Elements of Design: Horseshoe Motif
You’ll usually see horseshoes hung with their two ends facing upward. This is supposed to corral the “luck” and keep it from “spilling,” although plenty of others tip the horseshoe slightly or invert it precisely so that the luck DOES spill” out. What I take away from this diversity of viewpoints is that it’s perfectly acceptable to hang these irons however you please because there’s bound to be one version of the mythology that claims you’ve got it right. This wall hanging suits the country-style furnishings and planked walls, and the many pieces of reclaimed barn wood throughout the home.
Did you know? A plethora of superstitions revolve around the holes, or nails, in a found horseshoe. Some say that each empty nail hole represents how many months or years until you find your fortune or meet your match. Others claim that each remaining nail signifies how many years of good luck you will have. Of course, since it’s all symbolic anyway, you may as well fill in some nail holes yourself and ensconce them in concrete or resin so that those precious lucky nails can’t escape! Here, we see it done as a clever countertop surface!
Rich woods are forest greens are as much staples of equestrian decorating as the horseshoe. This iron bench made of horseshoes goes glam with a design-savvy faux fur stretch across the seat. You might also notice that the open side, which gets attached to the horse’s hoof, faces forward here. The prevailing folklore on the subject suggests that finding a horseshoe hoof-side up is luckier than the other way around.
This is the point in the Ideabook where we get very homegrown and funky, ooh-ing and aah-ing as creative designers and their clients give decommissioned barn implements new life as practical hardware for the home. Here, an old pitchfork looks as if it could serve as a secondary lock, and a horseshoe stuck between the boards serves as a handle.
You can practically smell the leather and hay residue emanating from the old saddle turned mirror. The simplicity of this farmhouse bathroom needs nothing but the character-laden touches to make it feel inviting and personal. A small postcard is hung by a horseshoe, and the towel rack also racks up a bridle on horse head-shaped hooks.
Because not everybody wants to live in a place reminiscent of a rustic barn, city dwellers can still get a little bit of that rural charm (with a side of good luck) by employing barn doors and appropriate horseshoe-shaped hardware. In this photo, Rustica Hardware shows off its Industrial Horseshoe Roller Hangers, calling attention to the way the tips of the “U” extend above the track for added strength when hanging an oversize door.
Finally, that familiar U-shape doesn’t need to play off an equestrian theme at all. It doesn’t even need to be iron, or an overt horseshoe, either. It just so happens to be a sturdy shape upon which to place a tabletop, as is done in this beach house. The iron accents still give it the same industrialist character of a horseshoe and barn equipment, but in a way that recalls graceful wooden ships rather than a horse’s duds.