Living Rooms

Staying ahead of wall decorating trends

Are wall trophies here to stay? Let’s be frank about taxidermy, shall we? Done tastefully, a stuffed animal looks great on your walls. Done poorly and your home looks like Norman Bates’ office in Psycho. The Pump House restaurant in Fairbanks has a 12’ tall, mounted grizzly bear that makes its point.

I confess that the only trophy I ever tacked on my wall was a singing plastic fish that I took outside after a while and hammered to silence with a rock.

Get  your goat!

Photo by Billington Ranch Taxidermy

Photo by Billington Ranch Taxidermy

Whether it’s a marmot, your child’s first deer, or a panther, Billington Ranch Taxidermy outside Houston claims to give it the same personalized attention to detail. Founder Evelyn Billington has won many national titles for her work, including National Champion Reptile in 2004.

Danger! Mind your fingers!

Photo by Cardboard Safari

Photo by Cardboard Safari

When you buy an animal trophy from Cardboard Safari, beware the laser-cut edges of recycled cardboard. These sustainable, artistic and non-toxic designs from Virginia come in a number of heads, styles, critters and shapes. Custom colors available.

Octoguitarus Rex

Photo by Bit Rebels

Photo by Bit Rebels

Steampunk designer Nemo Gould grew up on Sci-Fi and comic art. He re-uses found articles like salad bowls, vacuum parts, and silverware. This “robo-trophy” was cobbled together from a trashed rocking chair and a hacked-up guitar.

Equine wall-wear

Photo by Art-ickles

Photo by Art-ickles

This wild horse trophy (15in. X 11in. X 7in.) is but one of the delightful “funky animal trophies” sold at Art-ickles.com.  It’s yours for $105. Note: you may want to evaluate your room lighting before decorating with complex designs and subtle colors.

We’re hunting wabbits

Photo by Bronwyn Lewis

Photo by Bronwyn Lewis

I love the audacity behind the designs of Bronwyn Lewis. Founder of the Lime & Iron Studio in Chapel Hlll, Lewis studied at Rhode Island School of Design and works as an illustrator.

There you have it. If you’re looking for quick fixes to your living room, shop for well-made or unconventional decorating that pleases your fancy. Never mind what others think!

Everyone grew up in a neighborhood that has that house. The yard was a clutter of weeds and broken bottles, and an overgrown trellis masked the front door. You were scared to pass by at night.

In what has become one of the most-challenging housing markets ever, you’d be surprised how many people with homes like this think they’ll sell them. All things being equal, a would-be buyer will take the clean, attractive, uncluttered home and yard.  Here are great ways to send buyers packing:

Valley of the curb appeal monster

Photo by Ugly House Photos

Photo by Ugly House Photos

I was stunned to find this photo at Ugly House Photos. The home backed upon my childhood home in the San Fernando Valley. In this economic climate, buyers aren’t that interested in huge fixer-uppers. It’s tragic, considering all the affordable ways to brighten your home’s façade.

Landscaping by Sparky

Photo by Cheap Bee Removal

Photo by Cheap Bee Removal

Good luck staging a home for sale with Sparky in the yard, unless you’re tossing in a huge mallet to whack his furry lil’ skull. The tail-lights diminishing into the night, those belong to potential buyers.

Shrinking your expectations

Photo by Ripley's

Photo by Ripley's

That genuine artifact you brought back from Brazil just might diminish your closing points – if anyone buys your place. Better Homes and Gardens recommends 20 ways to boost curb appeal. But your family photo of Uncle Max with a geisha or the head of that elk you dropped last year must come off the wall.

When less is more

Photo by Career Line

Photo by Career Line

Those cute extras you’re including in the sale – the garden shed, workshop, barn – will only hurt if they’re in considerably worse shape than the rest of the home. It’s like trying to swim the English Channel with an anvil on your back.

There are no guarantees in tough times, but when it comes to staging a home and property, it pays to be a clean freak.

Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)


  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.