Texas Ranch Furniture
Dust; cactus; broncos; branding. A long, lonely trail; cowboy ditties sung to the soft sound of a guitar around a campfire. Thirst; Indians, both hostile and friendly; pine trees set against lofty mountains. This was the world of the brave men and women who brought civilization to the West, making their own trails, building history, building homes in a hostile environment, creating rustic ranch furniture from whatever materials were to hand.
Around the turn of the century, Buffalo Bill Cody's 'Wild West Show' captured the imagination of the civilized world with its portrayal of the excitements and hardships of ranch life in the West. This lifestyle has continued to hold a place in the hearts of those who long for adventure, for solitude, for the beauty of an unspoiled environment, and for the chance to live life to the full using initiative and courage.
Ranch Pole and Plank Furniture
The great American heritage of the Wild West was continued in the 'dude ranches' that became popular in the early part of the 20th century. Entrepreneurs of this period such as Carl Dunrud created pole and plank furniture in the style of the pioneers for these ranches, and unwittingly began a great tradition in American furniture. Popular ranch resorts such as Kings Ranch used the styles of the furniture ranch hands built by hand in the Wild West era.
Ranch Furniture Origins
In 1931, American furniture designer Thomas Molesworthy created a popular range of upmarket Ranch Style furniture, borrowing ideas from the Craftsman style, as well as the Eastern Lodge style. Emphasizing quality of materials and workmanship, Molesworthy created a functional and attractive style of his own which was soon copied by other manufacturers.
Brandt Ranch Oak Furniture
Molesworthy's originals were handcrafted and expensive. Popular demand for this type of American furniture at a more affordable price gave rise to the Brandt Ranch Oak furniture range. A. Brandt of Fort Worth began producing well-made, solid, comfortable ranch-style furniture in the 1940's. Made from white oak, finished with white wax, and often bearing western motifs such as wagon wheels or bucking broncos, Brandt Ranch Oak furniture was built to last a lifetime. This Texas ranch furniture was an instant success. The spacious Ranch Style homes then becoming popular were the ideal setting for A. Brandt Ranch Oak furniture: Bunk beds, spacious oak dressers, wide, low-set, padded arm chairs, and gleaming solid oak dining tables. The Brandt Oak factory closed in 1988, and examples of its Texas ranch style furniture have become sought-after collector's items.
Ranch style decor is all about space, natural materials, and plenty of solid, good quality American wood, such as oak, pine or hickory. Light, honey-colored finishes predominate. Ranch style furniture is functional, comfortable and hardwearing, as well as being attractive, especially when offset by stonework fireplaces, warm colored soft furnishings, and Western accessories. 1940's ranch oak furniture is not only an attractive way to furnish your home; it is also an investment, since it is durable and likely to appreciate in value.