugs and western style decorating.