Displaying Collections


I received a question about how to stylishly display collections from my freshman year college roommate, Laura, a while back and am just now getting around to posting about it. I love the holidays, after all my house looks like santa’s workshop exploded in it, but the shopping, traffic, stress and SNOW drives me batty. Bah humbug, I know.

So finally I can dispense my two cents on the subject. Displaying a collection of items, be it photos, snow globes, plates, album covers- can be a challenge for the aesthetically minded folk. There are ways to show off your hard won treasures without looking like a kitsch museum, though. I know a lot of designers who would tell you to hide all the “frivolity” of personal affects in closets- even family photos- for the sake of the space’s “ambiance”. But this is real life, and your real home, not a photo shoot. You want to see these items, but not CRINGE when you see them. Collections displayed correctly serve as fantastic, individual works of art.

For items that are 2 dimensional, like the aforementioned photos, albums, ticket stubs or what have you, the easiest thing to do is frame all the items in matching simple gallery frames (these from west elm are my favorite right now). If the items are small enough, create a collage of them in shadow boxes like this. Hang all the frames and shadow boxes on the wall like in this photo below. Or buy matching picture ledges to attach to your wall and lean the frames on them (second picture below).

(image courtesy of living, etc. magazine)

I love this image of a collection of plates hung in a group on the wall. If only I had an actual plate collection! This looks fantastic on a bare kitchen wall and is so easy to do with the right hardware! Find plate hangers here.

(image courtesy of living, etc. magazine)

This designer collects vintage splints ( a bit strange, but I digress- we all have our oddities). I love that he put them all in matching deep shadow boxes and mounted them! You could do this with any smaller three-dimensional objects and lots of strong glue.

For items such as vases or figurines, display them on these incredible small ledges that you attach to your wall. I would love to these floor to ceiling (provided you are in a pet and infant free home) on a narrow tall wall space. It instantly makes any collection look dramatic and modern.

If you have a specific question about your personal collection, drop me an e-mail at erin@element-interiors.com.

Back to some last minute shopping and wrapping. Ho,ho,ho.

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