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A collection is not a collection unless it is all displayed together.

As I continue to accumulate odds and ends in my home, old collections keep growing and new ones seem to pop up everywhere. What I am collecting is always relative to personal events. While I was engaged and planning my wedding I was consumed with collecting vintage china and antique sterling silver serving pieces. Following the wedding, it was all about sterling picture frames. While decorating my nursery, I was consumed with compiling the most comprehensive library of vintage children’s books. Now, as I am establishing my own design business it seems like I am unable to leave the house without returning with some books (either large coffee table books that I stack under a console table in my entryway or weathered looking leather books that can be found on just about any hard surface in my house). I always buy intending to use the books in clients homes for finishing touches, but somehow they end up finding a home at my own house. You can never have too many books!

My ever-growing book collection

My ever-growing book collection

Some collections have moved seamlessly from house to house, always finding the perfect place to display (my blue and white Terrafirma pieces are always the easiest to place). While others, such as my white porcelain artichokes and antique blue willow plates, haven’t made it out of the box in the last two homes.

Terrafirma Pottery

Terrafirma Pottery

I am most proud of my collection of four original oil paintings that I was gifted by Russian-born artist Murat Kaboulov. If you are fortunate enough to have a collection of pieces from the same artist, be bold and display them all on one wall. If space does not allow, try to arrange them all within view from your seating arrangement in the space where you entertain. Each of my paintings from Murat is a different size, content and style. On their own, they never received proper attention. As I continued to experiment with their individual placements in my first home it was only then that I realized the absolute truth to my initial statement, “A collection is not a collection unless it is all displayed together”. It was not until I moved them all the paintings to one wall in my formal living room that my collection commanded its deserving attention.

Some collections are started for us… Hence the shelves in my curio cabinet dedicated to enamel boxes and tiny hand-painted animals. Although I have never found a purpose, my Herend collection brings me joy and it will always have a place in my home. Likewise, as I hung the display shelf in my daughter’s nursery, I made sure to reserve space for her own Herend collection, which my husband and I started for her. This is a sentimental collection. Every home needs a sentimental collection and as a designer I love the opportunity to help my clients showcase the items that help illustrate who they are.

My Herend Vanity Set in Chinese Bouquet, rust

My Herend Vanity Set in Chinese Bouquet, rust

My daughter's first piece of Herend

My daughter’s first piece of Herend

My love for all things blue and white comes from my mother’s influence. As long as I can remember, she has collected blue and white happy jars from estate sales and antique markets. Blue and white reminds me of her and nothing takes my breath away more than a well curated collection on blue and white porcelain. We were even able to incorporate some of her prized pieces into the decor for my wedding reception.

My Mother's Blue and White Collection used at my wedding

My Mother’s Blue and White Collection used at my wedding

As you place your collections for display, stagger the heights and sizes for more visual interest and always remember to display in numbers!

Blue and White Collection displayed in Dining Room, Veranda

Blue and White Collection displayed in Dining Room, Veranda

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