FOLLOW US >


How to Incorporate Antlers Into Your Cabin Design

For cabin owners with a love of nature-inspired style, no other light fixture sets the scene like an antler chandelier.



Antler lighting and cabins go together like peanut butter and jelly. The most popular way the antlers are used is in chandeliers, but antlers can be the basis for rustic table and oor lamps and wall sconces – or even furniture, frames or other decorative accent pieces.




GETTING THE POINT

 If you plan to invest in handmade antler lighting for a new cabin, start contacting potential handcrafters early in the home design process. Talk with the lighting artist about the size of the room the fixture will be in, your building schedule and your budget. A busy artisan may require weeks or months of lead time before being able to deliver the fixture to your new cabin.

See also Rustic Style: It's Only Natural

BEAUTY AND FUNCTION

Lighting artists will choose antlers based on their size and shape to construct chandeliers, lamps or sconces. Shapes will vary from large paddle-shaped antlers of moose to more spiky deer antlers. Once selected for a particular texture, the antlers are drilled to accept wiring and lamp parts. A quality chandelier should look balanced and conform with electrical safety guidelines. If the chandelier is being marketed as a piece of art, it should show a level of artistic ability and should be expertly constructed and finished.


RENEWABLE RESOURCE

In temperate climates, deer, elk and moose shed their antlers in the winter and grow a new set of bony appendages each spring. As the animal ages, the antlers he grows typically become larger. Antlers make male deer, elk and moose more attractive to the female and can be used in lights with other males during mating season. While you may be lucky enough to come across a shed antler in the woods, some people who hunt for shed antlers each year keep track of spots where the antlers are often found. The shed antlers may be sold to dealers or directly to craftspeople who make antler chandeliers or furniture. Antlers can also be reproduced by creating a mold from an antler, then filling that mold with resin. The resulting cast or faux antler can be painted to look like the original shed antler. Faux or cast antlers can be used as a less-expensive alternative to the real thing in creating light fixtures or other decorative accents.


See also Cabin Design & Decor: Rustic Lighting

KEEP IT INSIDE

It’s best to keep natural lighting inside your home. Unsealed pieces installed outdoors may become a draw for mice, squirrels and other small mammals that regularly gnaw on shed antlers in the wild as a convenient source of calcium.