Display your Collectibles without falling victim to the Clutter Bug!
You have many choices for displaying your wonderful collectible treasures! Here are a few ideas for getting your stuff out of the closet and into your home décor with style!
You’ve spent years collecting – Dolls, Dragons, Fairies, Movie Memorabilia, Hummels, Lladro, you name it! Now, what do you do with all this stuff? How do you enjoy it without letting it take over your home, your life? How do you show off your collections without looking as though you are holding a garage sale inside of your living room?
1. Figurines and Statues
Figurines look best if displayed on multiple levels, allowing the eye to wander from piece to piece to admire the details and take in each one individually. Your choice of display has a lot to do with the amount of space you have allotted for the collection. You can either place it vertically, that is, use shelving or bookcase shelves to create a wall display; or you can display your collection on a horizontal surface – a coffee or end table, for example.
To make the most of your collection, think about art gallery and museum exhibits. Rarely are a bunch of similar pieces grouped together. Gallery designers go to a great deal of trouble to create mini vignettes in order to best display their pieces. In a typical exhibit, there might be a painting on a small easel next to a beautiful box which has been placed on a stack of art books and arranged next to a large figurine or statue. Each piece differs dramatically in height and substance and the eye is drawn to each item and given a chance to admire the details.
To add interest to bookcases, fireplace mantles and wall shelves, don’t just place your collectibles in a straight line or clump them all together. Vary them by height or color, space them out and place other objects in the mix – leather bound books, simple glass bowls, a nicely framed photo – keep the eyes moving and the senses interested. While you’re at it, feed ALL the senses – a fragrant candle or some flowers placed in the mix can add a lot of visual and olfactory impact for very little money.
2. Paper, Cards, Stamps and Small Objects
A Shadowbox Frame is the perfect showcase for flat and very small items. You can create a great deal of drama and interest in one 9” X 12” space or even smaller! Create a theme - the items should somehow relate to one another (or you can weave a good story as to why seemingly un-related items belong together) and just about anything goes. Superimpose photographs with dried flowers or shells. Add theater programs or movie tickets, a restaurant menu, a lovely bit of fabric – only your imagination can hold you back. After a trip to Ireland, I created a Shadowbox using an embroidered handkerchief as my backdrop. I added postcards, some photographs, a small piece of jewelry, an Irish Flag, some dried shamrocks, a harp appliqué and several other items collected on my trip. Every time I look at my Shadowbox, I’m reminded of my wonderful trip!
3. Rotate your Collections
This goes for every collectible piece, but it applies even more to furniture - if you have no room for it and you’re not willing to give up another piece in order to show off your new find, DON’T BUY IT! This is one of the best tips for showcasing cherished finds: do what the art galleries do and rotate your displays. This concept isn’t a new one – many people pull out boxes and trunks of precious Christmas decorations during the holidays, sorting through them, enjoying the memory of receiving that special item, proudly creating displays and then packing it all back up again only to repeat the process the next year. Use this technique to change out OTHER collections in your home. You will keep your decor looking fresh and new and you will have the pleasure of re-discovering old friends once every one or two years.
4. Make Room for New Treasures!
There comes a time in every person’s life when they have to say, I have too much stuff! It happens to all of us! Instead of feeling sad about it, look at it as an adventure, a time to renew and refresh your collections. Most of us collect things because we love them, not because they are worth all that much money. Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule – I’m not telling you to get rid of that special hard-to-find collectible piece that has increased five-fold in value over the past 10 years – I’m talking about the average collectible. Every few years, re-assess your collections. Tastes and styles change and I guarantee that you will almost always find pieces to which you are not particularly attached – these can be sold on eBay, given away, traded or otherwise removed from your collection to make way for exciting new finds! Don’t forget to do your research!! Check out eBay completed and current listings, use MPire Researcher and make sure that your thought it wasn’t worth much collectible hasn’t become a sought-after piece!
5. Collect only what you TRULY LOVE!
Never, EVER buy something just because. Collect only what you truly love. If what you collect is expensive, save up for a really good example of the art – don’t just buy a cheap knock off. It’s better to have a few really outstanding pieces in your collection – and create a magnificent display – then to have a bunch of mediocre pieces that aren’t close to your heart. Your collections should express the real you; never accept anything less!
Visit our store at The Gift Fairies for great collectible treasures!
To summarize: Collect only what you love, display your collectibles in a way that most flatters them and shows them off, rotate your collections to keep things fresh and new and every so often cull through your collections and retire what you no longer want or need.
This article was written by Suzanne La Cour. Please do not copy or distribute without permission from the author. In case you are wondering, I have been trained as an interior decorator (not designer – that is a different profession requiring many years of vigorous schooling and certification), have been involved in both residential and commercial decor and have managed a decorating accessories shop. I hope you enjoyed my article and I hope that you'll take a moment to vote!!