How to Display Your Collection Without Looking Like a Hoarder

Don't confuse a collection for clutter. When displayed the right way, the things you love can make an artful statement in your home.

Everyone has something they like to collect. Whether it's snow globes, vintage china, rare coins or porcelain dolls (we don't judge), the key to keeping your collection under control is finding a way to display your beloved items that minimizes clutter and chaos.

We gathered some of our favorite ideas to help inspire new and creative ways to make your prized collection more than just a group of dust-collectors.

Create a Gallery Wall

For items like clocks, artwork, plates or record albums, the most obvious place to arrange them is on the wall. Keep the focus on the pieces themselves by only displaying a handful of your favorites. Can't choose your favorites? Swap them out regularly to switch things up!

Retro Style Space With Wooden Console and Wall Clocks

Neutral Midcentury-Modern Living Room With Room Divider

A console brings to mind retro style while serving as not only a functional storage piece but a room divider. The console's rich wood tones mirror the hardwood floor, while strategically arranged wall clocks add personality.



Blue Green Plates

Blue Green Plates on Wall

A collection of plates in similar blue-green colors brighten up this wall.

Photo by: Emily Followill

Emily Followill

Vintage Corkscrews Hang on Wall

Quirky Collection of Corkscrews

Antique corkscrews are unique wall decor in the kitchen.

Photo by: Melanie Millner

Melanie Millner

Living Room With Breadboards

Eclectic Living Room With Breadboards

For subtle polish in this family room, the designer shifted paint sheens on the wall from matte to satin. On top, a collection of breadboards was hung to evoke the sense of an Old World villa.

Photo by: Claire Esparros

Claire Esparros

Stairway Landing With Rustic Wood Dresser and Cowboy Hat Display

Bracero Hat Display

This installation of vintage Bracero hats hangs in the stairway between the first and second floor of a Mexican-inspired restaurant. The display, paired with a rustic wood dresser and mounted metal horse heads, creates an overwhelming sense of authenticity.

Photo by: Jennifer Puno

Jennifer Puno

Gallery Wall in Living Room

Bungalow Home's Living Room With Gallery Wall

A gallery wall with pops of blue sits above the floating wooden shelf in this rustic living room.

Photo by: Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Use Floating Shelves

Shelves or photo ledges work well with larger items that don't belong on a wall, like globes, sea shells or vintage bottles. Even toy figurines can look surprisingly sophisticated when lined up neatly on a shelf. Tip: group items in your collection together based on color for an even more cohesive look.

Small Nook With White Paneling and Shelves

Decorative Nook Features White Paneling and Shelves

A small decorating nook features white paneling that gives the area a rustic appeal. White shelves, that are tucked into the side of nook, create the perfect storage space of a variety of retro records. A rustic wood shelf features two small vases and a record and hangs above a record player that sits at the bottom of the nook.

Photo by: Kathleen Pieratt Photography

Kathleen Pieratt Photography

Kid Gallery Wall

Kid Gallery Wall and Green Pillow

There are three cozy nooks in this playroom, one for each of the family's children. Kids crawl through a big shape-sized door; inside floor pillows invite curling up. Slim clear shelves hold books and art masterpieces.

Photo by: Denise Davies Smart D2 Playrooms

Denise Davies Smart D2 Playrooms

Reading Corner in Whimsical Playroom

Whimsical Playroom with Reading Corner

On the other end of this fun playroom, designers created a reading area for these busy boys, complete with a great collection of children's books on a modern book rack, blue bean bags and something to climb on. More storage lines the right wall in the space, and large, glass front doors allow mom and dad to be able to check on their kids at all times.

Photo by: Jane Beiles

Jane Beiles

New York muralist and interior decorator Maggie Antalek's lively, retro living room is one that inspires creativity. A floating shelf with houseplants hover above a modern wooden desk with two pink upholstered chairs in the space that doubles as an office. A little pot that says plant lady can be seen on the desk.

Muralist Maggie Antalek's Plant-Filled Home Office

New York muralist and interior decorator Maggie Antalek's lively, retro living room is one that inspires creativity. A floating shelf with houseplants hover above a modern wooden desk with two pink upholstered chairs in the space that doubles as an office. A little pot that says plant lady can be seen on the desk.

From: HGTV Handmade

Photo by: Stephanie Diani

Stephanie Diani

Kitchen Nook With Round Marble Table, Two Chairs, And Lots Of Candles

Modern Kitchen Nook With Colorful Candles

This kitchen nook with a large, cushioned bench seat features a floating wall shelf with colorful candles, a marble topped table and two modern chairs with gold-toned legs.

Photo by: Alyssa Rosenheck

Alyssa Rosenheck

Gallery Wall With Pop Art Books

Gallery Wall With Pop Art Books and Red Chair

A collection of pop art books cleverly becomes a gallery wall. The bright color theme is picked up in the cherry red chair.

