Thursday, August 26, 2010

21st Century Taxidermy


As I've mentioned in a previous post, antlers and trophies have always been a part of my decor.
My dad was a hunter, so I'm not squeamish about a deer head in a room. In fact, I think it lends an organic feel if done right. So when I saw this white deer trophy last week at Z Gallerie, I wasn't sure what to think.

There was even a moose head! I think these could be fun in a contemporary room, on a dark wall, adding a touch of whimsy. Are we calling it "urban rustic?"

Then, I remembered seeing these replicas of roe deer in Ballard Designs, designed by Suzanne Kasler. Ok, so now I see that this is a 21st century twist on an old theme. After all, not everybody is comfortable with the real deal, especially if raised in an urban environment.

I'll admit, they do look fabulous in this room with an all white theme. They totally compliment the white ironstone and fabric.

Then, today I received the Restoration Hardware catalog in the mail, and guess what?
They have jumped on the taxidermy bandwagon too!

Their antlers look real. I like that. I also like that they are made out of resin, which is much more humane, that's for sure!

I'm quite fooled by this moose antler trophy. It looks so real.

Also in the mail today, was the new Pottery Barn catalog featuring their fall decor.
Yep, they have faux antlers too!

Their "tablescape" with faux antlers and pumpkins is lovely.

I like how designer Carolyne Roehm set this table with antler candleholders, mimicking the antlers on the wall.
I'm also realizing that for me, I do prefer my antlers to at least look real.

This is a bathroom in Bunny Williams' home. Notice her roe deer antlers. You can bet they are real! Not only are they real, but they are probably a hundred years old.

Phoebe Howard designed this room with brown transferware and roe deer antlers giving it an organic, textured look.

In my own home, I used antique roe deer antlers on either side of the mirror in the living room. I have been collecting these for years. It was great to actually have the right amount to make the arrangement complete.

I inherited these old botanicals from my Grandma Carrie. It only seemed right to top them off with an old antler!

I found this old antler which was hung on plywood and trimmed with upholstery nails at a thrift shop. It was just quirky enough in it's handmade design, that I thought it would be fun over the bed in our guest room.

I saw this Black Forest deer trophy at the Round Top Antique Show in Texas.
I was so impressed with the hand carving of the plaque, and also the price!
Way too expensive, but I can see why. It is a one of a kind piece.


Eventually, I found this reproduction Black Forest deer trophy at Bellacor. Don't you think it kind of looks like the Round Top trophy?

It is all resin which is great because I hung it outside over the fireplace in the pool house. I don't have to worry about the weather damaging it. It was also a great price!


Bellacor also sells this three piece set of roe deer antlers. They are so real looking, no one would be able to tell the difference. One of these could sell for over $200 plus if they are authentic, so the three are quite a bargain at $68.95!
For information on Bellacor's faux antlers, click here.

So, in closing, a real deer trophy like this one is just a little too much for some people.

That's ok, because on the other end of the spectrum is this really fake faux deer trophy! Maybe a more comfortable choice for some.
Rustic, yet contemporary in it's urban take on an old theme.
21st century taxidermy!

What are your thoughts on decorating with antlers?
How do you feel about the white "trophies" from Z Gallerie and Ballard Designs?
Do you like Restoration Hardware's realistic "trophies?"
Do you think antlers are the latest decorating fad? Or like me, do you agree they have been around forever and always will be?

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38 comments:

Kathi said...

Even though I am not blogging right now, but still viewing other's once in awhile, I must say, this is funny to me. I just asked my husband to please take the bull horns and cow skulls down, which were gracing out wall in the family room. I guess we could put them back up. They actually are cool and placed in just the right way will be just the thing for our room. Kathi

Mariette said...

Dearest Delores,

For me the real thing looks a lot better! If you go for this look; then don't fake it...

Funny, talking about Restoration Hardware, we just hung their large white Cartwright medicine cabinet in our bathroom... It is a great company!

