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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Heads Up

Today's post is inspired by one of my most cherished possessions. It's not valuable jewelry or silver, not a high tech gadget, not an it bag. Rather, I give stuffed boar's head.

Lest you think I am some taxidermy nut that spends saturdays at Bass Pro Shops, I will clarify that it's not just any boar's head. I acquired it from my grandfather's house after he passed away about 13 years ago. A lawyer by profession but cowboy at heart, he shot this boar on his ranch in central Florida and had it hanging in his home office in south Florida along with various other trophy heads and hunting paraphernalia. When I was little I was petrified to go into his office because the boar's head was so scary. But once I grew up I realized it was perhaps the neatest thing ever. Funny what memories really stick with us, isn't it?
Right now the boar's head is hanging in a home office of my own but one day I hope to have a more exciting place to put it. So in anticipation of that day, we're looking at chic taxidermy today. Yes those words can co-exist! Take a look at some of my favorite rooms. I think you'll be surprised at how fab a trophy head can be, and there are no wood-paneled libraries or plaid upholstery in sight.
Below is one of my favorites- here we have a Daryl Carter-decorated room that is 99% white yet cozily inviting. Best use of a boar's head I've seen, and the antlers are another nice touch. The wood burning fireplace and the tree-round table lead me to believe this house is in the country, but Darly's version of country is awfully chic!

Darryl Carter room from Elle Decor via Point Click Home
The trophy heads in the room below are the icing on the cake of the room's eclecticism. Lots going on here but it all works, sort of a Miss Havisham meets the 20th century kooky British vibe. Do I also spy a taxidermy bird?

Eclectic room via Living Etc
I am noticing a trend here- white walls definitely keep antlers and trophies looking modern. I love how this room makes use of a grouping of little antlers. And I even love those antler candlesticks!

Caroline Roehm decorated room from House Beautiful
More eclecticism- I wouldn't think to put a deer skull/antlers in this room given the wall color and the tropical artwork, but I also wouldn't think to layer a purple floral rug over a yellow geometric carpet, and look how well that works! Another example of how antlers/trophy heads can complete that "madcap chic" vibe.

Living Room via Domino

The trophy head really pops against this wallpaper, doesn't it? Offices with heads don't have to be the stuffy, dim wood-paneled realm of a cigar smoking hunter...they can be cozy and modern as Domino shows us. Bonus points if you have an adorable husband and child to complete the look.

Home office, Domino via Stylecourt

More little antlers, more white walls. We are not wowed by the gingham looking bedspread, but we do love those whitewashed wood paneled walls.

Mini antlers in bedroom by Cheryl Tague via Alicia B. Designs

If you cannot stand to have a mammal looking down at you from the wall perhaps you should try a fish! Mounted fish are sort of taxidermy-light. They give a more coastal vibe and a fabulous pop of blue.
Image via Coastal Living
The room below is a little blah, but it is made infinitely better by the mounted marlin (or is it a sailfish?)

Image via My Home Ideas
And if you absolutely cannot fathom hanging anything once-living on your wall, you're still in luck. These days there are a plethora of trophy heads out there that would even make PETA proud, and they can look just as stylish as their authentic counterparts.

Balsawood deer via Domino
This plaster deer head below is a little kitschy, but it would add whimsy to a room.
Deer Head by Cody Foster
Resin Deer Head by Cody Foster, Well Dressed Home
I spied one of these cardboard heads on the basement wall at MoS Charlotte's house, and loved the stylized look.
Cardboard Heads, Uncommon Goods
So what do you think about the use of trophy heads and antlers on the wall? Would you put one up, or is this something you'll skip? Any tips for pulling off the taxidermy-chic look? Let us know!


Julie said...

I think for the most part I'd have to skip any formerly-living things on my walls, but I do really like the boar's head. The cardboard heads are pretty fun, too. As for the rest, I don't care how fashionable the rest of the room is - animal heads are a no for me.

Dickie said...

Taxidermy is amazing. It's like an antique or an oil portrait- instant sense of history.

Last year for my birthday good friends gave me a pheasant in flight. Meant to hang on the wall he looks just as great on top of my bookcase with a (wait for it) birds eye view!

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