Feathering Our Nests
Jay Johnson -- It's only natural that we decorate our homes. Nature abhors any vacuum, or so we're taught in high school science class; so empty rooms in any house should be cause enough for us to be on the prowl for things that will feather our nests.
Collections are ideal ways to fill the void in any room. They add interest, spark conversation, allow homeowners to relay the story surrounding each purchase, and bring the personality of the collector into what could otherwise be a sterile decorating scheme.
Here are some decorating tips pertaining to collections. Give these ideas a whirl, and put collectibles to good use in your home.
- We think it's a shame to keep collections hidden away in storage spaces or drawers. Display them and place them carefully in your rooms. You don't need to put everything out at once. In fact, it's wise to hold back and keep some items in storage; when you want to freshen up the collection, rotate the items by bringing some out of storage and tucking some display items away.
- If you get completely tired of any item in your collection, sell it or give it away. Don't keep something you don't love. Don't hold onto the old simply because you have it.
- Displays are versatile and they can be arranged anywhere. Here are a few inspirations -- (a) You can display a collection of items on a coffee or side table in a classic "tablescape." (b) Use a vitrine (see photo), a beautiful piece of furniture that displays collections behind glass, or a biblioteque to show off your more valuable treasures and keep them safe from dust and handling. (c) For most collections, you can be less formal. Old corner cabinets, funky hutches, antique pie safes, desks and secretaries, and fireplace mantels make excellent display areas for your treasures. Try shadow boxes for showing off your miniatures or small collectibles like thimbles.
- Use unusual and fun collections to add zip to your rooms. There's a steak house in Manhattan with a collection of old Dutch clay pipes hanging down from the ceiling. I've seen a home where antique musical instruments are suspended from tall ceilings. An artist friend displays zillions of different rubber duckies in his bathroom. Model trains can run in suspended tracks around a family room. Use those large antique apothecary jars to display rocks, shells, marbles, and lots of other small objects that you want to consolidate into a single dust-free display.
- Do you travel? Are your souvenirs piling up? You really should be displaying them. It's lovely to add exotic items into your everyday living situation. Bring back those great trip memories by proudly decorating with your travel pottery, decorative tiles, artwork, and other memorabilia.
- Hobbies can lead to displays that inject your interests squarely into your living space. Frame and display your photographs along a hallway wall, and use ceiling spots and/or art lights to showcase your subjects. You might be a rockhound or seashell fan; if you are, purchase mounting stands and use small display cases to highlight your finds. In my old neighborhood, a nearby family set into concrete the beautiful rocks they had collected on their world travels along their front porch stairs and surrounding their indoor fireplace. I remember one rock that looked like a strip of bacon. Do I remember anything else about their house? Not a chance! Their rock collection, however, will always stay with me as a fond childhood memory.
I encourage you to check out our YouTube Design2Share video channel and our exciting new Blinkx Design2Share video channel. We showcase over 600 videos about architecture, design, and everyday life in both of those channels. Click on the links and watch these Design2Share videos to get some great ideas about displaying collections in your home:
- Hallmark Silver Collection -- a South African homeowner proudly shows off her fancy silver
- Trinket Box -- tiny toys are displayed in the compartments of an old typesetter's box
- Alan Olswing's Clay Chia Heads -- an antique dealer has a great hutch-top display space for his unusual collection
- Carnival Canes & Walking Sticks -- this diverse collection is neatly displayed in an umbrella stand
- Turquoise Jewelry Display -- here's an old home video showing a vintage display of jewelry and related Native American goods
- Dining Room Trash & Treasures -- this dining room is jazzed up by collectibles in a variety of displays