Obsessive Collections…..

As the More is More Mom®, I am all about displaying…..more collections! One of my favorite parts of being an Interior Designer is getting to know people through their art work, books, furnishings, color selections, and collectables. It’s like a great big science project to learn about what makes people happy…….

I am a huge fan of meaningful collections that are assembled over time, for collections are best when they tell a story. I love to learn the history of each piece; where they came from and what memory they represent. Collections don’t have to be expensive pieces of objects d’art, just something of personal interest. People collect all sorts of things, it’s they way they are displayed that makes them interesting.


Take, for instance, my collection of decorative tea-pots. I have no fewer than 19 tea-pots on display on a small console table in my Family Room. And I don’t even like tea! What appeals to me are their whimsical nature and the beauty of their unique details. I’m a sucker for texture and interesting patterns, so I’m particularly drawn to bamboo and basket weave. I have so many charming tea-pots depicting ordinary items crafted in extraordinary ways, but my very favorite is my bunny rabbit holding a lettuce leaf in its mouth.

What makes this display successful is an easy principle to apply; for greatest impact, group like items together in one location rather than scattering them about. The story is clearer and more interesting when your collection can be found in a bold grouping.


In keeping with my love for texture and pattern, I adore tortoise, fine burled wood and animal skins. A great way to corral your collections when displayed on a large table is to showcase them within the framework of something more definitive, like a tray. On my big square coffee table, I have placed an oversized tray with an aged patina to display a few of my favorite pieces. Two large tortoise hurricanes anchor the tray, which predominately showcase various small boxes with lids in a variety of shapes, sizes and textures. What works here is that the boxes are a unifying theme, and the texture of the tortoise boxes is a compliment to the tortoise hurricanes, which ties the whole thing together. Collections can be unified by form, function or color.


A great way to display family photographs is in one, impressive, location. They can be arranged by subject matter or tell the story from a variety of perspectives. The two most important things to remember when arranging your pictures are to unify the display by using frames of similar style and tone, and by featuring photos in a variety of sizes. If they are all the same size, they will be more difficult to enjoy, while layering your arrangement with larger pictures in the back and smaller in the front, will allow for a greater vantage point. In my Living Room, I have a round skirted table that features family photos unified by being displayed in silver frames. The frames are an interesting collection in their own right, of various sizes and styles, while maintaining that one common theme. Grouping photographs together is one of my favorite ways to tell the story of our lives.


The best thing about collections is that they can be of anything that we find interesting and makes us happy. My Amanda has an awesome collection on rubber bouncy balls. She must have close to 300 in a fabulous array of colors and patterns. We show case them in three large glass jars that she keeps on her dresser. She has gotten them from birthday parties, with tickets at the prize counter at places like Dave and Busters, from gumball type vending machines at the super market and from friends that have wanted to add to her collection. One time a boy from her class brought 14 in a Zip-loc baggie because he knew how much she liked them.

More collections, more memories, more personality, more meaning…..


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Filed under Interior Design, More is More Mom, Personal Style

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