Anybody who walks into my home will be greeted immediately by smiling faces, laughter, and a zebra in the foyer. It may be a little too much for some people to enjoy, but we love being surrounded by the animals that we’ve harvested over the years. In todays home decor trends, taxidermy is making a comeback in a big way. I consider myself somewhat of an expert when it comes to bringing taxidermy into the household, so I’ll share some tips for making it work. When this trend passes and something new comes along, you can guarantee that taxidermy will always be a part of my home decor.
- Do use taxidermy to brighten up a room.
A nice stag or deer above a fireplace can bring old-world coziness to any room. This might be because we associate our ancestors and early family ties with hunting. It reminds us of how the world used to be every time we look at a fireplace with a beast mounted above it.
Don’t overdo it.More than a few animal heads in a room can make us think of scary movies, and it can take away from each individual animal you’ve placed there. In my house we have animals in almost every room,but to keep it tasteful we put space and other pieces of art between them. For example, an elk mount in the corner of a room can be offset by a smaller animal across the room to keep the theme going. But we also have some rooms that are full of animals, and I’m ok with that even if other people would find it tacky.
Do find practical uses for taxidermy.We actually use a European whitetail mount as a key rack near the front door. It’s small enough to be unintrusive, but large enough to make a statement. An elk shed can make a great coat hanger when mounted to a wall properly, and antler chandeliers will never go out of style.When people first enter our house it sets a mood of whimsical fun, but also a serious reminder that we fill our own freezers with meat.
Don’t put something within reach of people if you don’t want it to be touched. Most people, and almost all children, will want to feel what the animals fur feels like, or they’ll want to touch thehorns. In our foyer we have a zebra mounted on a pedestal. We don’t mind people touching it because we like to share the experience with everyone who enters our home, but if you want to keep it from being smudged with fingerprints, move it to a place where nobody can reach it. I never put things within reach that shouldn’t be touched.
- Do have fun with it! If you love how something looks, then keep it that way. Just because something is trending and other people think it’s cool, that doesn’t mean your home has to follow those guidelines. Forget the rules and decorate your house in a way that makes you happy when you spend time in it.
I’m sure that some people have walked into my house and cringed at the sight of all of our animals mounted everywhere. I’ve got a full sized alligator in my dining room, along with a caribou in velvet, a Kansas whitetail on a pedestal and 2 flying pheasants. Most people wouldn’t think of a formal dining room with that decor. But I love it and it makes me happy. And every one of those animals provided food for our family, so really the dining room is a prime spot for them to spend eternity.
My point is that for some of us who hunt and decorate our homes with the trophies and memories from those hunts, the animals have special meaning. If you just want to spruce up your home with some traditional taxidermy, then I applaud you for supporting our way of life and embracing the natural beauty that we find in all animals. Either way, just be sure to hang the heavy stuff correctly so you don’t end up with a deer on the floor and a hole in your wall. Stud finders and proper hardware are a must!