Curating Your Collections

July 29, 2010 by Kenmore

My home in Charleston.
Collections offer wonderful decorative potential. Besides making a personal statement, they add texture, color and history to your rooms.

I think it’s especially important for those who rent their homes to personalize their spaces. I think of it as “nesting and investing” (emotionally) in your space!

Collections are best displayed in a way that honors them, so I always think carefully about how to arrange them, and where, for maximum impact.

Open shelves, bookcases and storage cabinets are natural places for arranging your treasures. But if your collectibles are very fragile or valuable, consider enclosed glass cabinets – bonus points for not having to dust! Or consider windowsills as unexpected places to display your items.

When arranging pieces, keep scale and proportion in mind. Place a collection of small objects on a small table. Place a collection of large objects in a bigger area where they won’t overwhelm.

I like to mass objects together – I find it more effective than a sprinkling a few things here and there around a room. Remember, things always look best in odd numbers, 3’s or 5’s.

What constitutes a collection? Anything that interests you, as long as it’s more than one object! Choose something that appeals to you and you may suddenly start seeing them (and buying them) everywhere you go!

Consider displaying, for example, all your lovely wedding gifts; try crystal pieces against a colored background, or colorful china in an open wooden display case.

  • Vintage candlesticks make great collectibles and are available in all price ranges – plus, they’re useful, lighted, as a centerpiece or in the hallway to welcome guests.
  • Baskets add earthy texture and natural color, especially in a kitchen where so many surfaces are hard and shiny.
  • Books themselves can comprise a collection. You can arrange them by color, stack some horizontally, and mix other collectibles in with them.
  • Just because something isn’t meant to hang on a wall doesn’t mean it can’t! Hang your collection of antique, red-handled kitchen gadgets from white-painted pegboard.

My favorite personal collection is my vintage, mid 20th century photography, which I have hung up my staircase. And, I’m fond of my Tang Dynasty figures on the fireplace mantle of my home in Charleston (photo above). Tell me about yours!

Kenmore recommends…

Collections in the kitchen? Certainly! Along with your antiques, cookbooks and baskets, add a matched collection of Kenmore countertop appliances . Red, Burnt Orange, White or Silver will add a pop of color and style.



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