Collectors vs. Hoarders: How to Display Your Collections
Images: (Top & Bottom) Mister Mort
Collector. The word has connotations, doesn’t it? How do you know the difference between someone who is truly collecting things for a reason, or someone that is actually a hoarder? My answer: look at how the stuff is displayed and you can easily see the difference. But then, my philosophy is also that anything—and I do mean absolutely anything, from books to beads to blankets—can be collected. As I write this, I just have to look next to my monitor to see my own small desktop collection of antique wrenches. They’re each in an individual stand (not thrown in a pile on my desk), so it’s a proper collection. Let’s look at some other proper collections and see how they’re done.
Image: The Cavender Diary
Collections Can Happen Anywhere
A couple of my favorite guys, The Cavender Boys, have collections all over their home; my personal favorite happens to be in the corner of their garage, where the laundry area lives. These thermoses and globes are perfectly displayed on DIY Ikea Lack shelves–I can’t think of a nicer way to spend time doing the washing and drying.
Image: James Snowden / The New Victorian Ruralist
Everyday Use Items Can be Displayed as a Collection
This industrial open kitchen shelving is the perfect setting for storage of daily use dinner and serving ware. Arranged as it is, this makes a great collection. It also helps that there are a few items arranged under glass, as well as the antique jars across the top row.
Image: Michael Mundy / An Afternoon With
Go With the Unexpected
If you’re using a bookshelf in the kitchen for dishes, why not keep the unusual displays going by staking books on a bench? That’s a much more interesting solution than the everyday practice—oh, and I prefer to avoid color-coding books. That’s for photo stylists, not for real people.
Image: Christian Schaulin for Dwell
Get Diverse with Your Groupings
Why not paint the ends of your stacked firewood (especially next to a non-working fireplace)? Then gather all of your candles together on the mantle, throw in some coral, a fawn, and your old disco ball. That’s what collections are ultimately all about, anyway—starting conversations. Just be sure your collections are displayed so they don’t start an intervention.
What kinds of collections do you have and how are they displayed?