Thursday, November 8, 2012

More Dead Birds and Chinoiserie

Melanie Turner
I have posted several times before about the growing trend by some interior designers of using dead birds with Chinoiserie. This is bad taste in the extreme. Just because Chinoiserie wallpapers, fabrics, etc. often depict peacocks and other beautiful birds does not mean one should up the decorating ante by incorporating real stuffed ones.

Here are my previous posts on this subject here and here. Here Melanie Turner has tried to be different and has used a taxidermied emu in lieu of a peacock in this foyer. Just say "No" to this awful trend that I take personally because interior designers invariably use these poor birds with Chinoiserie.

And what about those ghastly furry stools that look like Cousin Itt from the Addams Family?

The Addams Family Cousin Itt

Nothing says welcome to your guests like being greeted by a large dead animal

Interior designer Melanie Turner


  1. I'm with you on this. Dead animals are not decorative. They are tragic.

  2. I have that bottom bird in my happy file - the photograph makes me laugh whatever mood I'm in.

  3. "Nothing says welcome to your guests like being greeted by a large dead animal." That has to be the funniest caption I have ever seen!

  4. Every word true! Hope this trend dies in the water!!! Yuck!

  5. So interesting what some think is chic. Antlers for example; some designed are using only naturally shed antlers.How do we know that?

    Pottery Barn does have the antlers made from artificial materials; which I do admit they have a sculptural look!

    Art by Karena

  6. Thank you for your continuing effort to elevate the consciousness of interior designers. I loved the soulful ostrich portrait at the end. How could anyone look into those eyes, and then kill and stuff that delightful creature?

  7. I had neighbors with emus like the bird in the last photo. Delightful creatures that liked having their throats rubbed, as well as enjoyed being sprayed with a hose. I was fortuate to hold one of their eggs while the chick hatched.

    I agree…”Nothing says welcome to your guests like being greeted by a large dead animal” or even a small one…

  8. It's weird. I wonder if they move the dead animals from room to room?

  9. While I love your blog and respect your opinion, I think that you may be fighting a loosing battle.

    Taxidermy and decorating with horns, antlers, butterflies, insects, animal mounts has been around for a long time and seems to be a trend that does not seem to end.

    I think it is ironic that the same people that comment about the taxidermy do not see a problem with horns, mounts and antlers.

    Have a great day, thank you for the thought provoking post.

  10. My great grandmother (who was a suffragette) once wrote a newspaper article about the despotism of fashion and women who went around with "dead birds bobbing about on their foolish heads." She also made my father eat for supper a song bird that he shot and killed in her front yard with his brand new gun. Her cook prepared it, and Daddy could not leave the table till he ate every stringy bite, served on limoges, of course. Something tells me you two ladies could have been good friends, Beth!

    That being said, I am very Southern and grew up in a house full of heads, skins, tusks, etc. (my father hunted big game), so I have a slightly different take on taxidermy. Think "Out of Africa," and you get the picture. That being said, I must admit that the beautiful bird on the console is disturbing. And I also think those stools look like Cousin It. You nailed that one perfectly!

    The "trophies" that we have are close to becoming antiques and look a bit worse for the wear. You'll be pleased to know that most of them have taken up residence in my cousins' cabin. I do admit that I have some pheasant feathers from years ago that I still use in blue and white chinoiserie jars. Does that count as evil? Please say it's not so!



  11. What is the point of using dead birds in decorating? A ceramic or wood or sculpted bird brings life to a room, death brings, well, death. Honestly, how can chic decorators, who probably would not wear fur, rationalize using dead animals in interior decorating? Thank you for speaking out on this subject.

  12. I'm afraid I can't even bear the thought of a hide rug, so I'm definitely not the person to ask whether dead animals are chic. Absolutely not. But it's a slippery slope, as designers also use coral, which often is illegally harvested, imperiling reefs. I cannot imagine walking into a room and having dead eyes follow me around. A neighbor friend when I was growing up had an upright polar bear in their family room, with a black bear rug in the adjoining library, and a plethora of ducks, geese, and ungulate heads in both rooms. Ugh.

  13. Funny post Beth. I am NOT a fan of dead animals in the house, especially that ostrich greeting you in the entry!
    Have a great weekend.
    xo Nancy