Imagine a household pet that required minimal care—i.e., no feeding, grooming, or housebreaking, just the occasional dusting. Perfect, right? That is, of course, if you don’t mind using now-departed furry friends as decorative accessories. Taxidermy: even the word’s etymology (Greek for the “arrangement of skin”) has a certain icky factor. But as with the popularity of skulls and animal skeletons, so too have stuffed animals become en vogue in interior design. Whether mounted to a plaque or lying underfoot, taxidermy is a trend worth watching.
Image: Nuevo Estilo
Taxidermy may be as old as the Pyramids, but its recent use in décor of all styles has cast the art in a new light. In fact, it was this design by Leticia Martínez (above) that prompted me to investigate further. The space is modern, using mid-century antiques alongside contemporary pieces as a homage to ‘50s Hollywood. But among the slick surfaces and bold patterns, I couldn’t help but furl my brow at the animal head staring back at me. Of course, I had seen taxidermy animals in interior design, but this seemed different—a fresh take on an ancient art form.
Image: New York Times
A few days later, I stumbled upon the Chicago home of designer David Hopkins (above). There again, paired with a vintage office chair and marble table, hung a furry animal head. “It’s official,” I thought. Taxidermy is no longer for hunting lodges and curiosity cabinets. Stuffed animals can now be seen in décor of all kinds. Here are a few more examples:
Options go far beyond woodland creatures. A stuffed zebra or other exotic animals add a touch of glamour.
Birds of a Feather
Stuffed birds may be among the most popular type of taxidermy. Peacock, anyone?
Small in Scale
A small, stuffed animal is perfect for a tabletop or bookcase. I love the whimsy of these two options.
So, those are my thoughts. How about yours? Taxidermy: glam or gross?