How to Makeover a Living Room With Cowgirl Chic & Desert Boho Decor

Katy | LaughCryDIY
by Katy | LaughCryDIY

Howdy, y’all! Today, I’m going to share with you some desert boho decor ideas! This is the first part of a larger Cosmic Cowgirl Airbnb desert house makeover project, which I’m really excited to share with you.

My friend contacted me about helping him makeover his Joshua Tree Airbnb, so I hopped on my horse and rode all the way here to turn the “D” in “DIY” into “Desert.” First up, we’re tackling the desert-themed living room.

Our goal today is to define zones within the living room and make them visually appealing. This is a vacation rental property, so we want to make it a really bright, fun place for anybody to come and enjoy their beautiful desert vacation.

Keep reading and watching to discover how to turn your own home into a desert oasis.

Tools and materials

Living room before the makeover

1. Start with a clean slate

Here’s the property before John bought it. The first thing we did was paint the house white in order to start with a blank canvas.

Living room painted white

2. Paint half the wall

I’m going to do something that will make the room feel taller and that is paint half the wall a certain color. This technique adds a nice color base to the room while leaving the top half open gives the illusion that the room is taller than it is.

Use a level to draw a perfectly straight line with a chalk pencil, then mark off the area with painter’s tape. Wipe away the chalk pencil so that it doesn’t peek out from the paint.

Tip: How to get a crisp line

Even though it’s pretty easy to paint a half wall, the key to a good half wall is a stunningly crisp line. And the truth is that if you just do painter’s tape, you're actually not going to get a crisp line. Likely, a little bit of paint is still going to bleed through just enough to drive you crazy.

The true key to getting a clean crisp line is to run a quick line of paint in your base color along the tape.

How to paint a crisp line

For the color, we decided to bring some of those beautiful golden desert sunset hues to life with Brass Mesh by PPG Paints. Look how clean that line is!

How to get a crisp line when painting a wall

3. Stencil the top half of the wall

We could stop there with the half wall, but maximalists are gonna maximalist, so we’re going to do a stencil design on the top half. First, I made a custom stencil; the Navajo-inspired triangle shapes represent the surrounding mountains.

Wall stencil

Next, I used my level to draw a grid on the walls.

Drawing a grid on the wall with a level

I traced the stencil onto the wall. Again, using chalk pencils.

Tracing the stencil

Finally, I marked the shapes with painter’s tape and washi tape, then painted them. This took a long time!

Painting over the stencil and painter's tape

4. Style the space

We brought in a rug that fits the desert theme, as well as a sofa in a dark rich leather with cool hammer detail.

Styling the living room with desert boho decor

I found some cheap cane end tables that fit the small space on either side of the sofa, plus hanging light fixtures that are easy to install, can be adjusted, and just plug into outlets.

Desert boho hanging lights

Next, we added some wooden furniture pieces that we found on Facebook Marketplace.

Wooden bench

The owners wanted a mirror in the space. Plus, this room has somewhat lower ceilings than normal, and the way the windows are, it's darker than normal, so we wanted to bring in a mirror to bounce some light around the space.

Normally, when I have a half-wall situation, I prefer to hang a big piece of art or a mirror on the wall divide to tie things together, but practically, I don’t think it will work in this spot because somebody could easily knock the mirror with their luggage.

So, we're going to do a more unusual thing and hang a long horizontal mirror here instead.

Hanging a mirror horizontally

5. Finishing touches

A mid-century credenza helped hold the big TV that guests can use to watch movies (or the LaughCryDIY YouTube channel). Plus, we added a simple armchair with clean lines.

For more desert boho decor, we sourced relevant artwork, cow-print accessories, pops of greenery from faux plants, a Joshua Tree throw pillow, a succulent throw pillow, and a custom Cosmic Cowgirl doormat, plus matching coasters.

Personally, I think we should all name our homes like this.

DIY desert boho living room

Here’s the final reveal! Well, partners, it's been quite a ride through this dusty desert. What do you think of this living room makeover and the desert boho design style? Let us know in the comments below.

Stay tuned because we are finishing the rest of the spaces this Airbnb all month long.

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