I might as well start by saying that this post might not be for everyone. Antlers are a part of life around here, but if it’s not your thing I get it.
For some people though, there are animals on your walls.
I needed time to get used to deer mounts and the whole concept of hunting. It took me a while to learn how to balance the macho element of antlers and the rest of our home’s style. They’re important to my husband, so they deserve a prominent place in our home, but I don’t want animals on the wall just for the sake of animals on a wall. I like things to look intentional and well thought out, and to flow together.
Make it a focal point.
An obvious approach to decorating around a mount is to make it the star. Larger animals, like elk, moose, bulls, etc., need more room so they just make sense in more prominent areas of the home.
Over the fireplace is a pretty obvious option. The ceiling is usually higher there, it’s almost always wide enough, and a fireplace and horns just kind of go together.
The mount below is a beautiful statement as the only feature above a dramatic fireplace.
Since a bull skull is wider than it is tall, it’s perfect for capping off a mantle display.
I knew right away that I wanted our elk to hang above our fireplace. The rich brown of the antlers against the white walls are perfection in my book.
Share the spotlight.
Antlers have kind of been having a moment the last few years, and there are so many great inspiration pictures of antlers in galleries. I love this gallery at the top of a staircase and how it makes use of different interesting materials.
This gallery includes smaller antlers and similar frames for a more uniform gallery. The small size of the antlers is balanced by the larger scale frames for a classy look.
We only have one “shoulder mount” (the kind that look like a live deer coming through your wall), but condensing two or three into one larger display is interesting when toned down by a vignette below it. This might be a little intense for some people, but I liken it to any other collection – it has a bigger impact and can be better appreciated in one place rather than sprinkled throughout the home. If your home has more than one deer and you’re not the biggest fan, this might actually work well for you. You’ll have one display to contend with, and you will feel less constricted than if you were to try to spread them out into several different displays around the house.
In our own home, we had a spot picked out for our deer but it didn’t look right alone on the wall. I’ve started a collection of found and made baskets, so I added them to give the wall more color and texture. It’s a work in progress, but I think it keeps the deer a focal point while still balancing it with other interesting textures.
Put them to work
I’m always a fan of functional decoration, and antlers are no exception. In our last home, our elk was frequently used as a hat rack like it is below.
I am loving small mounts for jewelry displays. They’re perfect for hanging necklaces and bracelets, and are so much more interesting than most store-bought jewelry organizers.
This bull display is fun. Hats, bangles, belts – this guy can handle it all.
While I found some great inspiration pictures, I had a surprisingly hard time tracking down blog posts or articles on tips for using them in decor. I created a Pinterest board with my favorite images from around the web, but I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments!