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Design Edit: Collecting + Displaying

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by David Ekizian

Let’s face it- we’re all collectors of stuff. My collections have always centered around my love for design; old packaging and signs with beautiful typography, design and color; toy cars, ceramic bowls/vessels/vases in pale tones or white, odd home-grown portrait paintings or paint-by-numbers, fine art paintings and photography.

Okay, my partner will insist that I include lamps and navy blue jackets here too. My collections have evolved over the years- I have made a few purchases that I regret and I have definitely pared down my collections and how I display them throughout our home.  Perhaps I can shed some light on what has worked for me.

No. 1 Rule: Collect what you love.
If you don’t love it, you won’t want to look at it on a daily basis. Don’t worry what your friends and neighbors might think- as long as it means something to you, that is all that matters- great collections make great stories for you to share with guests about their acquisition and their appeal.

No. 2 Rule: Get rid of what you don’t.
Local Betty’s Betty Board, eBay, yard sales, Craigslist, swap shop at the dump, the dump. Let it go!

Be selective
You don’t have to have every single piece made of whatever you like to collect- I try to remind myself of this rule as difficult as it can be to adhere to. Is it really special enough to bring home? Think of it as you would the purchase of a ferret or a sloth- will you really love having it in the home two days from now?

Display your collections in groupings

  • Create composed groupings with your collections. A shelf or mantle with 6-8 mercury glass objects is more interesting and impactful than spreading them out throughout the house. But be careful not to overdo- a front entry table filled with 200 Hummel figurines is not a good idea. We don’t want to look like the Macy’s fragrance department on December 24th, do we?
  • Pay attention to, and play with shape and scale. It’s okay to mix artwork and objects within a grouping- I would recommend that there is a common theme [your trip to Santa Fe] or color palette.
  • Edit or change your groupings or collections seasonally so that your rooms feel fresh. This also gives you the opportunity to be more selective in what you display, and- bonus- go shopping for more stuff!

Where to go for collectibles

Local Betty’s Betty Board, eBay, La Petite Maison, yard sales, estate sales, Broadcove auction on Monday nights, Craigslist, swap shop at the dump. Or get in the car and go to Brimfield or Maine like I usually do [see Day Trip to Maine for details].