Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I know several bloggers have posted about the trend of incorporating deer (or any other massive animal's) antlers in home decor, but my post involves a personal encounter. Brandon loves to hunt - deer, pheasants, birds, you name it! And I love when he hunts because it gives me a free weekend of shopping and home re-arranging without him watching! 

Well,  a few weekends ago Brandon shot the big one. I say that because he is very generous when he pulls the trigger ... he likes to wait until he knows it is bigger than his last kill and will make a good "trophy." This is the first deer he has shot in the five years I have known him if that tells you anything. Here is a picture of him with his new bff. (I hope no animal lovers take offense to this post - we do eat the meat and donate some as well)
pardon the phone pic

I have started to decorate Melrose with a few natural elements, but I am not a huge fan of turning her into a hunting lodge or log cabin. I like them in the perfect place. Using antlers, or other natural elements, strategically in a room can be so chic and sophisticated. Especially since they provide substantial depth and height while still being neutral enough to not overpower a room. They are also a great way to offset a room that seems too feminine or glamourous. 

Now that Brandon has noticed I like rustic, natural items, he is gung-ho on displaying his new bff in Melrose. Which I am fine with, only in my style of course! There are 2 options when mounting a deer (that I know of): skull only or a classic shoulder mount. Now, first off I despise the shoulder mount, but after seeing these photos I second guessed that decision.

I think these shoulder mounts were executed in the perfect manner. The last photo with the mount of the black wall is exquisite. All of the rooms are still subtle and neutral without looking like my husband's dream vacation. Although these photos can be convincing, Brandon decided on a skull mount which I am anxious to see. This is what he showed me it will be similar to:
I am possibly thinking about removing the plaque so it is just the skull. These mounts are definitely not as massive as the full head, but can be more discreet when displayed. I like that the antlers are so organic and are not a symmetrical element. There are many more animals you can mount than just deer - one day I hope to have moose or elk antlers (hint, hint Brandon). Check out these beautiful photos:
 hat rack anyone?

love the bleached skull on the white wall and the saturated brown antlers provide just enough contrast against the starkness of the room
What do you think? If you want antlers on a smaller scale, check out these mini collections of mounted antlers.

Ballard Designs and Home Decorators have great options for achieving this look. You can also find real antlers on Etsy as well. 

Another natural element I have become fond of for home decor is turtle shells. Again, the brown and caramel tones are a perfect neutral to mix in with current decor. I am on the hunt for a large one in good condition to display in Melrose somewhere. Here are some inspiration images I have found through the design world.
 naturally chic paired with a pop of gold
 I want this size!
Brandon's skull mount is scheduled to make its appearance in the master bedroom above the bed so I will keep you posted! The master is currently undergoing a full overhaul so stay tuned for B&A pictures! (if the furniture will hurry up and get delivered! I have all ready received two late shipping emails!)

Do you have any natural elements currently displayed in your abode? Or are you a fan of this style? Please share!

all photo sources can be found through my pinterest board


  1. My husband is a new hunter but shot his first deer this year. He is SO excited to mount the antlers in the house. Our styles are very different but I love the pictures you posted, we just may be able to compromise! Congrats to your husband, I can't wait to see the end result!

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  3. Love this post, KB! I've got 2 skull mounts that I'm trying to remove from their stand so I can hang on the wall!

  4. You are a better wife than me. I told my husband his (shoulder mount) heads aren't going up in my nest - mainly because our dogs flip out over them while clawing at the walls. Not cool. I'm continuing to adore the trend of the skull mount. I too, love incorporating natural elements. Love reading about your home updates. Happy Thanksgiving, Katie Beth!

  5. Thanks girls! Maybe one day I will be brave enough to hang a shoulder mount, but until then, a skull mount will just have to do! At least he is getting some input! haha ;)

    Margot - let me know how removing the plaques go so I can tackle it when Brandon picks up his!

  6. hey katie beth,

    i saw this and thought of you!