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Equestrian Stylist and Julie Bova Design Interview

Equestrian is featuring designer Julie Bova: a woman with equestrian style influencing her interior design.  After speaking with Julie initially on Twitter, (social media is just awesome these days, isn’t it?) we spoke on the phone a few days later, and had a blast discussing style and horses.  Julie Bova provides the proof in her designs on how horses and equestrians inspire her creations.

Julie Browning Bova

E.S: So, Julie, tell me about your background in Interior Design:

JB:My father was a very creative man. I began working and playing at his architectural firm at a very young age. I started working when I was 14 or so … I was forever teased about my time working the phones, and I was quickly moved to the print room and the archives to file.

I was inspired and fell in love with architecture and interior design. The incredible talent around me was amazing and their kindness and ability to teach allowed me to grow and develop.  While working in that environment, I was exposed to every aspect of design.  Being very visual, I loved touring Architectural buildings, studying art history, graphic Arts and fashion.

E.S: What influences your style?

JB: My parents encouraged the creative process in everything we did as a family. Projects, entertaining, sports, play and travels made up my childhood. Brainstorming at the kitchen table was common and the projects were always awe-inspiring. Looking back as an adult I clearly see and know where my love of architecture, urban planning and landscape came from.

Fashion plays a huge part as well …I fell in love: Especially with the unforgettable classic bright floral scarves the iconic horse bit detail of the Gucci brand.  Like all little girls, I loved the idea of a horse, but spent my days on ice-skates.

E.S: How long have you been involved with “Equestrian Style”?

JB: As a grown up I purchased a home in horse country and started lessons which were quickly shared by my oldest daughter, Madeline. And now  years later I say we have a family horse and an ” Equestrian lifestyle “.  As a graduate of Indiana University, I am proud to say I have been actively working in the interior design profession for two decades.

E.S: What is important to you as an interior designer?

JB: I love the process. It doesn’t really matter what type of design project I enjoy working with clients, vendors and problem solving. I really never have a bad day in the design studio! I love every aspect of our creative process- from construction to planning it excites me everyday to come to the studio and face the daily challenges.

I love assisting clients in finding that item that really gives them goosebumps! We love horses, right!! We walk up an see that thoroughbred, and it is all over! Well much like a beautiful chair, unique piece of art or an antique quilt…

I try to find that something that people are passionate about. Being a good listener, and working the space and or color direction around that collection or item helps as me in design.  Connecting with the client and making sure there is a connection is important.  I love everything in my home and I really believe this is an important ingredient when the client hands over the interior reins!

ES: Have you ever thought about interior barn designing?

JB: I love the idea of designing a stable and I would be on the first flight out!!  I keep the Stables book right near my desk! Always inspired..

ES: What is your favorite part about interior design for equestrians?

JB: I feel that horse people are very passionate about their lifestyle. Something very comfortable, elegant and warm. Classic “hunt style” to me is warm and layered with natural woods, rich patina and always somehow embraces the outdoors.  I actually have never walked into a home of a fellow equestrian that I didn’t covet their collection of horse treasures and heirlooms. I just love the mix of easy living and equestrian influence in china, wool rugs or a pair of vintage riding boots. 

ES: Leather and horse bits never go out of style!

ES: What trends do you see going forward for the next year?

JB: I m excited about the return of the brilliant colors in textiles!  I really think there is a pattern textile that is in the world that defines everyone.  I love that unexpected pop of color! It adds a little kick of life in the winter months.

Equestrian Kitchen design by Julie Bova Interior Design

ES: I love the neutral barn-style look with the stall door accent on the left.  The minor equestrian details are elegant and classic.

ES: What are some of your “wish list” items this season?

JB: Pictured below are items on my Holiday Wish List:

Antique Stone Horses from 1st Dibs (via Pat Monroe Antiques)

Dubarry Boots

Wool Plai Blankets from Scottish Weavers gives a special thanks to Julie Bova for this Interview.  Please visit for more information.

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