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June 21st, 2013

Ideas for displaying collections

I believe that the home is the backdrop of your life and as this backdrop it should tell a story about you and the things you love. There is no better way to introduce and showcase your personality than displaying the items you cherish and collect. When I was an editor at House and Home magazine, one of my duties was to interview and photograph the reader’s collections. From yardsticks and vintage board games to pot lids and pottery I traveled across Canada meeting some of the most interesting people, delving into their collections and seeing some pretty innovative and stylish ways to display the collectables.


Collections, when displayed in a thoughtful fashion, can become the focal point of a home as well as a conversation piece. All too often we collect items and those items are stashed in a basement gathering dust. Creating a thoughtful display just takes a little imagination and a sense of fun. Don’t stress about making collections make sense in a room… for example only kitchen related items could be displayed in a kitchen. For when it comes to display, it’s more about creating a sense of whimsy, matching items that follow a similar colour palette rather than context. Mostly it comes down to trusting your eye, does the display look “right”? Does it make you smile?

To help inspire you to find fun ways to display your collections, I have gathered some of my favourite images of display done well. From books in a cloche to mismatched plates displayed on a wall, all of these collections are displayed in a way that embrace a sense of fun and whimsy. I hope they inspire you to break out of the ordinary and embrace styling your own collections in your home.



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Janette  Ewen

Janette Ewen has been one of Canada’s leading décor and lifestyle experts for more than a decade, passing on her passion for design and fashion to avid fans through magazines, newspapers and television.

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