Deer in the dining room

Hello. It’s been a little while. Thanks for your patience during my blogging holiday. We’ve had a lovely summer, and having this time all together is something I will always treasure.

Our days have been filled with all kinds of fun, including a few little projects. One of the projects was a final decorative touch in the dining room. Hanging two sets of antlers in the corner.

Two sets of antlers hanging in the dining room

This was always part of my original plan during the One Room Challenge this spring, but in the finishing stages it was cut.

The delay was mostly due to one set of antlers not being mounted. It took me some time to figure out how I wanted to mount them and how to do it.

The first set of antlers came from Matt’s Grandpa. We’ve had them for awhile, but haven’t had a good place to put them. They’re mounted and varnished and quite old.

Two sets of antlers hanging in the dining room

I decided to try to make our new antlers match the old ones as much as possible. I traced the mounting plaque, but made it a bit taller, as the skull plate on the new antlers was a bit larger. I know the skull plates are typically trimmed and covered, but I actually like seeing the bone. I’ve written about my (potentially strange) attraction to skulls before. If antlers are considered attractive, why can’t the bone be as well?

Covered skull on mounted antlers

Mounted antlers unvarnished and uncovered skull

I also decided to keep the antlers natural rather than varnishing them. I like the light tone of the antlers and wanted to highlight their natural beauty.

The next step was to try to match the colour of the plaque. I didn’t want to buy new stain for such a small project, so I tried blending a few different stains. I got close, but not exact. Part of that is likely due to a difference in the woods. The grain of the new plaque is much more pronounced than in the old one.

I was nervous about attaching the antlers to the plaque, but it worked out much better than I expected. Online tutorials prescribe bolting the antlers to the plaque. I simply drilled pilot holes in the skull and then screwed through the back of the plaque into the bone using regular screws. The skull seems secure, so I hope that it will hold.

The final touch was adding a picture hanger to the back of the plaque.

Back of mounted antlers

I put both antlers in the corner next to our deer painting. When I first photographed the dining room for the reveal post, this corner looked very empty. Over the last few months, I’ve gotten used to its emptiness–part of my draw to a bit more minimalism. However, since the antlers are a bit hidden in the corner, the room doesn’t feel too busy.

Two sets of antlers hanging in the dining room

I like that the antlers are finally on display. I feel like displaying them honours the animals. While my preference is always to see deer alive walking around outside, these deer in some ways live on as I appreciate their antlers every day.

Are you a fan of antlers in decor? Do you have any antlers at your house?


4 thoughts on “Deer in the dining room

  1. Well hello! Lovely to see you in my inbox. 🙂

    Those antlers add quite a sophisticated touch. It’s funny how the meaning of things changes over the years. I don’t thing that’s the word that would have sprang to mind 20 years ago. You also did an excellent job with the mounting, and I agree the skull looks cool. I like cow skulls, so if you’re weird, so am I! I’m a fan of what I would call the “cabinet of curiosities” school of decorating. I have a friend who does an excellent job of this, with all kinds of interesting bits and pieces from nature highlighted in her home.

    So did the sunflower farm run again this summer, or have they quit altogether?

    • Thanks for the warm welcome. You’re right, I don’t think sophisticated is a word that would have been associated with antlers not too long ago.

      Good memory on the sunflowers. I noticed this week that their fields are all in bloom, but they planted a few rows of corn right along the road, so you can’t see the flowers. I bet most people don’t know they’re there! Their business is selling the seeds, so they can’t really give up on this as a crop, or else they’d have to change their whole business. The barrier strategy seems to be working for them so far.

  2. Growing up in a family of deer hunters, I am very accustomed to antlers or more often entire deer heads hanging around aunt and uncle’s homes. And honestly some are even named. But no, we don’t have any plans to hang wildlife on our walls!😉

    Welcome back!

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