Photo by: Jim Tschetter, IC36O Images

Jim Tschetter, IC36O Images

Modern White Sitting Room

Artsy Modern Living Room With White Leather Chair and Matching Ottoman and Floating Shelf Statue Display

Modern white leather chairs with matching ottomans are set over a square pattern rug. A glass table with distressed green legs split the chairs and support coral accent decor. Statues are displayed on small floating shelves lining the wall.

Photo by: Drew Kelly

Drew Kelly

Take Advantage of Built-Ins

Built-in shelving gives you lots of space to arrange and rearrange a collection to your heart's content.

Dining Room and Ceramic Collection

Dining Room With Ceramic Collection

One of the homeowner's wishes in the renovation of her house was to have places to highlight the unique art, books and heirlooms she and her husband had gathered over the years. This dining area is lined with floor-to-ceiling shelves that show off their beautiful ceramic collection.

Photo by: Michael Hunter

Michael Hunter

Spools of Colorful Threads and Books Fill Up a Wall of Built-Ins

Built-Ins With Colorful Sewing Supplies

A wall of white built-ins display artist Lacy VanCourt's colorful supply of thread and books. Rather than hiding her supplies, the shelves double as art and inspiration in her home studio.

From: HGTV Handmade

Photo by: Jennifer M. Ramos

Jennifer M. Ramos

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @farmhouseredefined.

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @farmhouseredefined.

Photo by: Instagram user @farmhouseredefined

Instagram user @farmhouseredefined

Dining Area With Green Hutch, Yellow Dishes, Chinoiserie Wallpaper

French Country Meets Chinoiserie Dining Room

A built-in hutch provides convenient storage in this vibrant breakfast room. Checked curtains and Chinoiserie wallpaper are beautifully layered for an unexpected twist on French country style.

Photo by: Photo Credit: Edward Addeo © Gibbs Smith, Farrow and Ball, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)

Photo Credit: Edward Addeo, Gibbs Smith, Farrow and Ball, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)

Blue kitchen island has shelves for eight wine bottles.

Blue Kitchen Island With Built-In Wine Storage

Unfussy, built-in island shelving for wine storage? Genius! This was a first-time feature for Three Salt Design's Lindsay and Alex: “Our clients are so casual that we kept things light and open here,” Lindsay says. Take a page from their book and don’t overthink your drinks storage.

Photo by: Chad Mellon

Chad Mellon

Cabinets and Cloches

Showing off the size or shape of an item in your collection can call for special treatment. We love how the shot glass collection is displayed in the liquor cabinet and below it, baseballs become museum-worthy when displayed under glass cloches.

Blue Bar Cabinet

Blue Bar Cabinet With Shot Glasses

A collection of shot glasses sparkle like jewels around this remarkable bar cabinet.

Signed Baseballs in Glass Cloches

Baseball Collection

Designer Justine Sterling's client has loads of sports memorabilia and having these glass cloches made the perfect display for his signed baseballs.

Photo by: Shelley Zatsky

Shelley Zatsky

Bar Cabinet

Bar Cabinet With Wine Storage

This unique cabinet turns wine storage into a work of art! Bottles of wine stash neatly beneath a glass top, so the lovely labels are on display.

Photo by: Catherine Nguyen

Catherine Nguyen

Wine in Cabinet

Wine Rack in Cabinet

Wine bottles are beautifully outlined in this cabinet with its wine rack and light wood interior.

Photo by: Mackenzie Merrill Photography

Mackenzie Merrill Photography

Sky Blue Kitchen Cabinets

Sky Blue Kitchen Cabinets and Antique Teapots

A white tile backsplash pops against sky blue cabinets displaying antique teapots in this retro kitchen.

Photo by: Kelly Marshall

Kelly Marshall

Forget the Rules

Who says magnets belong on the fridge? This collection could look overwhelming if it greeted you every time you went hunting for a snack. Giving magnets their own place to shine transforms them into a work of art! Arranging your collection in a neat and tidy manner will make it look more uniform and less like clutter.

DIY Pegboard Rock Collection Display

DIY Pegboard Rock Collection Display

You know all those rocks and shells from your travels that you stuff in bags or drawers? Give them prize of place in this do-it-yourself pegboard project from blogger Joni Lay of Lay Baby Lay.

Photo by: Joni Lay

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @peckplus2.

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @peckplus2.

Photo by: Instagram user @peckplus2

Instagram user @peckplus2

Hall With Candlesticks

Eclectic Hall With Candlesticks

In this space, a candlestick collection is a fun focal point, all the different shapes and colors shown off in the round on a large table.

Photo by: Gianni Franchelluchi

Gianni Franchelluchi

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