Taxidermy in Interior Design: Cool or Cruel?

It's poll time again! Today I'm asking you to weigh in on your thoughts on the use of taxidermy in interior design. Last weekend I visited the store Paxton Gate in San Francisco, and was overwhelmed by the vast inventory of curiosities. As much as I was taken in by their selection of taxidermy,  I had to ask myself if using it in home design is ever OK? Is fashion taxidermy (as I call it) really any different than wearing leather or fur? I have to admit though, a stuffed peacock does add a little flair...

So tell me. Taxidermy: cool or cruel?

*Images via Lonny and Femina Denmark


  1. I've never really thought about this! Personally, taxidermy creeps me the eff out. I think it adds flair in photographs and such, but in person...bleh.

    The Tall Blonde Artist

    1. I completely agree with you, Kat. Looking at these photographs, I'm tempted to vote COOL... but in person, ewwww, CRUEL...


  2. I'm going to have to go with cruel. Its too creepy, epecially being in someones home lol nice blog by the way, just reading a few other posts and it was very captivating, good content :-)

    Looking forward to more. New follower!
    mycrushcouture.blogspot.com - hopefully you can stop by

  3. I just went into the Portland Paxton Gate for the first time a couple of weeks ago! I was blown away by all that they had, but I would feel more comfortable having some of the non-taxidermy stuff they have displayed in my home: rare fossils, precious rocks and gems, and okay... bones. I do have an ostrich bone in my apartment (it's shaped like a bowl, so I use it as one)!


  4. Thanks so much for the sweet comment! I'm following you now too-great blog! In regard to the question: I have a pair of vintage antlers up in my home, and I have gotten some negative remarks on it-nothing too crazy, and more in a joking manner-but still! I know it's not quite the same-I think a stuffed peacock would get a whole new realm of negative comments!

  5. More cruel than cool. I find it creepy to be surrounded by dead animals..but well there is no accounting for taste :P


  6. Well, there's certainly a big difference between waiting for an animal to die and preserving it and hunting it for it's fur/form/antlers, etc.

    I think something especially interesting is the fake tacky taxidermy impressions that stores like Urban Outfitters put out. There's a certain strange aesthetic to that - and though I don't like it, it is an alternative to the real thing.

    Ultimately, I think the whole taxidermy-as-decoration thing works better in editorials/photoshoots than in real life. In reality, it just end sup looking creepy haha.

    Great post. like this poll idea - I love when blogs are a discussion.


  7. I like your blog!

    check out my blog and, if you want, let's follow each other on GFC or Bloglovin' or both ;)

    LA By Diana Live Magazine

  8. I will have to go with cruel on this one. I love animals, I had 4 dogs, one cat, 3 bunnies so far :) and I can't even imagine something like this.

  9. This can look good in some rooms with retro, vintage style, but this is cruel.
    On the other side, these animals died before taxidermy, it's not like they killed them just because of that, but still...cruel.

  10. I would have to go with Cool(:
    Would you like to follow each other??
    Hope to hear from you soon!


  11. Cool blog. I fell in love with this animal hide carpet at IKEA and never really had the courage to go buy it.

    Follow each other?


  12. Nowadays one can make animal decor out of anything, no need to use real stuffed animals. I have nothing against antlers or peacock feathers, but I wouldn't like a stuffed animal in my home.



  13. thank you for sharing

  14. Hi Chelsea,
    First off, I just want to say thank you so much for visiting my blog. Without your comment, I never would've found your amazing blog! I really love the polls that you do, I've read through several of your previous posts and it really got me thinking!

    I thought it would be fun to participate in your latest poll, so here goes! :)
    To be honest, I think taxidermy as decoration when used minimally is aesthetically pleasing, especially in photos that appear in magazines. However, it is not something I would or possibly ever want in my home space because the thought of using animals as decoration is enough to make me want to hurl just thinking about what these beautiful creatures go through.

    XO, Linda at The Style Moodboard

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  17. I don't like taxidermy at all, but I really love your bog <3


  18. Cruel, it would be nice if it not from real animal. BTW, Paxton gate is one of my fav store, too but for plant and some weird decoration thou.


  19. Your blog is amazing, such an inspiration. Hope you pass by and follow me or we can follow each other.

    xo, Vanessa

  20. I love your blog! This post is awesome!
    Check out my blog, write your opinion and maybe...follow?
    Where are you from?

