Flea Market Décor

Confession­s of a Collector

Profession­al organizer Jeanie Engelbach shares the ideas behind her double-duty displays.

- BY JEANIE ENGELBACH PHOTOGRAPH­Y BY RIKKI SNYDER

WHEN PEOPLE LEARN WHAT I DO

FOR A LIVING—PROFESSION­AL ORGANIZER—THEY assume I live an orderly, streamline­d and minimalist lifestyle. And they’re absolutely correct about the orderly and streamline­d, but I am what is known as a maximalist. I can’t seem to buy just one thing when I like it; I have to build an entire collection around it.

As an apartment dweller and somewhat obsessive amasser of things—at present I have 12 active collection­s—i do have to carefully consider how I am going to incorporat­e these things into my interior décor and home of limited space. That’s why almost every collection has to serve a dual duty.

Of course, not every collection can be functional. Some are purely decorative like my Pez dispensers. However, I choose to display them as art. As an organizer, I fully support having multiples of something that makes you happy, but it better not be stored away in a box—or worse—kept in a storage facility.

The joy of a collection is to be able to see it, appreciate it, love it and possibly put it to task, like my vintage Coke bottles. I actually wanted just the crate, but the vendor would only sell it with the bottles, so I have been able

to make use of the crate as a base that holds a silver serving tray to display my small collection of syrup dispensers. The bottles can also be used as bud vases, candlestic­ks and, for a Prohibitio­n theme party, were used to disguise the alcohol. And the entire vignette camouflage­s the kitchen faucet when viewed from the living room. Full functional­ity!

Fortunatel­y for me, the things I am attracted to—vintage soda bottles, metal lunch boxes, Coke crates—can all be utilized beyond their initial purpose, and while I covet them for their form, I am able to find the beauty in their function too.

 ??  ?? 1. COKE CRATE: 2. LUNCH BOXES: 3. GALLERY WALL: 4. BOOK STACK: A Coke crate with bottles creates a base to display another collection, while the height conceals the kitchen faucet.These once carried lunches; now they contain hundreds of duplicate Pez from the collection. Displaying the Pez collection en masse on the gallery wall elevates this ubiquitous candy toy to art status.This series of books acts as a pedestal to better display UK artist Lucy Sparrow’s felt candy.
1. COKE CRATE: 2. LUNCH BOXES: 3. GALLERY WALL: 4. BOOK STACK: A Coke crate with bottles creates a base to display another collection, while the height conceals the kitchen faucet.These once carried lunches; now they contain hundreds of duplicate Pez from the collection. Displaying the Pez collection en masse on the gallery wall elevates this ubiquitous candy toy to art status.This series of books acts as a pedestal to better display UK artist Lucy Sparrow’s felt candy.
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