101 Things to Collect and Display

Ok, maybe this is not exactly a list of 101 things but below are images and tons of other ideas of things or stuff you may collect, probably already collecting or already collected and just baffled on how to display them. One of the things I hear from clients and friends when designing and decorating their homes is, they have clutter, junk, knick knacks that they just don’t know how to display. According to Meg Mateo Ilasco’s book, The Space Planner; “clutter when arranged sculpturally or organized skillfully can be transformed into a thing of beauty. ” I couldn’t agree more.
Here are some ideas:
1. Hats…whether they’re used or not can be arranged vertically or horizontally with simple hooks. I’ve seen them framed above a bed as well {genius idea from this creative gal}.
2.  Apothecary bottles…of course, right? Whether clear, in cobalt blue or green glass is best above the mantle or ledges.
3. Postcards….from vintage shops or from your travels, get coordinating frames and do a wall collage. As soon as you have at least 5, go ahead & display them and just add more as you go along!
4. Vintage cameras….stack or line them up or place inside pictureless frames…voila 3D one-of-a-kind art.

5. Plates…whether vintage or non-vintage is best displayed just by themselves {with museum glue} and not on a shelving.

6. Vintage book covers…lay them out in a square or rectangle. A non-symmetrical collage is ok too as long as you have tons of them & will fill up a wall like artwork.
7. Fez dispensers & other little things….since each one is a bit different, lay all of them out symmetrically. Make a display that’s proportional to the wall size.
8. Vintage clocks…suspend big ones. Small ones on mantle & ledges, above books or screw them to the wall.
9. Pottery or ceramics…are great in bookcases, credenzas and armoires.
10.  Cigar boxes…can be stacked or framed. They are sooo gorgeous as the artwork is truly unique.
11. Sign Letters…the bigger the better, put them on the floor or up on the wall or above dressers, bookcases or armoires. They can spell out something but don’t have to.
12. Woven baskets…ok, this maybe overkill but you get the idea. Plus points if they came from your travels.
13. Vintage spools….let them stand, hang them with nails or place in a shadow box.
14. Framed quotes…the more inspiring and motivating they are, the better. Buy them in print or do-it-yourself. So easy!
15. Doilies…can be undulating like this.
And more ideas…
Vintage tin cans & boxes, birdcages, seashells, coral & sea fans, cobbler shoe forms, demijohns, decoupage plates, soap wrappers {the ones from Claus Porto are adorable!}, vintage trunks, mirrors, favorite gift wrap paper {after all, they will be vintage in a few years}, vintage knobs, vintage book paper, coffee grinders, wooden cheese boxes, milk bottles, mason jars. The list can go on & on. Happy collecting!


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About Maureen

Details are my passion. From curating vignettes to designing spaces. I thrive in finding the finds and just discovered the art of collecting...all while sipping on a cafe au lait & a french macaroon in hand.

11 thoughts on “101 Things to Collect and Display

  1. Anonymous on said:

    This was great advise! I loved it but I probably can’t collect any though the quotes was a good idea but I may not collect it. Great advise though. Whoever wrote hump you is really rude

  2. Great ideas! I am a plate fan, collecting them comes natural to me. The bookcovers..that is a new one to me! All great ideas! Your blog is fast becoming one of my favorites!!! Thanks for all the inspiration you give us!

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