Within the last couple of years, both halves of OR relocated to new homes. Coincidentally, each of our abodes are updated colonial farmhouses originally constructed two to three centuries ago. It’s hard not to fall smitten with the charming architectural techniques of provincial America: details such as original, exposed, hand-hewn beams; stone foundations; cozy (read: tiny) rooms; and iron thumb-latch doorknobs with matching flush mount hinges. However, the elements of this particular type of build can make decorating a little bit…tricky. Like most aesthetes, we like a mix of old with new, and so the overtly pioneering theme left us scratching our heads. How is one to display an appreciation for contemporary design in an antiquated space? How is one to incorporate an equestrian sensibility without the feel of being in an actual barn? And since we’ve all been in a home with one too many horse-themed tchotchkes, where does one draw the line between tasteful decor and kitsch?

For fun and inspiration, we turned to Manhattan-based interior designer Nicole Fuller, who is grappling with the same “dilemmas” since she and her husband recently purchased their own rural residence in the horse country of nearby Duchess County. With international projects frequently lauded by Architectural Digest, Nicole is known for her cool-girl fashion sense, eclectic touches, out-of-the-box ideas, and infectious laugh.  She’s a non-rider who is particularly inspired by the lifestyle we all embrace, so she happily accepted our challenge to deliver five modern interpretations of home decor ideas that capture the equestrian flair without exaggerating the reality that “a horse-obsessed person lives here.”

Inspiration: Stitched Leather

“This probably seems like the most obvious way to incorporate a rider’s passion into the home, but like everything else, it’s how you do it.  I love leather placemats with stitching around the edges.  They can be used in any season, for any occasion, and look good on any surface material.  Paired with imperfect pottery, or pretty china, they add masculine elegance…The same goes for picture frames.  I love a gallery wall of family photos down a guest room hallway that only your close friends will see.  I recently used antique frames with a braided stitching motif by Chelsea Frames.”

Inspiration: Burlap

“This is a popular material especially for small benches and ottomans. But imagine a wall covered in burlap!  Even for just a small powder room, it gives the space a warmth and a texture.”

Inspiration: Framed Antique Scarves

“The next time you are in an antique store or consignment shop, look for oversized, colorful equestrian-themed scarves. When framed, they are beautiful and graphic on a wall, especially when displayed in a modern Lucite case.”

Inspiration: Braided Leather

“I have used this detail in so many residential projects.  From bar stools with braided leather-covered legs to desk accessories and reading lamps.”

Inspiration: Horse Hair

“I was so excited when I found these handsome horse hair (no harm done!) wall sconces.  I also know that a lock of horse hair can be of sentimental value, and so I came up with the idea of suspending it inside of a picture frame with a photo of your late horse.”