It’s time to run for the roses! Celebrate the Kentucky Derby at home with decorative touches that evoke the Bluegrass State
It’s not the only marquee horse race in the country, but there’s something about the Kentucky Derby that conjures up a singular sense of romance and refinement. Where I live it’s a major cause for celebration — never mind that two whole states stand between Birmingham, Alabama, and Churchill Downs. I know countless folks here in town who can’t wait to break out their picture hats and pearl chokers, uncap the Maker’s Mark and invite friends for viewing parties on that first weekend in May.
So as long as everyone’s in the spirit, I thought, why not take it one step farther? Try these ideas for adding a little Kentucky style to your home. Long after the winner’s rose garland has wilted, you’ll remain at the peak of bluegrass chic.
Drive through Kentucky and you’ll see miles of simple plank fences like this one, marking the boundaries of the thoroughbred farms that blanket the countryside. Fun fact: Traditionally, fences painted white signified wealth — they sent a subtle message that the farm’s owners could afford to repaint every year or two. Natural wood or brown-painted fences were considered a cut below. Who knew?
This split-rail fence is a rustic relative of the plank version. Its rough-hewn profile marries perfectly with the stone barn in the background.
When they’re not filled with crushed ice and bourbon, silver julep cups — the cocktail vehicle of choice at Derby time — turn into household workhorses (yikes, that pun came from nowhere). This trio holds petite bouquets, but you’ll see julep cups used as pencil holders, jewelry catchalls and decorative displays. Bonus points if they bear your monogram in a well-mannered script.
OK, so it’s from a horse show and not a race, but this loving cup certainly belongs in Derby-inspired decor. The julep cup is a small but vital supporting player in the little group of vessels.
When the horses have run for the roses and the lucky winner is draped with the garland, rose bouquets tucked around your house will add to the festive air. This one looks right at home amid a formal china cabinet.
Besides bluegrass, Kentucky is known for one other big B: bourbon. The walls and floors in this space are cloaked in salvaged whisky barrels (just pretend they bear a Wild Turkey or Woodford Reserve logo). Who could get enough of that rich, mellow sheen?
Here’s a gorgeous detail from the whisky barrel wood above. Each plank has its own unique character, so you’re guaranteed a one-of-a-kind look.
What’s the Kentucky Derby without hats? This sweetly simple pink number transitions from head to wall when the race is run. It won’t be the most flamboyant topper in the crowd, but it won’t look garish hanging on the hook, either.
A collection of straw bonnets perched on this rack feels sprightly and spring-fresh enough for Derby day and beyond.
And finally, the star of the show: equestrian accents. A well-weathered saddle and horse blanket perch beneath barn-inspired ceiling beams, so striking that they read as a single piece of sculpture.
In a more conventional home, these would be hunting prints. Horse images make for a pleasant surprise and add a note of gentleman’s-farm chic to this grand foyer.
Thank you to Houzz for the great information!!!!