This Is the Fanciest Stable We've Ever Seen

If you love horses, this one's for you.

horse barn tack room

From a basic barn reimagined as a swank paneled library to a storybook stone cottage where suppers are held by candlelight, a rural Illinois estate brims with diminutive delights, thanks to Annie Brahler-Smith.

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horse barn tack room
Björn Wallander
Tack Room: Paneling

To revamp her clients' horse barn in the Illinois countryside, St. Louis, Missouri, designer Annie Brahler-Smith took a hands-on approach. She did much of the work herself, including sanding and staining the tack room's plywood paneling. The tufted leather settee is Belgian, and the mahogany table was found in France.

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annie brahler-smith horse barn
Björn Wallander
Tack Room: Chairs

Brahler-Smith, who flanked an antique Dutch table with a pair of vintage distressed-leather wing chairs, doesn't worry about wear and tear. "If something gets stained or broken, that's a scar from life, and it's beautiful," she says.

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annie brahler-smith horse barn
Björn Wallander
Tack Room: Trunks

Tucked beneath the windowsill, stacked leather trunks hold brass polish and leather conditioner for cleaning tack.

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annie brahler-smith horse barn
Björn Wallander
Tack Room: Door

The tack room door is made from reclaimed tongue-and-groove floor planks and finished with a brass pull from an old mail slot. 

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annie brahler-smith horse barn
Björn Wallander
Entertaining Cottage: Entrance

Tosk, the family's Arabian, grazes in front of the limestone entertaining cottage. To remove old varnish from the salvaged doors, Brahler-Smith sprayed on a mixture of lye and water, then sealed the raw wood with clear paste wax. 

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annie brahler-smith dining room
Björn Wallander
Entertaining Cottage: Table

The custom dining table is built from 700-year-old Syrian oak beams that look "almost petrified," the designer says. 

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jumping saddle
Björn Wallander
Entertaining Cottage: Saddle

The husband, a retired professional baseball player, gave his wife the Hermès jumping saddle as a gift. 

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decorative drinking horn
Björn Wallander
Entertaining Cottage: Drinking Horn

The Belgian drinking horn can be removed from its base for a toast. 

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louis vuitton canvas trunk
Björn Wallander
Entertaining Cottage: Trunk

A leather-trimmed Louis Vuitton canvas trunk from a French flea market serves as a side table. Read more about Brahler Smith's inspiration for this space here.

See something here you like? Check out our shopping guide for where to find it.

This story originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of CQ.

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