The things you collect say something intensely personal about you. But don’t just amass things, and remember if it’s worth collecting, its worth displaying well. Your collections well displayed will give your house soul. Don’t separate the pieces of your collection – keep them together. Hang them on the wall, line them along shelves, group them on a tabletop. Here’s a few of our favourite tips on finding, curating, and displaying them. Prepare to forget everything you think you know about collecting.
LESSON #1: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE INSTALL
The most traditional things like ironstone plates, take on a different look when displayed in new ways. Try hanging them on a wall, large to small. Boom! They’re modern. (And still useful at the table.)
Bonus Tip: Try neutral items against a deep, dark background. They’ll really stand out.
LESSON #2: YOU SHOULD ACTUALLY USE THEM
Don’t put things in glass boxes. You’re a home maker, not a curator. Hang objects on a ceiling, floor to ceiling. It’s a great way of decorating if you can’t afford art. A collection of wooden cutting boards or wicker trays can be hung on a wall, and used whenever you need them.
Bonus Tip: Group items together in one place. Even things that are not beautiful become fascinating when there are lots of them.
LESSON #3: THEY’RE NOT ALL PRECIOUS
Inexpensive, utilitarian things shine when displayed well. Beer bottles, copper jelly moulds, even a collection of one favorite object like Converse All Stars sneakers in every colour instantly becomes a form of installation art on a table or in a closet.
Bonus Tip: Surround yourself with things you LOVE that make you happy when you look at them.
LESSON #4: IT’S REALLY, TRULY ART
Can’t afford a Picasso? Don’t worry. Think of a wall covered with LP covers from the Sevenites. Very little money, but lots of style nostalgia value – and a great conversation starter. Love your collection for itself, not its dollar value. Collections begun to make money are rarely as interesting as those started out of love.
Bonus Tip: Begin slowly. You can always edit and upgrade later.
LESSON #5: ELEVATE THE EVERYDAY
Objects you use every day can become beautiful massed together with an eye to aesthetics. Case in point: the pepper mill. With their curvaceous shapes, a collection of Danish mills, each displayed on its own shelf, feels more like a cool gallery wall than mere table seasoning.
Bonus Tip: Discover the beauty of one material. Cluster and collect all wood, all metal, or all glass containers.
LESSON #6: THEY’RE INSTANT SEASONAL DECOR
Natural elements can be a great way to mimic handcrafted collectibles like you see in art galleries. From branches to beach stones glued onto paper or driftwood sculptures, they are a zero-cost way to bring nature indoors.
Bonus Tip: Try putting a glass dome on it, to make it look more important.