Displaying Childhood Collections in a Grown-Up Home

Recently I noticed a glass bowl of beautiful polished rocks newly displayed on my mother's sideboard. A closer inspection revealed this to be my long lost childhood rock collection, which I promptly and indignantly re-claimed for my own sideboard. There's something so poignant and fun about using a childhood collection to decorate a grown-up home...Almost any childhood collection, edited well and displayed with care, can be a beautiful addition to a home and a nice reminder of how joyous it felt, as a kid, to come across that perfect rose quartz or Pez dispenser or R2-D2 doll. But because childhood collections also run the risk of looking... well, a little childish, it's especially important to consider how they're displayed.

A few tips for displaying childhood collections in your grown-up home:

Edit, edit, edit. Making a baseball card collage? There's no need to include each and every card from each and every overstuffed binder you collected over the years. Choose special items with unique meaning, like the Will Clark '89 earthquake World Series edition, or what have you.

Try a creative DIY display that reflects the personality of the collection. I love the fenced-in farm animals in the first photo above, from Cookie Magazine, and the action figures in their futuristic acrylic cubbies (second photo).

Put your grown-up aesthetics to use. Try and look at your childhood objects through adult eyes. Use your display to imbue the collection with sophistication and help it blend into your home's mature decor. The mounted toy car collection in the third photo, for example, shows an amazing sense of color, and we love the way the layout mimics a traffic jam.

Consider donating your collection to your own child. Sometimes childhood collections are perfect for children's bedrooms, and your kids will get a kick out of seeing the things you cherished when you were their age.

Do you display your childhood collections in your home today? How do you make them fit your grown-up sensibilities? Please share!

(Images: Cookie Magazine (1, 4, and 5); Dufner Heighes, via Houzz (2); eHow (3))

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