To Antler Or Not: A Reader's Challenge


I received an email a few days ago from a reader asking my opinion on the growing popularity of mounted antlers and animal head trophies.  Once a symbol of successful hunts recently evolving into purely decorative accessories.  What made this email even timelier was that just a day before it was received, my mother- in-law told me of her plans to order one for her home. She needed help deciding whether to go for a full head or just a pair of antlers.   Read the email below and take a look at how these 3 dimensional accessories are being used to adorn modern spaces.    Then see my take on them and perhaps find out which ones my mother-in-law decided on.

I was at the Atrium Mall today, and — not that it is the design center of the world, but — I saw wall mounted animal heads in 2 places.  Somewhat serious ones at Restoration Hardware, and whimsical ones (e.g., in newsprint papier mache) at Anthropologie. I prefer the staghorn fern you blogged about.  But what do you think?  Why animal heads at a time when more Americans than ever are going Veg and Vegan?  I liked the humor of the Anthropologie one, but am not sure I would hang it.  What would I say to the children?  (Same dilemma prevents me from putting a cowhide rug on the playroom floor.)

image: Stylizimo

images above and below:

Easily worked into kids' spaces, dining areas and living rooms alike these mounted "trophies" are clearly making bold interior statements.  In response to our reader's question, why now at a time when so many people are going vegetarian?  I guess it's about being adventurous and unpredictable.  I actually do like them.  They add a natural element to interiors with their texture, depth and color. I prefer the mounted antlers (sans skull) and also like when they serve a purpose, such as doubling up as towel hooks or necklace holders.    I confess: I own cowhides,  they come in and out of use in our house and are perfectly easy to clean.  My children have asked about them and, yes, I've been put on the stop,  but I plainly told them what they are:  animal skins.  In the tradition of native Americans, nothing animals sacrifice on our behalf should go to waste.
If you're a true vegetarian your home should be devoid of leather couches, your walls bare of mounted antlers or other hunting trophies, and your grill obviously steak-less.  For the rest,  decorate as you envision and to your own comfort level.  But do take chances on occasion, since both children and adults need a an element of surprise to expand their sensibilities.
Thanks to CT for the awesome email challenge!
Stay tuned for my mother-in-law's 'antler decision'  reveal...