Do you have a collection you love, but aren’t sure what to do with it or how to display it in your home? In this post, I’m going to share several ideas on how to display a collection. With several collections of my own, I’ll also share some pictures along the way to get your ideas flowing.
Welcome back to my Inspired by Charm little mini-series about starting, displaying, and loving your home decor collection. This is the second post in the series. In my previous post, I shared ideas for starting a collection. It’s packed with a ton of great information. You can find that here if you missed it.
With that information covered, assuming you’re ready to start a collection or maybe have already begun forming a collection but not quite sure what to do with it, I’m goining to help you with the presentation today. I have several ideas for you on how to display a collection.
I think it’s really important to find a display and storage solution that works best for you. In the past, I’ve felt a little bogged down or stressed by my collections. However, now that I have set some parameters, know exactly what I want, and have set spaces for each of them, I am able to enjoy them without the stress.
Whether you prefer a more minimalist or maximalist esthetic, I have an approach or two that should work for YOU!
With that being said, let’s get into it!
How to Display a Collection
1. All Together
The most obvious way to display your collection is to put everything together. For example, if you collect ironstone serving dishes, bowls, and platters, they would create a beautiful look when displayed all together in a hutch or cabinet in your dining room or kitchen. Do you have a collection of picnic baskets? They would look cute stacked from largest to smallest in a little corner of your home.
Having a beautiful large collection display can make a really cohesive and impactful statement in your home.
As I mentioned in my previous post, it’s really important to set some parameters for your collection. In this way, you’ll know when enough is enough. For example, do you want your stack of picnic baskets to reach the top of your sofa or are you going dramatic and want them floor to ceiling?
For a more personal example, I’ve started a gallery wall going up the wall along my staircase. While I want to fill the entire wall from the bottom to the top of the stairs, I also want to keep this art collection contained within somewhat of a defined area. Once I fill in this area and reach the top of the stairs, my collection will end.
2. Limited Pieces
As much as we love our collections, there are instances where everything can’t be displayed. Whether you simply don’t have the room or just want to avoid excess clutter, a collection can still be possible if you limit its size.
For example, I unintentionally started collecting vintage salt and pepper shakers. I had no intentions of starting this collection, but a couple of years ago I found this adorable set of vintage-looking football player salt and pepper shakers while antiquing. They looked adorable in this particular spot in my butler’s pantry. While they could have looked lovely all year long, I prefer to switch things up seasonally, so I needed to find something for winter … and then for Christmas … and then for spring … and so on. Now I have a collection of about 6-8 sets of salt and pepper shakers! But, this is one of those collections I don’t display all at once. Only one piece of the collection is out at one time and the rest are tucked away in storage until their appropriate season.
Also, if you are tight on space but really want a collection, you can limit your display to 3-5 (or however many pieces your space allows). For example, I have a small rolling pin collection in my kitchen. I’ve limited that collection to what fits in a large crock under my kitchen work table. Since that is full, my collection is complete.
As I mentioned above, I’m a big fan of seasonal decorating, especially at Christmas. As you might guess, I have a few collections that just come out at certain times of the year. I suppose this is similar to my salt and pepper shakers, but these are collections with multiple pieces.
I love the idea of a seasonal collection as you get to enjoy them at specific times of the year. It becomes somewhat of a tradition to bring them out and set them up. Some of my Christmas collections are my personal favorites.
Again, if your seasonal collection starts to feel a bit overwhelming and more of a daunting task rather than a joyous tradition, you may want to start limiting the collection or only displaying the pieces you really love.
One of my favorite seasonal collections is my herd of plastic deer. This collection began when I inherited three of them from my grandparents. These deer seem to be somewhat rare so the collection grows slowly, but I do pick them up whenever I see them on my antiquing adventures. I have a few other Christmas collections I’ll be sharing with you in my next post in this mini-series.
4. Throughout Your Home
If you don’t like the look of a mass collection displayed all in one area, you can spread that collection throughout your home.
For example, maybe you love collecting unique indoor plants. This would be a fabulous collection to spread around your home. Consequently, each room could get a touch of greenery and each plant can get the ideal light needed to grow its best.
I’m not sure this counts as a collection, but one thing I collect that I have spread around my house is books. In some instances I have them sorted out by use. For example, all of my art books are near my art table. All of my gardening books are in my office, etc. I’ve also distributed some of my book collection by color. In my living room, I used mostly blue, black, and green books to match my decor. While this might not seem particularly organized to you, it works really well for me.
As you saw above, I have a collection of small brass animals. This would be another fun idea to spread out throughout your home. You could have one in each room. It could also be a fun little game to see if your guests notice or can find the brass animal in each room. Have fun with it!
Last but not least, collections can be displayed or stored for functionality.
For example, if you’ve been following IBC for some time, you might know that I love my specialty cake pans. From beehives to houses and even a skull (you can see them all HERE), I love using these pans when I need a unique and festive cake. I have this collection for functional purposes rather than something I want on display. I have a dedicated tote in my basement storage area where I keep all of these pans organized. Once this tote is full, my collection needs to stop. The other choice would be to donate an older pan, that I no longer use, to a charity so I would then have room in my tote to add a new pan.
Other examples of functional collections could be paintbrushes if you’re an artist, makeup if you enjoy trying different looks, DVDs if you love the art of movie-making, etc.
Determine what storage solution works best for you. While you may want to display some of these items, like paintbrushes if you’re an artist, there are other items, like DVDs, that you may want to keep in a cabinet. This will help cut down on the visual clutter, while still making them easily accessible. Decide what works best for you and what brings you the most joy in your home.
Final Thought on Displaying a Collection: You Do You
One thing I always like to mention is that these are just my ideas, suggestions, and recommendations. I fully support your decorating of your home and the displaying of your collections in whatever way makes you happy. I share posts like these because I know that certain decorating projects can be challenging. I hope that my experience and ideas give you some encouragement and useful tips.
Want more of this series? Check out the links below.
Starting a Collection Mini-Series:
Part One: How to Start a Home Decor Collection
Part Two: How to Display a Collection – you are here
Part Three: A Closer Look at My Collections – coming soon