Whether you live in a apartment, a tract home, a cabin or a custom home it’s important to get personal and put yourself in the picture. This means decorating with things you and your family really love, not just stuff that fills space. Whether you are fond of things that are homespun or high style doesn’t matter. What matters is that you love them and they say something about you and the life you live.
My Teapot Collection
Years ago I unintentionally started collecting teapots. It began when my grandmother gave me a teapot from the early years of her marriage. I loved it because it had been hers but it really wasn’t my style and it sat in a cupboard for many years. When I got married, my new sister-in-law gave me a clear glass teapot as a wedding gift – very practical and very contemporary. Then one summer when my mom and I visited my sister in Canon Beach, OR we both admired a lovely and unusual teapot in a beach-front kitchen shop. It became my birthday present. Now I had received three teapots as gifts – and three of anything is a collection that seems to invite more!
Over the years teapots became my travel souvenirs, birthday and Christmas gifts. In my last home I displayed all of my collection in lit glass curio cabinets in the kitchen/family room. After downsizing, however, there was no way I had room for them all. Getting rid of them was not a solution – they represented too many years and memories. Instead, I sorted them out according to seasons – spring, summer, fall (and holiday), winter. I boxed them in easy to handle fruit boxes acquired from the grocery’s produce department and labeled each box according to season.
Now every three months I pack away one part of my collection and pull out the next season to fill a bookcase in my kitchen. Yes, it’s a bit of a bother to pack and unpack them but it’s also fun because unpacking them is like unwrapping a gift and getting reacquainted with an old friend.
Collection Display Ideas
Believe it or not, you may already have a collection that would be perfect for decorating your home – bringing you joy and sharing something about yourself with guests:
- Do you love pretty dishes but see them only on special occasions or holidays? Get some of them out of the cupboards and hang them on walls, stand them on book shelves, use them on a coffee table as candy dishes. Maybe even remove a cupboard, paint the inside of it to coordinate with your home and your dishes and you display your dishes while you store them!
- Do you have silver or pewter items? Take a cue from the display ideas suggested for dishes. Add a little bling to your home and while enjoying items you love but seldom see!
- Love candles? Gather all of your candles and holders from the cupboards and around the house. Create a grouping of glass or crystal holders, maybe a group of silver or ceramic or wood and put them all on a big tray (maybe a silver one?). You’ll be more likely to regularly enjoy candle light now on a daily basis while making a big impact with your candles instead of just scattering them throughout your home (or do both!).
Lots of vases? Cluster a big group of them (by color, style or material) on a dining or coffee table. You don’t have to have a bouquet for each vase – just a few blooms per vase (and leave some vases empty for interest) will make a big impact. Instead of flowers tuck bare branches into a vase grouping or if they’re glass fill some of them with fruit (lemons, limes, oranges, apples) nuts, or candy. Or how about filling them with another collection like marbles, seashells or polished rocks?
- Do you or a family member tie flies (or craft something else?)? Display a colorful collection in a black shadow box purchased at a craft store or frame shop. What a graphic statement you’ll make on a wall and what a conversation starter!
- Books, books, books!!! Turn the big books in your library into risers for table lamps or accessories. A big vertical stack beside a chair becomes a side table, holding a cup of coffee while you read.
- What ever you love and collect! Gather similar items to create interesting grouping on tables, shelves, mantels and walls.
What About You?
So what do you collect? How do you display your collection? If you don’t display it - would you like to? What’s the obstacle you’re facing? Share a great display idea for a collection or share a decorating dilemma you’re facing. I’d love to hear from you so leave a note below by clicking on the Comment link at the end of this post or email me at email@example.com.