I have had so many questions recently regarding the subject of decorating with collections. They can become overwhelming and look very cluttered if you have a lot of smalls that you want to proudly display. As you know, I collect so many things: ironstone, yellow ware bowls, rolling pins, wooden kitchen utensils, crocks. You name it, I probably have it. Because I’ve always been told a collection is three or more. If that is so, then I have thousands of them. ????
I wrote a post on styling side tables several months back. I use the same concept when decorating with collections as far as the sizes of each item and the grouping concept. It’s easier just to share several different pictures of collections I have around the house to explain my madness…. So, here we go!
I realize that collections can start to feel a little overwhelming when you are trying to display them. My style has evolved in that area. For instance, when I had only three yellow ware bowls, I displayed them all around the house on different surfaces, using the same side table rules. But my collection has grown to probably 40 of those bowls. ???? I obviously don’t have enough surface areas to display all of them singly.
So, when I have a LARGE collection of one particular item, I usually group them together in a hutch to make a bigger impact. If my hutches are all full ???? and I have more of the items to display, I use the following rules…..
So, the first thing I do when displaying collections of different sizes is to pick out the largest or tallest item first and add that to the one side of my surface. Next the medium size and work my way down. If I have more than three pieces, I work largest to smallest. And I like an odd number of pieces.
When I am displaying items of the same size, I like to add something like a little bench for height to raise one piece taller. When I added this Christmas tree to one of the same height crocks, it created a different height. These tricks create a more interesting look in my opinion.
I also focus on HEIGHTS when I have a bunch of smalls I want to display, because I like to keep everything at different heights. When everything stops at the same level, it is really noticeable to me. That is when I think it starts looking cluttery. When it’s displayed all at different heights, each piece stands out on its own but also blends with the other like pieces.
I stacked my ironstone soap dishes all together in the back and added acorns. And, then added a shorter one in front for a different height. This would look like a big bunch of clutter if I had both stacks the same height.
This is probably my absolute favorite thing to do. I collect several smaller items like these antique celluloid button hooks. Smaller collections look so cute inside of larger collections such as ironstone pitchers, antique bowls, or apothecary jars. It’s a great way to showcase lots of things in one small area.
SURPRISE. This is a problem that I have run into several times. ???? Therefore, I look up…. and start pooping up the top of my antique hutches. ???? I do things a little differently up top. I don’t worry about the rule of different heights. Sometimes, depending what I’m pooping up, it can start looking cluttered up there. I noticed when everything is at the same height, it mimics the straight line of the cabinet and prevents that problem.
I hope this helps a little. To be honest, this post was EXTEMELY difficult for me to write. I don’t know why I do what I do, because I just do it. I actually had to take everything off of one of my hutches and start all over just to focus on my method so that I could put it into words. ????