Little equestrian touches in our homes tend to be par for the course.
Bits and pieces from the barn wander home and don’t wander back again; cracked old riding boots that we just can’t part with become part of the foyer. Whether we plan it or not, as equestrians, we tend to bring the stable home with us.
Ready to embrace your inability to separate work from home, tack room from living room? Here are three ways to create an equestrian-themed look that will tell all your friends and visitors: yeah, we’ve got horses… and style.
Shabby chic: still a thing, fifteen years after Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic was a design book bestseller? Always, but now we tend to call it vintage. What does it mean? Reused items that generally look as if they’ve had a tough life, softened with lace and lampshades. LaurieAnna’s Vintage Home has a wonderful example of an equestrian bedroom, decorated with a bowl of old polo balls, a horse show trophy that doubles as a flower vase, and even a sliding barn door with a delightfully distressed feel. See it all here: http://laurieannas.blogspot.com/2012/01/farmhouse-bedroom-reveal-farmhouse.html
Tack masquerading as art: look, we all know that nothing looks finer than a bit hanging on a wall. Symmetry speaks to a horseman’s soul (especially one who rides dressage) and bits are the ultimate in simple symmetry. Take a look at the way this designer made a contemporary and definitely non-equestrian space into a secret study in the perfection of the bit: your non-horsey guests won’t even know what hit them, and your horsey one won’t be able to stop examining the tack-art on the walls: http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/tips-techniques/designers-rooms-00000000007898/page2.html
Say it with plaid: It’s so equestrian a few tack companies have actually started making plaid saddles. We won’t comment on how advisable this fashion statement might be, but you’ll never fail to make an English country statement when you use plenty of plaid. Tartans, black watches, whatever you like — pair plaids with dark wood and brass to evoke tack trunks and stable fittings, hang a few hunting prints on the walls, and you have made an equestrian haven Ralph Lauren would love to relax in after a few chukkas of polo. For an inspiring look at the sheer variety of plaids, check out this interior design blog by a true tartan devotee: http://tartanscot.blogspot.com/2014/04/national-tartan-day-2014.html
You know what they say, a house isn’t a home until you find a hoof-pick in the silverware drawer. (That is a saying, isn’t it? It’s not just our house? Good.) Simple equestrian style is within reach — and then you can tell your guests the hoof-pick was supposed to be there.