Interior Design with an Equine Twist
An interior designer offers tips for transferring your love of horses to your home décor.
Allison Griest |
July 11, 2014
Drowning in horsey clutter? A bit of imagination can turn an unorganized pile into tasteful equestrian décor.
One of the potentially exciting but often exhausting facts that comes with being a young professional is the need to move every few years. I’ve moved from Kentucky to Texas, from a suburb to the city, and now from one Houston location to another.
One thing that makes me smile, despite the annoying realities of packing, padding and stuffing boxes, is that I get to decorate a new space. While I definitely am not one to go out and buy a bunch of new things, I do enjoy deciding how I want to make my new house (or apartment) feel like home.
I have been pony-crazy since I was in kindergarten, but I realize that not everyone who comes to my home will share my affinity for horses. I want to have horses in my living space, but I don’t want my house to seem like a page out of The Saddle Club. (I have to remind myself – I am an adult.)
I keep seeing equestrian-inspired pieces in common culture. Beyond the fashion fad of riding boots and tight pants (meant to resemble breeches of course, minus the suede knee patches), store windows and magazine covers have hints of horsey inspiration.
I asked a friend of mine, Stacy Andell, about how to decorate with a sophisticated horsey flair. Stacy and her business partner Jill Egan have their own interior design company in Houston, Texas, Luxe Living Interiors.
"When I think of equestrian design or an equestrian-inspired space, I think classic, chic, sophisticated,” Stacy told me. "Horses are elegant.”
Stacy suggested displaying a simple pair of riding boots or a vintage saddle.
Alerts went off in my brain: I already do that! Except my boots are muddy and my saddle is on a metal saddle stand that doesn’t match anything else in my home.
I asked Stacy for a bit more guidance. My muddy tall boots and industrial saddle stand really qualify as clutter in my home right now, not equestrian décor.
Display your vintage or unused tack to give your home a western feel.
"To set a saddle, I would find either a minimal side table or a pedestal that you might use to display a sculpture,” Stacy explained. "You want to make it prominent. Like a sculpture, it’s a piece of art.”
As we chatted, she brought up Ralph Lauren. I love Ralph Lauren. I played polo at Texas Tech for one year, and I remember being so excited to buy a Ralph Lauren button-down shirt with the polo emblem because I was actually playing the sport!
Of course, Ralph Lauren markets to an audience that is not required to play polo. Similarly, Ralph Lauren makes décor that brings in equestrian elements.
"I recently saw a Ralph Lauren polished nickel stirrup lamp,” Stacy mentioned. "It’s a clean, contemporary design but it lends itself to the spirit of a horse.”
Click here for one of the many websites that sells the lamp.
Stacy also had great ideas for decorating the walls with an equestrian vision. She suggested I hang old horse show ribbons in a shadow box or mount them on the wall in an interesting way.
As a nostalgic horse show girl, I do love to look at my ribbons. I like the shadow box idea. It will require me to pick a few specific ribbons rather than an entire string of them, but I think I can make the selections.
One of Stacy’s personal favorite ideas is to frame a scarf with an equestrian print. For example, Hermès, which does makes actual equestrian supplies, also makes jewelry, scarves and more.
Hermès has several different scarf patterns. Even from this page on their website, I can’t decide which one I would want.
I can definitely see Stacy’s idea being a really neat reality. A framed, equestrian-inspired scarf is a much more refined wall accessory than my favorite picture from last year’s horse calendar that is currently taped to the wall.
Your own ribbons, photos and mementos can become a unique, personalized decoration.
Sometimes I open an interior design magazine and feel completely overwhelmed. There’s a reason I’m not an interior designer. Stacy’s simple suggestions give me hope that I can bring in horsey elements into my home décor in a way that is unique to me.
I move in a couple months, and my brain has countless ideas for new ways to decorate using some of the things I already have. Maybe I’ll pick up a couple new things to change things up a bit. I’ll start with a different saddle stand.
Learn more about Stacy’s work at www.luxelivinginteriors.com.
Liked this article? Here's more on equestrian decorating:
11 Ways to Show off Your Horse Show Ribbons
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Interior Design with an Equine Twist