Interior Obsessions – the Collection

The last time we looked at an interior obsession, we were focused on the attic. Although most of us don’t have the height to create a new space out of our attic, we do look to that area for storage. One item that we tend to store away is a personal collection. These can be anything from tableware to paintings, furniture to photos, items we have collected over time, or ones that were handed down to us by relatives or friends. Today, I’m hoping to inspire you to revisit those old collections and think about displaying them in a new way. Although some collections are by their nature placed piece by piece around the home, furniture and large-scale paintings come to mind, my favorite method for displaying a smaller scale collection is by grouping. The most important consideration is that there be some connection between the items. They can be pieces from the same manufacturer, pieces from different manufacturers, but in a limited color palette, items of a similar type, anything that pulls them together and gives them some visual cohesion.

Collections can be placed anywhere within the home, although certain types lend themselves to particular locations, though that shouldn’t limit their placement. A collection of tableware such as Russel Wright or Fiestaware might be perfect for a shelf or hutch in the kitchen or dining area. A book collection would be at home in a library space, but also in a living room. A collection of houseplants (which grouped together makes watering them SO much easier,) would be great wherever you have good light. Photos can be grouped along a wall expanse, and are super when unified by either color, for example, black and white, or by frame style to tie together disparate images. I especially love collections of vases or similar housewares, and prefer a variety of shapes and sizes to make the grouping interesting. If you have a smaller collection, or one that has many similar pieces, think about lining them up to showcase each piece. And remember that necessary storage of collections can be not only practical, but a visual treat as well as in the case of wine bottles. So pull out those items you’ve packed away in the attic or closets, and think about some creative ways to show them off.

(above) White Vases and Objects


Plants on a Palette + Greenery on a Side Table

Multiple Small Collections

Photos on a Ledge + Grouped Black and White

Wine Storage

Amy wrote this post. She is the designer and owner of FormFire Glassworks, where she creates modern lampwork glass beads and jewelry, and by day designs custom homes for a small firm in Southern California. You can follow her twitter @formfireglass.

4 comments | Click here to reply

[…] last week’s look at how to incorporate collections into your home, I am shifting gears pretty drastically and taking a look at a specific material […]

Interior Obsessions – Concrete | papernstitch

I am feelin’ the white too Amy (and Abigail). I just told Abigail on twitter that I am also obsessed with the first photo. Great roundup Amy!


So glad you liked it! I am really drawn to the all-white collections, especially against a wood finish.

Modern Simplicity

Loving the ceramics collection in the first photo. While I’m typically one for a collection of things, the clean lines and stunning (and simple) color palate are too much to resist! Makes a collection compelling without being cluttered. Thanks for sharing!

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