Saddle Up for Derby-Inspired Decor

Some things are a given. Here in New England, we show and sell a lot of traditionally styled fabrics, furniture and accessories.  One constant is the use of horses and celebrating the equestrian lifestyle in home decor.

We found this “equestrian chic” Stirrup End Table online at Clayton Gray Home with antique brass handles, chocolate leather table legs and smoked glass. Love it!
Stirrup end table

Table by Arteriors Home

Ralph Lauren is probably the best known designer for using horse inspired design in his clothing and home fashion lines and fabrics for bedding, window treatments and upholstery.
Westbury chandelier by Ralph Lauren
He’s even carried it into lighting as seen in his “Westbury” chandelier here with leather bridle accents.

Run for the Roses

Ralph Lauren's Bedford Manor CollectionRalph Lauren’s Bedford Manor Collection
The lifestyle evoked by the equestrian set is glamorous. Think of the hit series, Downton Abbey (which is partially funded by Ralph Lauren Corporation) where the Crawley family entertains the upper crust at their country manor, and you conjure up the feel of Lord and Lady Grantham saddled up for a cross country romp.

Plaids are further inspiration from the British Isles. They are perfect to use to upholster a club chair in your den or library, while floral fabrics for window treatments in a guest room of your lake house give a rustic sophistication connected to history and nature.

In addition to numerous fabrics, we love trims made from leather that give the feel of riding boots and saddles. In fact, some are braided leather like a whip (giddy-up)! This flat-braided trim by Highland Court shows a rider in all her glory and would be perfect on the bottom of a valance or to trim a duvet or pillow.
Highland Court "2 1/2" Horses and Hounds Tape in Bluegrass from the Saratoga Trimmings Collection.

Highland Court “2 1/2” Horses and Hounds Tape in Bluegrass from the Saratoga Trimmings Collection.

Climbing the Walls

Hunt scenes were a staple for Currier and Ives prints for many years and inspired murals and prints that continue to be featured on wallpaper today like Thibaut’s Equestrian pattern in their Castle Pine Collection seen here.

Thibaut’s Equestrian pattern in their Castle Pine Collection

We’ve used a sweet Gymkhana wallpaper pattern that we found at Fabric and Papers.com as the featured image on this post. It would be a perfect addition to the room of a girl who takes riding lessons.

Horsing Around

Ceramic horse figures make great accessories to flank the mantle or to hold back books on a bookshelf.

Equestrian artwork can give the feel of the American west and work in a cabin or a lodge.

Traditional horse artwork blends with traditional interiors. “Prize winning racehorses and show horses have had their portraits painted since time immemorial,” said designer, Anthony Barratta of Anthony Barratta, LLC. “Rifle through flea market stalls and booths at antiques fairs to find your own slice of equestrian history in the form of a vintage horse painting.”

Traditional Staircase by New York Interior Designers & Decorators Anthony Baratta LLCTraditional Staircase by New York Interior Designers & Decorators Anthony Baratta LLC

A more abstract horse with a flying tail and mane could accent a teenager’s hip bedroom or a youthful loft apartment with soaring ceilings and neutral-colored upholstery. See how this style of equestrian artwork can make a statement in contemporary decor.

Contemporary Living Room by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke TriggsContemporary Living Room by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Contemporary Family Room by New York Interior Designers & Decorators Marie Burgos DesignContemporary Family Room by New York Interior Designers & Decorators Marie Burgos Design

 Tally Ho!

So, while you are tuning into the Kentucky Derby on May 3, take in the hats, stunning and athletic horses, fearless jockeys and celebrate all that is equestrian by hosting a Kentucky Derby party. Invite your “nay”bors over (we couldn’t resist) and serve country ham with biscuits, Kentucky hot browns, chocolate bourbon pecan pie and of course, mint juleps. Use Southern Living’s “Kentucky Derby Party Check List” as a guide.

For more ideas on equestrian-inspired décor, please visit our Saddle Up! Equestrian Décor board on Pinterest. Tally ho!