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On Tuesday’s Design Star premiere, judges Vern Yip and Genevieve Gorder gushed over how contestant Rachel Kate’s glossy white moose head sculpture stood out against a matte black background. (Catch the full episode here.) But over on the Design Star blog, readers are speaking out about their taxidermy fatigue.

I have to admit, the real, live (or formerly, I should say) mounted “trophies” kind of freak me out.  (Can you imagine rounding the corner and confronting this?)  But the best sculptural pieces nod to the classic lodge look and lend a bit of whimsy to an otherwise serious space.  Browse the inspirational spaces below, then weigh in: Is this trend overplayed, still on the way up or is it just plain wrong?

Hilari and Rachel's Black Moosehead Sculpture

Rachel's High-Contrast Moose Head

The piece that started the chatter: Rachel’s high-contrast moose head.  She brought it on the show as a fun way to nod to her Minnesota roots and nature-inspired design aesthetic.

Modern Rustic Living Room

Britany Simon's Wall Menagerie

Fellow contestant Britany Simon is also a faux taxidermy fan. For a bit of unexpected glamour, Britany added a feminine touch of gold to typically masculine antlers.

Brian Patrick Flynn - Moose Head Decor

Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

Designer Brian Patrick Flynn also used a high-contrast treatment here. The juxtaposition of a white resin moose head against this bedroom’s tailored walls creates a lighthearted element of surprise.

Britany Simon - Faux Taxidermy

Bedroom Design by Britany Simon and Mikel Welch

Not into glossy white? You don’t have to stick to a neutral palette when using sculptural animal heads. Designers Britany Simon and Mikel Welch used hot pink sculptural rams as a focal point above each bed in this deep blue and citron space.

Taxidermy - For Sale

Paper Mache Animal Heads From West Elm (left) and Anthropologie (right)

If you’re ready to jump on the trend, pick up a hippo, rhino or ram from West Elm, or try Anthropolgie for rarer breeds like zebra. Or DIY the rarest breed of all: the unicorn! (Get the tutorial from lil blue boo.)

Paper Mache Unicorn

DIY Paper Mache Unicorn via lili blue boo

Are you sold on faux taxidermy? Tell us in the comments below.

27 Responses

  1. CplusE says:

    I'm not a big fan of hanging animal heads, but I will admit the moose is less objectionable than most. If for some reason I felt the need for animal head décor, I think I would go with something like this, which is just the merest suggestion of a head on the wall:


    I did like Rachel and Hilari's room, though — it was my favorite!

  2. Amy says:

    I love the hanging animal heads – especially the more modern acrylic type ones that are full of color! I think they really add something to a room…could be a vintage cabin touch, could be a modern / contemporary touch, etc.

  3. jag007 says:

    I say, if you're going to hang a head of any kind, make sure it is not real! I love the sculpture and artistic presentation of the moose head. It is a wonderful, multi-dimensional art work and I love it. I also enjoyed the zebra and, a collection of animal heads would be a cool conversation starter.

  4. Dale says:

    Would rather have a WHOLE animal…..carved wood, alabaster, marble…not a head fan….

  5. dooby78 says:

    I like them as long as they weren't alive.

  6. Rachael says:

    Taxi-chic! Like the faux 'dermy look, it is the only way I would let the hubby have a deer/moose head in the house!
    ~Rachael http://www.thethriftypicker.com/

  7. Miss Dynamite says:

    I don't like any of the heads! Keep them out of my house!

  8. meg says:

    I don't like the animal heads. Seems demonic or something.

  9. Pageking57 says:

    Its about the contrast of the "head" against the black – anything would have worked here

  10. Marina says:

    I don't like the animal heads, kinda strange and would totally creep me out if I was home alone at night and the shadow of animal horns reflecting on the wall… yea not my at all!

Liz GrayLiz is a senior editor at HGTV.com and an co-editor-in-chief for Design Happens. She lives in a midcentury tri-level that’s stuck in the ‘70s…for now. When she’s not working on...


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