Year of the Horse: A Contemporary Approach to Equestrian Design

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Happy New Year! It may be a month into 2014, but Chinese New Year celebrations are just beginning. Of the many ways to mark the occasion (Lion dance, anyone?), perhaps a room redo is in order—one inspired by this year’s sign under the Chinese Zodiac. Welcome the Year of the Horse into your living space with these contemporary decorative accents.

Contemporary Sculpture

Year of the HorseImage: Jonathan Adler

For many, equestrian design is synonymous with grand English estates, rustic country homes, or Ralph Lauren ad campaigns. The style may lean traditional, but a few well-chosen pieces can add an equestrian flair to the most contemporary of homes. Take, for example, Jonathan Adler’s interpretation of the classic prancing horse sculpture: while it may reference motifs of the “Tang Dynasty or 19th-Century England,” this sculpture works well within a modern aesthetic.

Year of the HorseImage: Atmosphere Interior Design

Another equine option is a gleaming white, horse head sculpture. Place it atop the coffee table or a pedestal for a striking addition to your living space.

Year of the HorseImage: Lonny Magazine

Contemporary Artwork

Year of the HorseImage: Yatzer

If you’re more of a 2-D art lover, try a painting or print of this year’s sign. I love this horse photograph by Steven Klein, featured in the Paris home of Patrick Gilles & Dorothée Boissier. The image’s scale, perspective, and method of display bring a contemporary sensibility to a 19th-century apartment.

Year of the HorseImage: Lonny

Two more examples include artwork at Julia Buckingham’s showroom (above), and perhaps one of my favorite vignettes of all time, a stunning image of a horse’s mane set against the gray shades of a sophisticated bedroom.

Year of the HorseImage: Douglas Friedman

Whether sculpture, artwork, modern or traditional, the Year of the Horse can inspire myriad decorating possibilities. Which is your favorite?

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Desiré is a designer, blogger, and lover of all things glamorous. Though primarily a self-taught decorator, Desiré studied at The Art Institute, where she honed a distinct aesthetic largely influenced by the Modern Glamour movement, the theme of her popular design blog, Sukio. Not only is she considered a "closet fashionista," discreetly stashing handbags and shoes whenever possible, but, as an MIT graduate, she’s also an undercover nerd. Fashion, nerdom, and several years as a Washingtonian have combined to shape her unique perspective on interior design.