Monday, May 2, 2011

Decorating With... Collections

Welcome to the last installment of my "Decorating with..." series!
(I feel so official, so "Masterpiece Theatre" right now.)

Are you a collector? If you answered yes you are definitely not alone -- I'd wager that most people collect something, even if their collection is small.  

Me? I'm too busy constantly purging my house and life of all uneccessary things (while my husband cries, "hey, wait! I was going to wear that tomorrow!") to build up any real collections, but I do recognize that I'm repeatedly attracted to the same sorts of items. I love things that went a couple rounds with Mother Nature; things like weathered wood, tumbled sea glass, and polished pebbles.

(does that count as a collection?)

Now that you've got all this stuff, what do you do with it? I vote for incorporating it into your decorating. If you love something, you should surround yourself with it, not just pile it into boxes or drawers where it can't be enjoyed.

Perhaps you have small collection of something that easily passes as a decor item -- milk glass, old books, a few glass floats (like me!). These can be easily scattered throughout your home as accents if you'd rather not approach your belongings as a collection and group them together.

(Source: Selina Lake)

Maybe however, you have a larger collection, which could be a bit more difficult to sneak casually into your decor.Some more examples would be multiple jars of sand from various beaches you've visited, a bunch of antique teacups, cowboy hats, or a giant collection of globes.

 Don't be afraid of displaying your collection as a group! 'Collection' does not automatically mean 'clutter.' I actually think grouping a collection together helps keep it cohesive and avoids the cluttered look, and it definitely personalizes your space.

(Source: lovely design via the Stir)

(Source: BHG)

And maybe you're just out there in new realms of awesomeness and you collect something like pez dispensers. In cases like that, my advice is to truly embrace the quirkiness of your collection and make it work. It's your collection and your house, after all.

No matter your collection type, size, or decorating style, try to remember: incorporate your collection into your decor, not the other way around.

Ideally, a display is going to add to your home instead of overwhelm it. So if you have the world's largest collection of cookie jars, consider storing the majority of them and rotating your displays. That way your decor stays fun and fresh, and people aren't creeped out by you and your massive shrine to cookie storage when they come over for dinner.

Or, you know... turn your basement into a cookie jar museum. 'Cause that's not creepy at all.


  1. I totally agree! I love the pictures you chose for this post, and I think your glass floats are awesome!

  2. I have to say the pez wall is awesome! I currently live in a land locked high desert and decorate with shells from all over the place that I have collected for the passed 20 years.

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