Creative ways to display your collections
CREATING an eye-catching display takes a bit of planning. If you’re a collector, it’s even more important to showcase your items in the best possible way. There are standard display cabinets made for such items but there are lots of other unique ways to make a statement. Placing like items together brings a sense of importance to the vignette. If items are placed individually around the house, they would be shrinking violets and not really noticeable — table clutter, basically. But place them together in a pleasing display and suddenly they become a visually important collection. I used to have candleholders (votives, tea lights etc.) all over the house. One day I decided to group them all together on top of my old piano and instantly I had a lovely collection. When they were all lit, the vignette was quite stunning. When they were placed individually around the house, they were lost in the crowd. Think about what items you may have that are similar that can make a stunning statement when grouped together. You may have a collection of quirky photo frames in different colours, styles and shapes that, when grouped together or hung on the wall, might make a stunning display. Maybe you have a small collection of vintage hand mirrors that could be hung on the wall instead of hidden in a drawer. Hats are another item that might make a great grouping — cowboy, straw, vintage or whatever. Once you have at least three of an item, you’re on your way to an interesting collection and display. People who collect books know how easily the collection can get out of hand. Look for new ways to incorporate books into your decor by creating interesting displays. Place books under glass using a covered cake plate and dome. Install sturdy shelves over doorways to house and display books. Hang cube shelves of varying sizes to display books on the wall. This would be a good idea in a child’s room as well. An old wooden straight ladder hung horizontally on the wall can be an interesting place to store books in a library or den. By the same token, an old wooden stepladder can be used for vertical display for books or any other small items like CDs. If you prefer not to have to dust your books regularly then a glass-front bookcase or trunk can be helpful and decorative. You may remember the “book shelf” I wrote about making last year from actual books. This is another unique way to display books or other items. When you have too much stuff on your tabletops and want to display your collection, you have to get creative with your options. Corners of rooms are great places to tuck in a corner shelf or table to showcase your collection. If you have a wide stairway, you might be able to display items along one side of the stairs all the way up. Books are one item that I used this technique for. Use your judgment as to the safety issues this might raise with children, elderly or pets. As mentioned above, shelves over the doorways can be a great place to have small displays. Just make sure they are sturdy and that the items on them aren’t going to fall on your head. Look up when you’re running out of room. Install a wraparound shelf in a dining room or kitchen to display treasured items. Use decorative brackets to give the shelving visual weight and architectural interest. Items like an old wooden sawhorse or vintage wooden chair can be used to create a display area. The sawhorse can be used to display any tabletop collections and the chair can be used to display a collection of hats, books, dolls, vintage handbags or whatever you think might work in this setting. Create vertical interest by creating a tower of items such as vintage tins, books or a stack of straw hats. That stack of old wooden, worn and chipped windows would make a stunning shabby chic wall display inside the home. Bracket them out from the wall a few inches and remove the glass to create an opening to hold books or CDs. How stylish would it be to have an entire wall of old clocks in the entryway or stairwell or a collection of vintage bird cages in a front porch or on the deck? Just about anything will work. Old fishing items, old tools, cookware, bake ware, dishes are all fair game. Give your cupboards and closets some breathing room by displaying your everyday items in an interesting and unique way.