Wagon Wheels Are on a Roll

Remember the scene in When Harry Met Sally in which a personality lugs his cherished wagon wheel desk into the garbage heap, having lost a struggle with his fiancée to maintain it? Wagon wheels have been the butt of style jokes since … well, forever. One of my former magazine colleagues employed the expression for any interior that she discovered dated and overburdened. “It’s a small bit wagon wheel,” she’d say as we studied scouting photos — and no further discussion was required.

But wagon wheels are not necessarily the kiss of death for insides. In the appropriate setting, treated in a fresh and creative manner, or reimagined as sculptural accents, they can look remarkably cool (yes, trendy). And they are not confined to rustic or Old West decoration; they have a place in all sorts of design styles.

Still skeptical? Pay attention to the wagon wheel ideas below, then make a comment and tell us what you think.

Crisp Architects

This is country style done correctly. In 1 corner we have an elegant upholstered armchair, graceful draperies and an Oriental rug; in the other, a tree-twig chandelier, a firewood barrel and a wagon wheel propped on the mantel. The rustic accents dress down the space, but its layout chops are unmistakable.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

A wagon wheel peeks in the top of the stair landing inside this house. It harmonizes well with the wood surfaces and distressed accents and provides a little levity into the eclectic, brightly colored setting.


This primitive wagon wheel lacks the typical spokes and rim, and consequently it takes on a completely new personality within this Asian-style space. Its circle-within-a-circle layout whispers of calmness and flow; its positioning on a rack elevates it into art standing.

John Lively & Associates

Wagon wheelback seats offer a down-home welcome that suits these Texas digs.

Ira Frazin Architect

An overscale wheel-inspired light fixture looms over this living area. Its sheer size, coupled with a deep reddish finish, gives it flair.

Gates & Croft Horticultural Design

Perched alongside a pair of metal horse sculptures, wagon wheels provide this garden a Wild West mien that escapes clichés.

Lynne Barton Bier – Home on the Range Interiors

Wagon wheel chandeliers have been around the scene for a while, but this two-tier version — full of lantern-style colors — looks especially chic. It brings the high ceiling in this great area and enhances the Western sensibility of a Colorado mountain house.

Dwell by Design

A row of alloy rims frames this patio and gives off a vibe that is more industrial than country.

Perhaps you have persuaded you? Allow me to know below!

See related