In this post we’ll look at a few easy ways to add a fox hunting vibe to your home. I’ll walk you through some of the pieces I’ve added to turn our cookie-cutter living room into an equestrian themed bar that sends your imagination fox hunting through the English countryside. It’s all about the details!
1. Hang a framed photo from a hunt
This first tip may seem a bit obvious, but hanging a large framed professional photograph from an actual hunt makes a big impact and sets the stage for the remaining accessories. While I never hunted (lol it would probably terrify me to death), my horse, Ellie Mae, was a regular on the hunt field with her prior owners. In the process of tracking down information about her, I found out which hunt she typically rode with and the websites of a few professional photographers that regularly photographed this hunt. It was really amazing to discover these pictures of Ellie going all out in the field and I was happy to help support the photographer’s work. They are definitely one of my most prized possessions and inspired me to decorate this room around a fox hunting theme.
If you’re not sure where to start or don’t have pictures from your days in the field, check out photographers in the list of links below covering the drag hunts with the Middleton Place Hounds (this was Ellie’s old hunt).
These galleries usually include a lot of photos of individual horses going over the jumps for riders to buy (similar to a horse show photographer’s gallery), but there are also many high quality shots that capture the atmosphere of the hunt and the field as a group. These pictures are perfect for your fox hunting decor!
Links to a few photographer’s galleries:
- Richard Ellis, Fox Hunting
- Cary McDonald, Fox Hunting – Foxhounds
- One Horse Photography
- The framed photographs I purchased were from Jan Taylor Photography
2. Hang up that old helmet and show jacket
Another tip that is super easy and one you might not have thought of is to hang up one of your old helmets and a retired show jacket. Stick to the traditional colors navy, hunter green, or red (if you earned the color) for the jacket. The velvet covered hunt caps or english helmets are preferred for the classic look and can be found on Ebay for a reasonable price. I already had a velvet Charles Owen Wellington Classic that was originally purchased for my first few schooling shows. It wasn’t the correct size for my head and gave me massive headaches and the helmet was just sitting in the back of my closet. I was happy to be able to give it a new life. This is also a great way to recycle an older helmet that is no longer usable after a hard hitting fall.
Since we were using brass hardware for this room, I hung my jacket and helmet on a hook from Restoration Hardware. Pretty much any double hook works, but I preferred this one since it had a nice curve on the bottom hook and wouldn’t ruin the jacket. If you want to go all out, add a pair of tall boots sitting on the floor below with a pair of wood boot trees in them (we chose not to add the boots, to make vacuuming a little easier). Finally, hang a ribbon on the shoulder of the jacket for the finishing touch. This is one of my favorite details in the room.
3. Add framed photos from your own shows or art work
This is the perfect room to add framed photos from your own shows and riding or of your own equestrian artwork. I had to make sure my other horse Mario was represented since I already had two large pictures of Ellie Mae, so I included a small table top frame from one of our favorite shows at the Buckeye Horse Park. I also added a picture of my first ever pony ride, a lead line ride in the Poconos in the early 80s.
4. Pick up a hand crafted Tack Room Sign from Bending Line Designs
My fourth tip is to add a hand crafted equestrian sign. Tack room signs from Bending Line Designs are unique wood signs that can be displayed on the wall or on a table top or book case. They’re sanded, stained, and finished by hand. Each also features intricate laser-cut lettering and designs. I especially like the warmth the finished wood adds to the room. Bring home your love of horses and the equestrian lifestyle. These signs are available on our website and on our Etsy shop.
5. Horseshoe wine rack
Horseshoe wine racks are easy to find, affordable, and nicely complement any fox hunting decor pieces. My sister-in-law gave me the wine rack in the picture below a few years back when I first started riding. While I’m not sure where she bought it, I found a similar one on Amazon. There are several different takes on the horseshoe style, some being more rustic than others. I love the understated nature and simplicity of this version and it’s one of the first pieces I notice when I enter the room.
6. Work in small equestrian sculptures
Small three dimensional pieces, such as sculptures, are a great way to create interest in the room and attract the eye. These Raku horse sculptures from Lindsey Epstein add sophisticated equestrian elegance to your room and build on the depth of your fox hunting theme. These can be found on her website and her Etsy shop. I’ve been following Lindsey’s work for years and decided to finally purchase a horse of my own as a birthday treat for myself. It was worth the wait and I love supporting small businesses!
7. Find those old hunt books
Tucked in throughout my room are a few antique hunting books. On a previous trip to King of Prussia, I made a stop on the way to Baldwin’s Book Barn. My visit is a cherished memory and I spent hours browsing the entire store. I highly recommend stopping if you are in the area. The shop had a number of antique fox hunting books (when I was there they were in the same room as the checkout) and they are a cool find to add an authentic touch to your decor. There are a number of books that were printed about hunt etiquette and a day in the life of the hunt. If you’re not able to make it out to the Book Barn, send them an email and see if they are able to help you out virtually. Other options include checking out Ebay or possibly Amazon and, of course, supporting any local antique book stores in your area. One of the favorites I brought home from this trip was The Life Of A Fox: Written By Himself… (by Sir Thomas Smith), which also included beautiful illustrations.
8. Load up on vintage finds
The eighth tip is to check out Etsy and Ebay for cool vintage fox hunting finds, such as crops, whips, sandwich cases, horns, canteens and flasks. I was super lucky and inherited a number of hunt and equestrian items from my grandparents and was gifted a few from my in-laws, like this hunt themed tea towel. I was especially surprised by just how much stuff my grandparents had considering they didn’t ride. You just never know what treasures may come your way.
Bonus Tip: Inspiration
If you are struggling with how to piece everything together or looking for more inspiration, check out the book Equestrian Life: From Riding Houses to Country Estates, available on Amazon. It’s a gorgeous coffee table book that will fuel your imagination and inspire your equestrian and hunt decor choices. I kind of stumbled on it by accident after I had already made a lot of progress on this room. I only wish I found it earlier.
Pulling the room together: Final thoughts
Finally, don’t forget to balance the room by working in some non-horse items, such as barware, family photos, vintage collections, and books. Hope this post helps inspire you to add a hunt vibe to your space!