Show the Goods: Displaying a Collection

It’s no secret I love a maximalist space, especially one that includes a really exciting collection. There unfortunately can be a thin line between being a collector and a crazy person.

Here are a few tips and tricks I use for displaying a collection that protect you from looking like a hoarder:

  1. Start with a Vision. What do you want to show? Should your entire collection be displayed, or select pieces? Is this a collection for you or do you want it so everyone can see it?

18 CREATIVE COLLECTION DISPLAY IDEAS | Displaying collections, Globe decor,  Vintage globe 

  1. Pick a Location. Your vision should guide your location selection. I’m a fan of grouping the entire collection together, rather than spreading it across different rooms or areas. A built-in shelf full of gorgeous antique ceramic frogs is a whimsical collection. Having a few frogs everywhere can make you ‘the frog house’.

 danish apartment vintage gallery wallPez dispenser collection

  1. Decide How to Display. This is where you get creative! You are not limited to just setting everything on a shelf. Mix-and-match. Hang some pieces and add a floating shelf with more. Be unexpected. Prop up framed artwork against the wall and hang pieces that normally sit on a shelf. Who says a magnet collection must be on a refrigerator? Should you be hanging something from the ceiling? Present a formal collection in a modern, informal way. Throw in “supporting pieces” too, like books or pictures related to your collection. Have fun with this and let your joy in your collection shine through! 

How to Keep Your Collection From Looking Like Clutter | HGTV   DIY Pegboard Rock Collection Display


  1. Rearrange. Let your collection be a living thing (I mean, maybe it literally even is!). Move things around until you find a strong focal point. Does your collection tell a story? Does anything look visually monotonous, unbalanced, or boring? Try different types of lighting. Try a different background color. Maybe asymmetrical works better. Is there a chronological order that makes sense? Always be rearranging - especially when adding new pieces! 

  1. Keep it Clean. Literally, dust and wipe the glass. This seems so simple, but just a little dust can really give hoarder-vibes.

Display Collections - How to Decorate with Antiques

Collections are fun, so displaying them should be too! Keep it fresh. Ultimately you should always be the one most excited to see your collection displayed.


Photo Credits (all pictures linked): Real Homes, Country Living, HGTV, Arrow Hill Cottage, Junk Parlor, Decoist. 

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