  21. Thanks for stopping by my blog this weekend, lady! :)
    I don't necessarily think this is 'cruel,' rather quite the same as wearing fur, feathers, or leather (which I do...sorry PETA)...but I'm not a huge fan of the style either...something just freaks me out about a stuffed anything on my walls ;)

  22. Personally, I think it's a little creepy - just imagining it once alive and now stuffed makes me feel a bit uneasy lol.

  23. Yeah, I have no idea...My brother has stuffed 'animals' and to me it looks redneck - but those are kind of chic.

  24. i would have to say i think its a bit tacky, unless a designer can make it work which i havnt noticed so far.

    i hope you visit my blog as well :)

    Figure Of Chic.

  25. As much as I think the peacock is pretty too.. I think I have to go with cruel. Just weird to have dead animals as decorations! Love your blog by the way. Following you now!


  26. I agree with you, that could looks cool on pics but still is very cruel on reality!
    I'd prefer waaaay long to have statues on my home thant these animals!


  27. Cool! Im from Texas though so mounted animals are pretty typical down here

  28. I think it is more creepy than anything else. Can you imagine waking up to that?? Ugh.

    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  29. I think it depends on the animal. I don't mind birds or animals that are hunted for used for food. But it makes me sad to see people walking on real zebra hides. No one is eating zebra meat, right???

    1. Anonymous10/19/2012

      Hi Brooke,
      My husband and I actually just got back from an African Hunting Safari and every animal that we got we ate. The Zebra meet is one of the favorites over there and we actually donated some zebra meet to one of the local schools. They were so greatful to have the protein for the children! It seems harsh but the animals there are to them like deer and elk are to us in the states.....a great source of food for the people. :) Hope this helps ease your mind a little. ;)

  30. i think they look cool but i would definitely go for a fake one. otherwise is can be kind of cruel ;)
    xo TJ

  31. Interesting blog post. Hunting an animal/or eating an animal for food consumption is much different (in my mind) that wearing it. As far as real antlers in the home.. well I guess it's fitting in some homes.. not in mine though.


  32. thought provoking! I do not think I'd like to have a 'stuffed' animal in my living room! Hope you are having a wonderful day!
    Style-Delights Blog
    PS. I invite you to enter an exciting INTERNATIONAL Giveaway!
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  33. ummm, taxidermy kind of creeps me out. but to each his own. ;)

    <3, Mimi
    $100 Shopbop Gift Card Giveaway -- Open internationally!

  34. I think taxidermy is creepy because I don't like seeing a eyes looking at me - but I like using animal hide, feathers and horns as part of furniture and decor. I could handle antlers in the house as long as they aren't attached to a face!

  35. Anonymous6/12/2012

    I am kind of torn about this. I think it looks amazing in pictures and the I want something for my house, but when I see them at antique stores, I get really creeped out. So I don't know if I can fully commit either way!!

  36. Anonymous6/12/2012

    As great as it is to mix textures and elements (wood, iron, glass, fabric, plants...), dead animals just creep me out. Cruel. I don't want a room to evoke feelings of death, and what that animal's life had been like. And now it's on the wall. Ew.

  37. I'm not into taxidermy but as long as it's fake, it's fine with me.

  38. It creeps me out. But then again, I'm not really a fan of the antler trend either. Great discussion!

  39. I think it's cruel, I'm vegeterian so I can't imagine to have a dead beast in my livingroom

  40. Anonymous6/17/2012

    its fine with me. just like having my chicken chop

  41. Anonymous3/17/2013

    Cruel! Why should an animal die to make your room look rustic? Real or fake, it glorifies hunting, which is really a sick practice.

  42. Anonymous3/18/2013

    In the UK taxidermy is certainly not cruel. Taxidermists use animals that are already dead and this is highly regulated under different licences. The roads kill 104 million birds a year and the domestic cat 90 million. These carcasses will only rot.

    As a taxidermy collector I can honestly say that everyone I know who collects, and especially the taxidermists themselves are wildlife lovers who could think of nothing worse than killing for taxidermy.

  43. Anonymous4/16/2014

    I think theirs a huge difference between game trophy and natural history that have died from natural cause or road kill, i like it myself and have no problem with it in my home, on the other hand i wouldn't have a trophy head on my wall.

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  45. I really appreciate the thorough research that went into this blog post. It was very interesting to learn about the history of taxidermy and how it has been used in interior design. ipvanish coupon code The different perspectives presented in this post gave a unique insight into this trend.


Thanks so much for your comments! I always enjoy reading them and look forward to visiting your blogs as well:)