There are so many ways to collect today, from flea markets, antique malls to online shopping like ebay. Some people like owning only new things, others want pieces with history. We collect the things that appeal and intrigue and inspire. You can tell a lot about people by the things we see in their homes. Collecting is personal, and it’s about living with the things we love. Collections are as various as people. I’ve even seen a woman who collects lint and turns it into art.
It’s been said that a collector is a curious, passionate person, and the more passionate one is, the greater is the collection. I remind my husband of this when he calls my collecting obsessive.
THE RULE OF THREE
If you have three, you have a collection. If you have two, you have two.
Always display things in groups of at least three.
We want our homes to reflect
our personalities, and that’s what
the things we collect reveal. We
don’t want our homes to look
cluttered. Even if you have many
collections and display a large
amount of them, your
surroundings don’t have to look
Color sets the mood of your room. You can change the appeal and focus of a room without painting or reupholstering by simply switching out your colorful collectables. They have punch and their mobility makes them a decorator’s dream.
Cardinal rule: Open shelving and china cabinets are for display, not storage.
Jampacked cabinets lack a focal point.
You should be calling attention to the most attractive items.
1 adhere to a theme or
2 use balance, but don’t
3 use a platter, soup
tureen, or pitcher as a
focal point, your anchor
4 stacks and rows are
more restful to the eye
5 stacking teacups on
saucers rather than on
each other maintains neat lines
Consider the backgrounds for your displays. If the inside of your china hutch is dark, paint it white or a pale color. If your display items are white, paint your shelves black or red.
Two colors with a strong contrast will make your collection pop.
The same principle applies to shiny verses matte finishes.
Mantels used to be where the family displayed their crests, sabers and hunting trophies and often signified the family’s status. Today mantles are less formal, less symmetrical. It’s more about what you like than in adhering to design rules.
The mantle is a good place for more fragile, extraordinary or expensive things, because there’s less traffic. A mirror, clock, painting, flag or quilt is a good anchor. You should have a unifying element. It’s good to remember that a mantle is the bottom part of a picture frame. What flanks the mantle is equally important as what’s on it. Remember to tie in the items on your hearth and the adjoining wall.
Curio cabinets can become a jumble. Create small bleacher-like steps with several layers
for your displays. Make your own
with painted or stained wood or
Choose a color that blends in
with the cabinet.
You can use cup hooks on the
underside of shelves to hang
Small boxes can become shadow
boxes. Heart-shaped candy
boxes will hold miniatures or use
picture frames or flat items like Valentines, stamps, paper fans or handkerchiefs.
There are also memory boxes to hold three dimensional displays.
Think of tables as pedestals. They can be casual or formal, whatever your style.
The same rules apply when displaying objects on a table, dresser or cabinet top. The bigger & heavier the table, the bolder the objects should be.
Have a theme in mind. Use one or two recurring colors.
Have a focal point.
Start with large objects like lamps and statuary and work to smaller. Think of a physical landscape with mountain peaks and smaller hills at the outer edges.