Chic Equestrian Style in Home Decor

It was a recent post by High-Heeled Foot in the Door regarding her love for elephants and a missed opportunity at a lamp that made me think about what I love to collect and display. My mother and grandmother’s love for all things equestrian got me first hooked on horses. You may recall from this post, that a gorgeous Imperial horse oil painting by my grandmother hangs in my home. I have several other smaller horse figures and items, but have naturally been eyeing this reproduction ceramic Tang Dynasty horse at Gump’s for some time.

Although around for hundreds of years, it was Ralph Lauren who mainstreamed the equestrian style in our homes. With its origins from the English countryside, leather upholstery with nailhead and substantial dark-wood furnishings come to mind. However, today’s designers are incorporating the love of horses more subtly and in a variety of design styles.

Designer William Hodgins installed dark wood paneling in his Virginia home’s family room {via House Beautiful}. A large equestrian painting pulls our attention. It is mixed with a Niermann Weeks game table and a sofa covered in soft blue Edelman leather and an antique French mantel.

In this Malibu, California home by architect Steven Giannetti and designer Madeline Stuart, the homeowners also communicate their love for horses in original artwork in this elegant living room.

Style at Home editor Erin McLaughlin has also incorporated her love for horses in her home’s interior design. The dreamy portraits of her Oldenburg-cross gelding by artist friend Jenn Pratt are hung in her simple, but elegant entry.

This beautiful living room via Desire to Inspire has a chic, modern equestrian feel with antlers on the coffee table and a stunning horse painting. Photograph by Moris Moreno.

Boston’s Christine Lane Interiors captures a contemporary equestrian feel in this bedroom by including a large black & white photograph of a family of horses.

New York-based designer Amanda Nisbet stacks colorful jockey and horse racing posters beside the desk in this bedroom.

Designer Scott Sanders incorporated horse prints and drawings in the salon-style arrangement on the stairway wall in this new house in the heart of New Jersey’s horse country. {photo via House Beautiful}

In the Kentucky getaway {hallway above} of New York fashion designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka, the decor is kept simple with mostly bare floors and no window treatments. Most of the home is painted in Sherwin-Williams’s Modern Gray. The cool color is balanced with the various warm wood tones throughout the space. As Mischka states in Elle Decor, “We’ve never really been comfortable with color in our homes,” he says. “We work with it so much in our business that we like a clean palette where we live.”

The Badgley Mischka home is beautifully done in the equestrian style without going overboard. Here in the guest bedroom the furnishings are, not surprisingly, vintage Ralph Lauren.

Do you love a particular animal enough to incorporate it in your interior design?

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18 Responses to Chic Equestrian Style in Home Decor

  1. Charlotta Ward March 17, 2010 at 3:33 am #

    I LOVE horse prints – especially over- sized close ups. This has been one of my cravings since last year and came out of nowhere..
    I have a very clever photographer husband and I am on his back to shoot some amazing horses next time we are in Wintery Sweden (my home country). I would love a photo of a horse breathing smoke in the crisp frosty air.



  2. The Goods Design March 6, 2010 at 12:10 am #

    LOVE the equestrian chic vibe. SO classic. I have incorporated some birds in my house (my dining room wallpaper) and definitely fell in love with the owl trend a few months back…)

  3. Emily A. Clark March 3, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Maybe it's because of my Kentucky roots, but I am loving this horse trend in design right now. I only actually have one in my house, though. My favorite are the jockey/horse posters in the office image.

  4. La Dolfina March 3, 2010 at 4:13 am #

    I love the mythological venetian stylized dolphin… hence the name la dolfina.
    This is a wonderful post on a more modern equestrian theme. Ralph Lauren is good but I'm liking the more modern elements like the large piece of art with the horses in the bedroom. Way cool.

  5. Bromeliad March 3, 2010 at 1:27 am #

    Lovely, lovely. And I'm not even into horses.

  6. DesignTies March 2, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    I'm a horse-lover too, but I don't really have many horse-related decorative items in my house.

    I love the paintings in the entry of Erin McLaughlin's home. And the jockey prints in the Amanda Nisbet office are great. Also really like the guest bedroom in the last picture 🙂


  7. Pinecone Camp March 2, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    You're slowly helping me with my fear of horses! I love the large BW horse print in the bedroom.

  8. lucy@fourwallsandaroof March 2, 2010 at 4:42 am #

    I don't particularly love horses but I do agree that they add a sense of elegance and sophistication to a home. I love Franciso Costa and John De Stefano's house – De Stefano is a horse trainer – they have some amazing equestrian photos.

  9. Cristin March 2, 2010 at 12:53 am #

    Thank you Jennifer! Love your work. I have included a link in this post and will update/add Roberto too.

    Many thanks!

  10. jennprattequineartist March 2, 2010 at 12:46 am #

    Thank you for shining a spotlight on Equestrian Art and Decor. You have chosen a fantastic collection and thank you for including my paintings in Erin's Style at Home shoot.

    In case you were wondering, the larger scale photography in two of the homes you have shown, and in the link to House Beautiful, are the work of Roberto Dutesco – from his Sable Island series. They are truly stunning – here is a link to his work too ~



  11. Cristin March 1, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    Struggler, you are hilarious!

    Averill, that is an excellent example. Thanks for pointing it out!

    Thanks for reading!


  12. Averill March 1, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    The dining room in Thom Filicia's showhouse (featured in House Beautiful) has another gorgeous example of equestrian art:

    As for me, my house is covered in dachshunds! A pair of bookends, a salt & pepper shaker, a Jonathan Adler white ceramic…I can't get enough!!!

  13. Kathysue March 1, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    Hi I started noticing horse statues etc a few years ago. I think they add such an interest and sophistication to a room They do not work in my home but I really appreciate what they can add to a room. A trophy cup , however, is something I would love to have and I have been fascinated with those for years. Great Post, Kathysue

  14. AB HOME Interiors March 1, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    This pics are just lovely. The image of the green and white equestrian riding gear is just stunning.

  15. Lovely Scribbles March 1, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    I love elephants! I like that the elephant symbolizes “wisdom”. It's kind of weird, and it doesn't really fit any other theme in my house, but I have elephant candles and bookends, and I'm looking for the perfect elephant for my mantel.

  16. Chic Coles March 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    I have the same obsession! Horses are my #1 favorite above any others… obviously I love all animals but I think equine art and design is awesome!

  17. Struggler March 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    Although I'm not normally drawn to orange, I love both the bedroom and office you feature above. I had also torn out the staircase pic from House Beautiful!
    I suspect my problem is picking just one animal to feature at home, at a rough guess I have:
    Horses: 1
    Pelicans: 1
    Peacocks: 2
    Elephants: 2
    Giraffes: 1
    Oh dear. Honestly, it doesn't look as bad as it sounds!! 🙁

  18. The Zhush March 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    I have a small collection of horsey things here. We don't ride, but we do live in “horse country”. Was collecting of another sort…images, for a similar post! You have done it to such great effect, may have to hold off on this one.