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!
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.
2012 BRIAN KELLOGG PHOTOGRAPHY, 2012 BRIAN KELLOGG PHOTOGRAPHY
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kathleen Pieratt Photography
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.
Denise Davies Smart D2 Playrooms
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.
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.
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.
Jim Tschetter, IC36O Images
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.
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 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.
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 Credit: Edward Addeo, Gibbs Smith, Farrow and Ball, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)
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.
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.
Mackenzie Merrill Photography
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.