But both of us have absolutely no background in hunting. That is so rare in the second highest populated country (after Bangladesh); The Kingdom of The Netherlands. So we are not at all familiar with it but as said, I do like t he real thing in the homes of those that have a hunting background!

Sunny greetings from Georgia,

MariettesBacktoBasics

The Inspired Nest said...

I like the look of antlers as well. Funny, I just read a blog putting down Susanne Kasler's room and just laughed. I come from and married a hunter so I have no problem with it. I just don't want a full room of them! I do prefer just antlers. Roe deer antlers are my favorite and love any mount that is fancied up! I do appreciate the cast resin antlers that are around. It really gives people a chance to have some nature in their home.

Kathysue said...

Delores what a well written post, this was great. You know how I feel about antlers. For those, like you, who were collecting them before the fad and will collect them after the fad I think they will always look wonderful in your enviroment. For those that are jumping into the fad they will probably look very contrived.I think your post has shown us the right way and the just misses way. Great post , loved it!! Kathysue

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

You know I love the roe deer antlers. I just received another set in the mail this week that I bought on ebay from an antique dealer in Austria. I have bought all but one from the same dealer. They have really good prices. I do prefer real ones but am willing to buy the resin ones if they look real. I love yours on each side of the mirror and love your new one outside, too. Thanks for the link.

NanaDiana said...

Delores-I agree with Kathysue above. It is the hunters and keepers of the hunt that should display their bag proudly. I don't mind them at all but have to say-I don't care for the modern interpertation of them at all. Great blogging job, by the way!

A funny little tidbit-I became friends with this gorgeous, sweet & dainty, ultra feminine woman who had an upscale re-sale clothing shop. As the friendship deepened she invited me over to her home. I was expecting frills and spills and a sleek modern interior. What I got was tasteful, simple, and lovely...spotlighted by a moose head in her living room. I started laughing when I saw it..told her I was surprised and taken aback...I was expecting alabaster and got hide...she said that when she got divorced one of the only things she wanted was the moose head-she had become fond of it and it represented a time of happiness and steadiness in her life. I liked that! Diana

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Delolres, I just read a post about anters at Nancys Daily Dish. I have been a fan since I discovered Charles Faudree and his French Country style. Yours look great on each side of the mirror and I love the one from Bellacor. I have one set of antlers but I am always on the look-out for more. Take care, Sherry

The-Countrypolitan said...

Using antlers in an interior can be done very tastefully or very tacky... here in Texas we have a lot of both. Personally I prefer the antlers sans the heads... but if done well, it is fine too.
For those that don't know... many of the antlers seen in interiors have been shed by the animal as a natural part of their seasonal growth process and not through them being killed. Obviously, if the skull is attached, then the animal met his maker. ~Terri

Heidi said...

HI Delores,
Never a fan of the animal head trophies, I remember as a child in Germany seeing the old, bearded hunters with their kills on sleighs, blood dripping on the snow, it scared me and gave me nightmares for a long time!
My BIL has deer and ducks and geese all over the place. We've never hunted so I guess it's an aquired taste!
XO
Heidi - Heart and Home

Nancy said...

Delores, I just posted on antlers a few hours ago! I used some of the same pics in fact. I love the look of antlers and agree with the feel they create..organic and even Old World. The reviews I've received are mostly in favor but there are some that hate antlers. I guess you're one or the other and most aren't anywhere in between. I just added a couple of vintage antlers and love them. I don't particularly like the resin antlers that are all white. I think yours are tastefully and beautifully displayed.
I read another blog post today slamming the Ballard Designs take on the antlers.

Nancy

Nancy

Popcorn Served Daily said...

Growing up in rural Colorado, antlers and hunting are a way of life. People even build rooms for their antlers. Even though I don't have one hanging in my home, I'm all for them!

Take care,

Lisa

Entertaining Women said...

