Outfit Your Trophy Room
Do you have a trophy collection you would like to show off, but not exactly sure where to start when it comes to designing a trophy room? From amazing taxidermy to beautiful hides to worn leather furniture, these can all be conversation starters. For many hunters, it’s a reminder of their travels or even their childhood.
If you have ever been in a trophy room, you know the owner enjoys telling stories about each piece, describing the captivating experience. Many stories start with their father teaching them to shoot or hunt, resulting in a passion.
Trophy rooms act as a living book, where the pieces are a different chapter; the hunter is the author. From an outside perspective, a trophy room may appear outlandish, filled with dead animal heads and statues. However, hunters will feel comfortable and understand the room.
The Goal of a Trophy Room
Trophy rooms will look different, just as the personality of the hunter is. The type of mounts and trophies can have a major impact on the ambiance, often showcasing the various continents and regions traveled. Generally, the hunter chooses pieces that reflect individual style and taste, helping them relive the moment for years.
There is more to a trophy room than taxidermy placement; it can have a theme, accents, and textures that also make it unique. Additionally, there is no right or wrong way to design a trophy room. It can be hundreds or thousands of square feet; the main goal is to make it personal to the owner. At G&R, that is what we aim to do when creating a trophy room for our clients.
We have been helping hunters design custom game rooms for many years and know there is more to it than just the trophy. Our aim is to put your style and personal taste into it, making something you can be proud of.
It’s More Than a Trophy Room
Throughout time, our ancestors recorded hunts, originally through stone paintings known as pictographs and petroglyphs. Anthropologists have discovered the values and sense of preserving and sharing experiences have been part of human behavior since the beginning, particularly with hunting.
A trophy room is a reminder of the epic outcome from pursuing each animal, and not just the moment of the kill. A wall mount has a more realistic record of what occurred, something record books and recordings cannot achieve. Therefore, a trophy room is more than just mounts; it’s recorded art.
According to Cam Barlow, a Saskatchewan native, “I now have a space that is comfortable for hunters and those that may not have the same passions. I have had non-hunters give compliments on the tasteful trophy room.”
The goal was to avoid a cluttered trophy room, as that can be distracting and it loses the feel. Additionally, Cam recommended dividing the trophy room into sections with multiple focal points. For instance, the main wall showcases his mule deer, while another wall is all whitetail trophies.
Additionally, Cam uses a bookshelf for sharing his first edition books and hunting photos. Cam said, “With work and small kids, life has been too busy to get outdoors as often. My goal was to create a room I could relive memories, feel comfortable, and bring my love of the outdoors inside.”
Hunting For Inspiration
The first step of creating an amazing trophy room is an inspiration. Figure out which elements, accents, and overall style you would like to achieve, then begin searching for inspiration. Use various sources, such as photos, similar ideas, home décor websites, and Pinterest.
Remember, you are looking for inspiration based on others, but that does not mean you have to replicate it. There are various forms of inspiration and a great approach for deciding specific colors or themes.
Once you have the ideas for your design, begin mapping it out with your chosen color scheme. Accentuate details by considering the contrasting color of your animal mount and the wall it will go on. Wood can be overwhelming and distracting, while dark walls could compete against the animal or artwork.
By finding ideas from inspiring pieces, you can get a visual of how certain animals and colors will look together and if it fits your style before trying it. Accents can set the entire mood of your game room, from faux stone to reclaimed wood or barn beams. The important thing is to take your time and not rush it to get the right balance.
Positioning and Style
With a good design, your trophy room can highlight which areas of the world you have hunted in based on the species present. There can be challenges with arranging a life of taxidermy within a room, but as the saying goes, “less is more”.
Petersen’s HUNTING Executive Field Editor, Craig Boddington, said, “I prefer keeping continents separated, but find it fun to combine small animals with larger animals. For example, placing a royal antelope behind a leopard.” Additionally, he has what some formally refer to as a “statement wall,” which is part of a full wall showcasing meaningful taxidermy.
He has a corner of his office arranged with the first grizzly he took down in 1974, along with his best pronghorn from the 1980s and first desert sheep from 2003. They offer amazing conversation starters while holding a deep meaning for the hunter. There are many ways to arrange a statement wall, such as by year, family member, or most memorable.
Remember, each wall of your trophy room is a blank canvas that can be used to create the focal point, express your style, and leave an impression.
Art and Furniture
The small details such as art and furniture are often overlooked when designing a trophy room. For some, these elements may be in the thousands, but they don’t have to be expensive. A trophy room can be furnished in many ways, including antiquarian books, sporting art, African artifacts, bookends, Navajo rugs, bronze sculptures, and more. The more collectible a piece, the higher the cost usually is, but similar items can be obtained online, like eBay, much cheaper.
Many hunters prefer adding things between mounts, such as artifacts from indigenous areas or old broadheads. This is a personal touch, unique to each individual. Based on the style you are going for, you may choose to add a classic feel, rugged, African, Western, or another look. Remember what your inspiration is.
Finally, not all items in a trophy room need to be new. Items that have rusty or worn appearances can add the right finishing touch based on the style and theme. In fact, a little patina could fit right in, like a lightly used leather chair or sofa.
Not all hunters will have thousands of square feet for a trophy room, with tens or hundreds of thousands to toss into the design for preserving their memories and adventures. However, that does not mean you cannot have your very own trophy room within your budget. It is up to you how to outfit the trophy room based on your ideas, inspiration, style, and preferences.