If you enjoy displaying groups of items, you probably know that it’s easy for a collection to go from curated to cluttered. That’s why taking some extra time to arrange your treasures makes such a big impact. It’s not about obsessing over each new addition! It’s about being intentional as you bring everything together. Have fun with it and be creative. Here are a few tips to get you started…
Group by Category
The first concept is a simple one, yet often we overlook the fact that there’s power in repetition. The idea is to group “like” items together. What begins as a collection of teacups may shift to a grouping of teacups, teapots, saucers and other serving pieces. Mixing in other items isn’t a big deal…unless your display area becomes a dumping ground for extras.
That’s why simplifying can be such a breath of fresh air! In its most basic form, grouping by item can be as straightforward as you wish. For example, you could curate a collection of bowls. The result: a sleek, simple display that you can vary by color and texture, as shown above.
Then again, don’t be afraid to branch out! For example, a collection of vases can become a collection of containers as you introduce a bowl into the mix. Perhaps the driving force behind your collection is sculptural form rather than a strict category. Modern silhouettes take center stage in the grouping above.
The beauty of grouping by “item type” is the ability to be as streamlined or as diverse as you wish! For example, a collection of curiosities (such as shells and minerals) can include a range of textures, shapes and colors. Bring on the seashells and minerals!
Group by Color
If there’s a color you love, you may notice that over time you accumulate a variety of items in your favorite hue. Experiment with your display by making color the unifying principle. This concept can be very freeing as you pull together an array of different pieces that might not normally occupy the same shelf.
In the pink collection below, a textured bowl, a sea urchin, a rose quartz specimen and a speckled vase with hints of pink are grouped together to celebrate the power of blush tones:
The speckles of the vase mirror the dotted texture of the sea urchin, while the rose quartz enhances the curiosity vibe. Note the different shades of pink represented, as well as the way everything comes together for an eclectic yet unified mix.
Know What to Spotlight
As you put the finishing touches on your collection, pay attention to the arrangement of items. There are no set rules for how to display your treasures. For some collectors, a striking row of evenly spaced items makes a big impact. For others, asymmetry is key. Not to mention, it can be fun to let one or two items take center stage.
Try moving the showpiece of your collection to the forefront, especially if it’s unusual, or its size could cause it to get lost in the crowd. For example, a mineral sample or an eye-catching shell is an interesting choice, and set against a backdrop of vases in similar hues, it can serve as an artful focal point.
Enjoy creating a memorable collection that reflects your interests. In fact, rather than buying a set of new items, you can “shop” your home for pieces to feature. Select items that are meaningful to you and have a history. Don’t hesitate to visit antique stores and thrift shops for pieces with a past. Happy hunting and displaying!