Antlers have been used as tools, weapons and accessories since humankind began decorating their homes. From wall mounted sculptures to candlestick holders, they can be used in a variety of ways – enhancing rustic decors as well as both modern and traditional interiors.
Contrary to what many think, antler-bearing animals do not have to lose their lives for an impressive set of antlers to grace your home. In fact, the males species shed their antlers annually, growing a new pair for the following mating season. If you’re an avid hiker, you may have even seen the occasional antler set dropped here or there along your way. This is how many of my clients have begun to collect their antlers, and then desire to find attractive ways to display them.
Here are some ideas for using antlers to accessorize your home:
On the wall. Yes, if you are a hunter or appreciate the beauty of taxidermy, antlers can be mounted on the wall in the traditional manner, resting atop the head of the animal. However, we see a rising trend in antlers mounted on walls alone, or connected to the skull from an animal that has died naturally. There is great beauty in the different shapes and patterns created by each antler set as no two are alike. The antler on skull motif works well in Southwest and modern designs.
In the man cave. Even if you wouldn’t describe the man in your life as a “hunter gatherer”, the mounted deer, elk, moose, etc., head on the wall is a distinctly masculine tradition. This is why the man cave can be the ideal place to display a family heirloom or a high-quality piece you find on the market. Or to mount an impressive set of antlers, sans the head and fur.
Light fixtures. There are some stunning light fixtures, both large and small, that are made from assortments or arrangements of antlers. This ethereal white antler chandelier is right at home suspended above a lodge-style living room. Antlers’ shape combination – long, curved and pointed – make the the ideal framework for chandeliers as well as overhead vanity lights or candle holders, and the shadows cast by the unique shapes add additional interest, especially when the sun goes down.
As art and accessory. Finally, there are subtle ways antlers can be used as an artistic accessory in your home. For example, the gold-painted antler draws the eye and adds a little extra sparkle in this tabletop display. A single set of antlers looks wonderful along the top of a fireplace mantle, in a display case, or along the top of a bookshelf. Or, in one of my favorite displays, branches and twigs were used and mounted on wooden pieces that are reminiscent of a skull, creating the illusion of real antlers.
Whether you are interested in creating a more rustic look or are simply fascinated by the stark and unique beauty of antlers, there are all kinds of ways you can add them to your interior decor.