Better Together: The Power of Collections

updated Mar 11, 2020
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(Image credit: Sam & Lars)

When I was a kid, I had a huge keychain collection. Why on Earth I felt I needed so many keychains, or why I decided to start collecting them in the first place is absolutely beyond me, but nevertheless I loved that jingly ball of metal. I’m starting to find that my own daughter is beginning to gather collections of her own — shiny rocks, plastic princesses, and sticks, to name a few.

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Plastic Toys: Sam & Lars’ Happy Hand-Me-Down Room (Image credit: Sam & Lars)

While they may not always be the most beautiful objects, I want to honor the fact that they are important to her by giving them a significant place in her room. To my surprise, I’ve found that even the items I thought would be an eyesore (plastic Disney princess, cough cough) can be striking when displayed as a group.

There’s just something about a grouping of similar objects that can be so powerful. Perhaps because it seems more purposeful or maybe because a group has a larger presence than an individual. Whatever the reason, here are some of my favorite examples of this phenomenon from our archives to illustrate my point:


1. Plastic Toys: Sam & Lars’ Happy Hand-Me-Down Room
2. Maps: Desmond’s Tiny Travel-Themed Room
3. Calendar Art: Archer’s “Happy Place” Nursery
4. Books: Oscar’s Bright Bold Abode
5. Children’s Art: Violet’s Room


6. Letters: Chandler’s Colorful Crafty Space
7. Vintage Artwork: Leif’s Modern Victorian Bedroom
8. Dinosaurs: The Boys’ Room on Oh Happy Day
9. Flashcards: Alexandra & John’s Clusters of Color
10. Figurines: Sara & Jason’s Terrific Toy-Tastic Home


11. Badges: Vivian’s Vivacious Nursery
12. Newborn Photos: Martina and Lola’s Sweet Shared Space
13. Rock Collection: Vivi & Brigette’s Home Away from Home
14. Chalkboards: Sebastian & Ruby’s Shared Bedroom