Jan 13

Displaying your Collectibles

People always ask me where I shop for art and accessories. This really depends, on who I’m shopping for, their budget, time frame, taste, etc. Most days you can find me searching through stacks and shelves at the various HomeGoods, Pier One, World Market/Cost Plus, Target, Ikea, Z Gallerie and Crate and Barrel stores in Orange County. I can almost always find great looking pieces at these locales.

But my favorite way to accessorize a room is with unique collectibles… one of a kind items that my clients already own… pieces that really mean something to them. Often they’ve been carried home from travels, inherited, handmade, or searched for at antique shops, flea markets or on Ebay. Whether it’s to my taste or not, I always have fun playing around and decorating with these one-of-a-kind pieces that tell a story about that person or family. The weirder, wilder and wackier… the better! That is what makes a home personal, unique and beautiful.

So, how to show off unique collections?  This can be tricky… bring to mind Aunt Mildred’s house and her 100′s of Lladros perched on every surface, upstairs and down.  Spreading collections around an entire room or house can look busy, cluttered and overwhelming. I often start by paring down… every single piece does not have to be out at the same time.  Then, I group items together and decide how to display them… sitting on shelves or tables, hanging on walls or collected in bowls or baskets. Bringing “like” items together makes a bigger impact…  they’ll be more noticeable and look valuable. People will walk into your room and say “Wow,” instead of silently wondering how you live with all of that clutter!

Ways to display?  Shelves always make wonderful display bases.  With small items, like these vintage “snuff bottles,” I like to use risers like books, boxes and small chests to show them off at different levels.

The space above kitchen cabinets and high shelves is perfect for lining up collections like these gourds:

and these Vintage French wine bottles and pitchers:


Some collectibles look best when hung on a wall, like these old farm tools:

and musical instruments:


old records:


and gameboards:


Animal heads might not be everyone’s decor of choice, but this homeowner was proud of his hunting trophies and wanted to show them off in his home, so up they went!


Gathering items into a basket is a great option for displaying certain collectibles. These vintage tennis racquets are fun to look at and say something about the career and passion of the owner:



“Found’ items, like feathers, hand painted rocks and shells are earthy, textural and a beautiful addition when grouped in pots and bowls.




Certain collections look best displayed on a rack, like this grouping of handwoven fabrics, and hat/bag collection:


Ladders, especially old ones, offer a fun way to show off textiles like these handmade quilts.


Don’t be shy about bringing out the things you love to collect and using them to decorate your house.  If you edit carefully, group “like” items and display them well, you will end up with an home that has YOU written all over it.


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Related posts:

  1. Beautiful Textiles
  2. Flea Market Find of the Month/January
  3. Storage Solutions
  4. A Decorated Kitchen
  5. Loving Orange

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