Animal Ornamentation

Story and photos by JD Dotson

When I was a kid, my best friend lived in a house with all manner of stuffed animals. Her dad was a hunter and proudly displayed his trophies on the walls. There were various animal heads blankly staring at houseguests as well as birds frozen on perches, a squirrel stopped in its tracks crawling down a branch and furniture and floor coverings made from hides. They were a resourceful family; every bit of the animal was eaten and then put on display or used as furniture. While I believe all woodland creatures are beautiful, I decided to showcase the ones that didn’t really romp through the forest.

I am not sure I would eat off of any of these, but I would definitely hang them on my wall. Decorative upcycled vintage plates from Craft(s) Gallery feature cats, stags and all kinds of creatures dressed to the nines.


The gaze of these animals follow you around the room but without all the judgment. The 36 x 48” prints on heavy paper hang best unframed.


Craft(s) Gallery & Mercantile

572 S. 4th St.


The small ceramic deer heads look best as a herd hanging on the wall. They also do double time as both beautiful handmade wall décor and a place to hang your hat or coat.


The flock of birds was flushed into a frenzy and captured mid-flight in clay. They are available in two sizes and look great singularly or in pairs. I prefer a giant flock displayed on hand-marbled paper.

$28 and $32


806 E. Market St.


Enhance a mantle or table centerpiece with this trio of hammered aluminum taper holders. The stag horn pieces come in three sizes.

$15, $20 and $35

These owl- and fox-shaped pillows can keep your square pillows company on the couch. Your kids will get a kick out of them as well.


Stag + Doe

1013 E. Main St.


Artist Betty Olmsted’s original, colorful watercolors of creatures in their habitats come to life in beautiful velvet backed pillows and tea towels.

Pillows: $71

Towels: $26

Dandelion Boutique

3729 Lexington Rd.


I still believe in the power of unicorns and the excitement of dragons, and I hope my baby girl always does too! Felted wool wall hangings keep magical sets of eyes on the little ones and add a bit of fantasy to their room.

$62 each

This clever, sly fox is handmade by local artist Junior Schmidt on reclaimed wood.



562 S. Fourth St., Louisville

234 Pearl St., New Albany


Whether invoking the Midwest or the Southwest, Urban Farmhouse has these horse heads in multiple sizes and finishes in iron or a resin bull skull to hang. Nodding to your Kentucky roots or paying homage to Georgia O’Keefe is made easy with the right wall décor.

$189 and up   

Urban Farmhouse

2830 Frankfort Ave.