One homeowner hung 19th-century English transferware and antique horns in their upstairs hallway: "Something three-dimensional breaks up the monotony of just hanging pictures."
|Be creative with the patterns in which you hang your plate collections. Create art!|
|Talk about an alternative to wallpaper. This homeowner used vintage tools to adorn the walls in this rustic stairway.|
Cluster Bulky Playthings, Like Globes or Vintage Toys, on a Low, Wide Platform
When you have objects that are fun to interact with, you want to keep them within easy reach. To create a sense of happy abundance, pack in as many as you can. Think of each item as a piece in a puzzle, and find the right fit in relation to others in the display. The bottom shelves can store small extras. For dusting globes, use a dry microfiber cloth (cleaning products could damage coatings). Three-tier steel-and-brass étagère, $2,800, lizobrien.com for info. For a similar option: Global Views Timeless table, $2,795, abchome.com. Simplicity globe (on mantel), $185, conranusa.com. All other globes courtesy of Prop Company Kaplan & Associates, 212-691-7767.
|Beautifully colored glass bottles serve as whimsical art. And don't you just love the rubber boots posing as a wrapping paper storage!|
Play Up Natural Finds, Like Stones and Seashells, in a Kooky Fishbowl
Hunting down a gorgeous antique aquarium could take some time (try eBay, flea markets, and vintage shops), but any glass vessel with a flat side brings crisp clarity to gnarly organic items. Fill the vessel less than halfway (much of the beauty is in the negative space), and arrange the biggest pieces on top. Blow away dust occasionally with a hair dryer set on cool. If you have a constant influx of rocks or shells, stash piles in old peanut-butter jars and tuck them away on a closet shelf. Shell collection and vintage aquarium courtesy of Linda Rodin.
|Displaying large shells can seem like a thing of the past ... something found in the '70s. But the designer of this living room was smart about placement, symmetry and simplicity. She turned sea shells into a collective sculpture.|
Use a Sunny Window to Make Glass Bottles or Crystal Animals Sparkle
Set on a deep sill and backlit, translucent collectibles take on an ethereal glow. To up the ante, try modern glass cases—they add levels and have a way of making old-fashioned objects look cool. Scattered groupings of two or three items outside the cases keep the composition from being precious. Don’t feel obligated to use every piece you have. Keep spares safe in a quilted box made for china teacups. For cleaning, use a microfiber cloth made for glass, plus a stiff, angled artist’s paintbrush to get into nooks. Display cabinets by Roost, $70 to $145 each, velocityartanddesign.com. Antique perfume bottles, tudorroseantiques.com for info.
They say, “everything looks better in glass,” and clearly, that’s true! Displaying collections and creating vignettes with clear glass containers and using open storage are great space savers! Not only that, but it is also great way to give a more decorative appeal to collections, and your ordinary or household objects.
|Cute as a button.|
|I wish I would have seen this years ago when I had a pretty impressive collection of matchbooks. Such a simple lamp gained character and color from little paper books of matches. Love it.|
|Goes to show you that anything ... even sand and gravel .... can create an interesting display.|
Fresh & Functional
Open storage is also a good idea to try around your home. Open storage gives off an aesthetically pleasing, clean and fresh look that adds a dimension of grace and style to any room. Be creative. Show off your style and show off your favorite or even just your functional items.
Hang skeleton keys from ribbons in windows, use them as pulls on a shade, or group a variety on the wall (you can even display some horizontally with a second nail).
|The pottery in this room set the color palette for this room. You can see how the display really provides majority of the texture in the room, leaving the homeowner to use simple fabrics and patterns as accents.|