More is More: How to Display Your Most Treasured Collections

published Jun 27, 2016
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(Image credit: Sara Harvey)

For those collecting maximalists among us—who can’t have just one globe, camera, or milk glass goblet, but seem to amass them by the dozen—here are some creative ways to organize and live with the things you love. All of these ideas keep your most cherished items in sight, incorporating them seamlessly into your decor. This is probably going to become your new favorite spot in your home.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Two wall-mounted type letter drawers, found at a flea market for 10 bucks a piece, hold homeowners Judy and Don’s collection of sand. The collection began when the couple was dating long distance while Judy studied abroad in Australia. Mailing small film canisters of sand across the world kept the two connected, and 18 years later, the collection continues. Peek into the rest of their Modern, Vintage Houston Tree House. To find a similar organizer, search on eBay or Etsy for: Letterpress drawer, typeset drawer, or printer’s drawer.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

San Francisco-based artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon is something of an expert in the art of collecting. She even has a blog titled A Collection a Day, and her finds have been featured in magazines and on blogs. It’s no surprise, then, that our tour of her home captured plenty of collection-peeping eye candy, including the wall of plates above. This display method is simple enough to imitate using store-bought wire plate hangers, available in a variety of sizes and finishes. You can also craft your own for a custom fit.

(Image credit: Alt for Damerne)

Lining up collectibles along a set of shallow shelves lets them serve as wall art. In the display of cameras above, spotted on Alt de Damerne, the addition of a single turquoise camera and the omission of cameras from two spots makes the arrangement even more artful. The LACK shelf from IKEA would work well for this type of presentation.

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

This corner of Elizabeth’s Color-Filled Apartment shows two brilliant display ideas. The top of an armoire is the perfect spot for a globe collection that you want to see but don’t want taking up reachable space, and a gilded frame calls attention to an assortment of sewing thread. Achieve a similar effect by storing curio on the top of a high piece of furniture or above your kitchen cabinets.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Having grown up with parents in the antiques business, jewelry designer Grainne Morton was raised with an appreciation for collectibles. To highlight her treasured figurines in her Edinburgh home, she takes a cue from museum displays and uses a framed case with overhead lighting.

(Image credit: David Telford)

A long shelf floating up near the ceiling holds an impressive collection of vinyl toys in Paula & Paul’s Lively London Home. Placing the toys up high not only puts vertical space to good use, but it also keeps them safe from pets and curious visitors. Use this display method for precious items you want to keep out of reach.

(Image credit: Must Love Junk)

Some collectibles can simply be stacked in an out-of-the-way spot in your home, like the nook behind a doorway. Susan of Must Love Junk piles her vintage suitcases nearly up to the ceiling, then tops them with even more flea market finds.

(Image credit: Brooklyn to West)

Nine times out of ten, if you’re unsure how to store something, buy a basket. Wire baskets that let you peek at the contents are ideal for displaying vintage glass fishing buoys, shown above from Brooklyn to West, as well as marble eggs, billiard balls, or driftwood.

(Image credit: House & Home)

A beloved collection of vintage textiles that you won’t ever wear, like thrift store scarves or your grandfather’s pocket squares, can be framed and hung in a central spot. The pretty handkerchiefs above from House & Home hang well together thanks to a cohesive color palette.