Well done post. I'm a bit ambivalent about the horns, and i'm not thrilled about the buck's head in my home...although I'm fine with it at the lake cabin. My husband is a major hunter, and his office is filled with a variety of stuffed ducks, geese, etc. I think that his office is a perfect place for them! I hope that when he retires, he can find a wonderful home for them...someplace else. I will say that I might be tempted to use some of them as part of a tablescape for one of our wild game dinners...just not interested in looking at them every day. Thanks for the post...a great conversation starter. Cherry Kay

Olive Cooper said...

I recieved the Restoration Hardware catalog yesterday and thought "resin?" My hubs has antlers that are real on our barn. Being in the South where nearly every one hunts I am used to dear heads being mounted all over the place. We do not hunt...we just don't. My hubs used to but I am a mojor distraction! Anyway I prefer real ones and if I were inclined to hang some inside could easily acquire some. Great post. Have a lovely weekend. olive♥

cityfarmer said...

it's a trend I'll have to get used to ... mmmm ...
not sure ... BUT I love the mix with the brown transfer ..

still pondering

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I am still loving antlers! And, several of these examples I have saved too! Love the ones in your house, especially flanked by the mirror!!! Even the Z Gallerie one has appeal.

Cathy~Mille Fleur said...

I have used horns in my decor for years and years...thanks to the fabulous Charles Faudree! After seeing them in his home many many years ago I got busy and started my own collection! If they are good enough for him they are good enough for me;)!

I prefer real antlers in my own home...but I can appreciate the other style in some of your inspirations pics!

Great post!

Enjoy!
Cathy

La Dolfina said...

I'm like you, I've always loved them and think the real thing is always best. I'm kind of a purist that way.
But your one for outdoors makes perfect sense.
Great post Dolores

Tamra said...

Restoration Hardware has got it goin' on!! I love that wall!

I too am a fan of taxidermy. I think it imparts a rustic quality in a room unlike anything else. Done right it makes me think of old English estates and French castles.

I have two walls in my kitchen that reach 18 feet at the peak and are almost 30 feet wide. That is a tough wall to decorate let me tell you. I keep telling my brother and husband I need a set of Elk antlers!

fluerdelyis said...

Nice post.
I like Rural European and American Ranch decor.
So antlers defiantly work for me.
I have to admit that several years ago while vacationing in Montana. I
were so disappointed that a cute, traditionally classic motel in Ennis, Mt had no vacancy.
The attraction for me was the huge window which of course had fabulous exterior views. The clincher was what I saw from a rather envious and peeking view was the fabulous antler chandler framed perfectly in that huge window.
I can only imagine how tastefully appointed the room,itself was.

fluerdelyis said...

Nice post.
I like Rural European and American Ranch decor.
So antlers defiantly work for me.
I have to admit that several years ago while vacationing in Montana. I
were so disappointed that a cute, traditionally classic motel in Ennis, Mt had no vacancy.
The attraction for me was the huge window which of course had fabulous exterior views. The clincher was what I saw from a rather envious and peeking view was the fabulous antler chandler framed perfectly in that huge window.
I can only imagine how tastefully appointed the room,itself was.

niartist said...

I got that catalog too, and immediately I ran upstairs to bring down my caribou antlers I got at an antique store forever and a year ago! :) I don't know where they'll fit hanging, but I'll figure it out soon -- what a wonderful post, Delores! Thanks for joining me for vignette Fridays! :)

Allison Shops said...

Although I don't care for deer head trophies, I have a collection of Black Forest antlers and have purchased several antlers (mounted and not) from a local antique store. A lady travels to England several time a year and her booth is my favorite!

Allison Shops said...

Sorry, forgot! Wanted to tell you about a new link party - Giveaway Friday @Atticmag ! Link your home decor/design related #giveaways each week. One easy location for bloggers to locate! We've kicked it off with a giveaway of our home. Hope you'll join us sometimes.

Allison
Atticmag

Trouvais said...

Hi Delores. My sister married a hunter...the trophy heads were part of the package...was a bit horrified initially. They are beautiful...but I prefer the carved wood ones Roost did a few years ago. All the beauty...no sad Bambi sentiments! Great post, thanks! Trish

*Chic Provence* said...

