How to Display Your Collection

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It stared as one you picked up while vacationing. Then you bought two more at the local market. Recently you received one as a gift from your husband. Now you have a collection.

It doesn’t matter what you collect, it’s something that has stirred feelings inside you to want more than one. Your collection serves as a story, a memory, and a little peek into a side of you not always on visible to the outside world, why not display it with pride?

Display in Unusual Rooms

Living rooms and dining rooms, rooms where people usually entertain, tend to be the rooms where we display our collections. But these aren’t the only places perfect for your collection. Why not explore other common areas in your home, like the front hall, stairway, or even the guest bathroom.

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We converted a small pantry on our main floor into a much-needed second bathroom for guests (and the kids when they come in from the backyard). We created an open shelving unit in the doorframe and it became a perfect place to display our tiki glass collection. Visitors are always surprised and intrigued by the find. It’s a little unexpected fun. The display grows and changes as we add to it. Having it out in the open usually starts conversations about the artists, it reminds us of our trips and the connection with each glass, plus it encourages us to use the glasses like as they were intended.

Forget the Rules

If your collection consists of artwork, hanging the pieces on your walls is an obvious way to display it. But some people are intimidated with hanging large-scale images or a collection of art together, not knowing how to align or frame them. I say forget the rules. Use different frames that suite each piece, even if that makes it different from the other pieces in your collection.

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As for aligning them, you can pull out the tape measure and mark the walls so each piece hangs perfectly at eye level. I prefer a collage look purposely avoiding lined-up edges. It’s about what looks good to you, your space, and your collection. Don’t let someone else’s rules stop you from enjoying your collection.

Family Memories

Not all collections have to be art pieces. A collection can be a group of anything you really like. Why not make it personal. Create an art gallery of your children’s art over the years, adding a new picture each month, representing your child’s latest skill or interest. Or focus on one year and refresh it each year.

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Not unlike many families, we take our kids to visit and have their photos taken with Santa. I love seeing how the kids change over the years, as well as the Santa. We never visit the same Santa so each images has a unique storey behind it. Instead of just displaying the current photo on a sideboard during the holiday season, we’ve created a wall in our livening room, displaying all the photos to date, adding new ones each year. Our plan is to add Santa photos from our own youth, my husband and I. Christmas or not, I love looking at these photos. What a great way to capture our family history too.

Enjoy Your Collection

Forget storing your collection in albums or boxes; displaying them enables you to enjoy them, recount memories, share stories, and let others have a peek into your life. If it’s china or ceramics, use them. Pull a teacup out from your collection for a regular afternoon tea. Wind up one of the dancing dolls in your cabinet to see her move and hear the song. We often use our tiki glasses to enjoy libations. Our kids love the ritual of picking out their favourite tiki glasses to use during dinner.

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Remember to enjoy your collection, admire it, and tell stories about it, that’s why you started collecting in the first place. Do you have a collection in your home? If you could start a collection, what would it be?

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