How to Design Your Trophy Room
Some hunters call it a trophy room, others a game room, but it's a room of memories by either name. The room showcases your best artifacts and mementos collected over time, from travels, and time spent outdoors. Hunters can spend time in their trophy room remembering the experience, celebrating with the beauty of nature's creations.
Designing your trophy room is a common topic among hunters, especially during the Dallas Safari Club (DSC) convention each year. The following will go over some of the architectural design elements to consider when designing a trophy room, no matter what size you are working with.
There are endless options available. Remember, a trophy room is a reflection of personal passion and style, comfortable and inviting.
A trophy room should still be useful and functional as part of your home for friends, family, and/or clients. This includes sitting areas, tables, chairs, desks, a TV, poker table, or other elements to entertain and create usability. Trophy rooms don’t necessarily need to exude a museum-type atmosphere.
The size of the room you are working with can give off different impressions. For example, smaller rooms are intimate, and a bigger room appears impressive. A couple things to consider are your style, personality, and collection size. You want to avoid filling the room so much it becomes cluttered; space is a wonderful detail. It is recommended to have a wall height of 12ft to 14ft to achieve the best viewing of your taxidermy characteristics.
To have optimal hanging strength, studded walls need to have ¾-inch plywood installed with fire-rated sheetrock. This eliminates having to find studs to hang mounts, providing a full canvas. The fire-rated sheetrock helps give the room a little more protection while being durable and easier to repair compared to traditional sheetrock.
Neutral colored walls often have a better contrast against most taxidermy. If you plan to use animal hide rugs, having a neutral-colored floor also helps increase aesthetics. Bold colors and too much wood takes from the animal's natural beauty.
When designing trophy rooms with larger pieces like bear mounts, moose heads, or another large taxidermy, you will need double door access. If you are placing furniture in the center of the room, consider having outlets installed on the floor for easy access without extension cords cluttering the room. Also, consider the plumbing and drain locations if you plan to install a wet bar.
Remember, direct sunlight will damage your mounts over time due to UV light exposure. If you do want a skylight or window for natural light, it should be treated using 3M window film that will block the UV light.
Temperature and Humidity
Beauty is in the details, and that includes air duct covers, which can be an eyesore and distract from the rest of the room. By placing covers in areas that are less conspicuous or even camouflaging them using customized covers is helpful. Also, modern systems will help keep humidity between 40% and 50%, the ideal range for a trophy room to preserve taxidermy pieces.
The lighting is an important factor for any trophy room; it impacts how they are viewed and the overall atmosphere. With recessed canister fixtures, you can bring out the taxidermy. Space the fixtures every 32-inch to 36-inch around the perimeter, roughly two feet from the wall. This will light up the wall and mounts, while accent lights can be used to illuminate specific areas. The general lights that turn on when using the room are best installed with a dimmer control.