Even Anthropologie is in on the trend..theirs are white "plaster" papered over with old newspapers....

great post!

xoxo

Kit

Kate @ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating said...

I think I might be the blogger that others are refering to on here that wrote the post "slamming" antlers. :) It's funny because almost all of your commenters seem to like the trend and all of mine don't. I may have to revisit this hot topic! I enjoyed reading a different perspective.

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

I will let you in on a secret... I have 5, yes 5 deer heads (real) in my livingroom! I am always so careful not to show in any photos. They are high on the wall above the railing that surrounds the room. I just about died when I lost the fight with my hunter husband on that one, but I got used to them and now think they are kinda cool... don't tell anyone. lol

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Delores, I guess those bright whites would look good in the right setting, but I'm thinking they look a little silly. I have taxiderm ducks on the walls in our game room (I finally got my son to take his giant fish with him to his new home). I'm sure if my husband ever brings home a prize deer, we will have antlers on the wall in the game room! laurie

Sarah said...

Delores, I think I mentioned in your previous post that we don't have any mounts here in our home, but living in TX they have certainly been part of my experience. I remember my grandmother's home with large heads mounted and hung on the wall. As a little girl, they frightened me. Like you, I prefer the real thing to the faux. Great post! ~ Sarah

Katy Noelle said...

OH! LOL! I just happened to put up a "rack" just the other day. I've had it on order for two years, now! It's a "staghorn" fern. =]

The deer camp tradition runs very deeply in Vermont. Many of our friends, actually, hunt deer and depend on the venison for food! One can feel how the "tradition"/necessity of it goes back hundreds of years. It is, especially, a very important time for male, family bonding (for some women too).

Well, Tom goes hunting - it's VERY important to him. Life just doesn't seem right if he doesn't get to go out on opening day. The deal is, he's never caught anything. He is SUCH a woodsman - leading groups deep into the inaccessible Maine wilderness for two weeks when he was in his late teens and early twenties. Why hasn't he caught anything??? Is he really trying or does he just go out and sleep under a tree?

Anyway, the fern looks so much like moose antlers! It's a nod to his style of decorating style - Maine lodge!

Donna said...

I'm Southern but I've never been a fan of animal heads on walls. I'm undecided on antlers if they're shed. This is one trend I will definitely not be a part of.

Donna

Mary said...

Well again it's a trend and many will fall for it! Make-believe anything is a bit sad when people just want to jump on the bandwagon and feel 'in'.

As for the genuine antlers and taxidermied heads - if one lives with a hunter and has the right place to display them I guess they can look good. Being a vegetarian, quite honestly they would be the last things I could ever hang on my walls! One of my batchelor neighbors, the nicest guy, is a hunter. He will not allow me in his home because he knows his mounted trophies will upset me. Or could it be his housekeeping skills, or lack of, ha! ha!

No, I enjoy seeing horns and antlers still on the sweet animals - and saw many on my recent California trip to the lake and national park!

Great pics Delores.

Anonymous said...

My husband is a hunter and I have a ready source of horns for decorating. We have a vaulted ceiling in the living room and a trophy deer mounted very high. I love it! (I even put a Santa hat on him at Christmas.)

Remember that responsible, licensed hunting has become a necessary way of controling animal populations in North America. Without our hunters, we would have sick herds and more traffic accidents.

I for one, hope the trend stays around for a while. I know it will in my home.

Lorrie

Becki said...

I'm loving this look, too.
And your blog!

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rhonfa m. said...

I would love to know where you got that mirror in your living room. It is beautiful and just the look I would love to have in my great room. The antlers on each side are the finishing touch. Thanks and I love your blog!
Rhonda M.

rhonfa m. said...

I love the mirror in your living room surrounded by antlers. Could you possibly tell me where u got it? I am new to blogging so this my be a repeat request. I apologize if it is.
Thanks! Rhonda m.

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