I hesitated in even putting this blog post together because I knew it could cause controversy and may be upsetting to some. I fully understand because I am an animal lover, almost to a fault. Also let it be known that I am against hunting as a sport, always have been and always will be. I can understand that there was a time men had to hunt to feed their families and I am OK with that because people come first. But now that this country is well served with grocery stores full of meat, to me there is no reason for hunting. However, I live near a reserve where local hunters are invited in periodically for hunting purposes (bows and arrows only I believe). They do this because the deer population gets too crowded with not enough food etc. for the animals to maintain good health. The undernourished animals become weak and their health suffers. I can accept this and like the fact that it is done with bows and arrows instead of guns (which in my opinion show no sign of being a sport).
While I would never encourage anyone to hunt an animal for a trophy, I do like the interiors of French chateaus that were known as hunting lodges, and the time-honored use of antlers and mounts as a decorative element. I think this look is very classic and tasteful when done right.
This week-end I found a beautiful deer mount in the back of an old thrift shop and after debating for a bit, I decided that this was no place for such a beautiful creature and that I would purchase it and give it a place of prominence in the entry hall of my European inspired home. I would encourage you to do the same if you like the look.There are many deer mounts already out there that could be given a place of honor instead of being relegated to walls and bins in thrift store or tossed out in garage sales. I am sorry if you are offended by my decision, but I feel like now my deer is being honored and for that I feel good.
The deer mount has always been a popular decor element in French interior design. Here they flank the gate of Pavillon de la Lanterne. Once a hunting lodge overlooking Versailles built in 1787 for the prince de Poix, Louis XVI's chief bodyguard, the home is now the summer residence of French President François Hollande.
An exterior wall at Versailles features a plaster deer mount that contains the actual antlers of a deer once killed by Louis XIV. At one time there was nothing at Versailles except a small medieval hunting lodge. It was later converted into a magnificent chateau by Louis XIV. By the high-middle ages hunting, no longer means of survival, was considered more a relaxing activity for the idle royalty and nobility. Deer mounts adorned the the walls of hunting lodges as the style became popular with the aristocracy.
There is something about deer mounts and French chateau decorating that go together. Here. European elegance meets rustic country and old-world character.
In the French chateau, an elegantly mounted deer head or skull would be a means to show off the owners skill and perseverance. The French culture is rich with hunting stories and legends.
Deer mounts in designer Timothy Corrigan's circa 1700's Château du Grand-Lucé in France's Loire Valley.
A deer mount will provide you with a large, dramatic art piece which you can use to create a focal point in your space.
Halls and foyers are perfect spaces for displaying a deer mount.
Accent a beautiful entry and stairway with deer mounts. Even on a smaller scale it can look elegant.
Deer mounts and antlers provide a sophisticated approach to decorating a home that still inspires us today.
Deer mounts or antlers and crystal chandeliers screams French chateau style. It is rustic meets elegance at it's best.
There are many great fakes out there so choose a resin deer mount for your space.
A fabulous French chateau dining room with assorted deer mounts. They add such a chic and elegant touch. If you try this look on a smaller scale in your home, be sure to pair them with hunt scenes either in the form of paintings or tapestries.
Château de Brissac kitchen via Pinterest
Add a deer mount to an old world style kitchen for instant European flair.
Château de Montgeoffroy kitchen with deer mounts. Limestone walls are a great background for mounts and antlers.
Even if you can only cover a section of the wall in limestone, it will lend to the chateau look and set off your deer mount.
Lisa Farmer Designs
Or you can create a faux limestone wall like I did in my hall.
Lisa Farmer Designs
Here is my recent purchase placed in a prominent location.
Lisa Farmer Designs
Believe me, it sure beats where he was when I found him.
Antique furniture, a collection of antique white dishes, and a deer mount all work to enhance the European character of this room.
We seem to have a love affair with decorating our walls with deer......even finding them painted on the walls of cave dwellers.
What a gorgeous piece of French furniture and window. The deer mount gives this buffet vignette even more refinement.
Try incorporating antlers or mounts to achieve the graceful and inviting style of French Provincial decorating.
Charles Faudree used them in some of his fantastic French Country designs.
An elegant traditional setting using deer mount and canine art. Proof that your home doesn't have to be huge to still pull off the look.
These wall art pieces are an easy fit for both elegant, country, and cottage interiors. Antiques are an important component of the decor and a well placed deer mount (even a plaster one like this) goes a long way towards chic.
Great vignette with deer mount, French table, and lots of books!!
The white deer mount is perfect for a room decorated in French grey and white. I guess the deer is painted or whitewashed.
Remember that a deer mount needn't be strictly associated with the American lodge look that many people automatically think of when they are mentioned. They can be quite an asset to your decor when used is a stylish way.
An iron deer mount makes a great patio accent and brings European flair to your outdoor entertaining area. This one graces Ralph Lauren's restaurant in Paris.
Large antique Paris Porcelain coffee pot featuring a deer. Deer inspired decor is another way to bring the look to your interiors.
images via Pinterest
Or look for a beautiful deer mount embellished crystal chandelier.
You will find many deer inspired items to choose from.