How to group and stage your collectibles

Pia Seidel
Pia Seidel
Zurich, on 25.01.2022
Translation: Eva Francis

Collector’s items make your four walls feel homey, but can also make it look cluttered. Here are five stylish ways to arrange your favourite personal pieces.

Like having a lot of decorative items around you, but still want to keep things tidy? If so, you’re better off arranging your collectibles deliberately in a few places rather than scattering them all over your home. Stage them well and they’ll be seen and admired – even by people who usually don’t appreciate collector’s items.

1. Grouping

It creates a chaotic atmosphere if you place a dozen vases all over your home and you won't know where to look. Group similar items together and arrange them as a still life. Combine vases on a sideboard or cupboard, for example, and arrange them according to size and shape. Small ones go in the front and large ones at the back. If the vases are all the same size, create height differences by placing magazines or small furniture elements underneath them. The Ferm Living brand sets a great example by using a stack of books.

Grouping similar items helps direct the eye and create order.
Grouping similar items helps direct the eye and create order.
Image: Ferm Living

2. Elevating

Shelves are great for staging objects and keeping things tidy. With their straight lines, they automatically create a calm look and keep any floor or cupboard surfaces clear. Spread your treasures out on a single shelf, again noting the different heights and shapes. This way, your collector's items become real eye-catchers.

On the wall, the plates look twice as good and don't get in anyone's way.
On the wall, the plates look twice as good and don't get in anyone's way.
Image: House Doctor

Or you can take the design label House Doctor as an example and use single shelves to form a grid with enough free space between them. This looks tidier than grouping everything on the floor.

Like will to like: despite the number of vases, the shelves make sure there’s no chaos.
Like will to like: despite the number of vases, the shelves make sure there’s no chaos.
Photo: House Doctor
House Doctor Book (32 x 25 x 23 cm)
Shelving
55.30

House Doctor Book

32 x 25 x 23 cm

1

3. Displaying

Display cabinets are perfect for storing and staging your favourite personal pieces. These cases or cabinets create a natural system. Just remember to place large items on top and small items at the bottom, as this makes your collection look well balanced.

Display cabinets are eye-catchers that organise your collection.
Display cabinets are eye-catchers that organise your collection.
Image: House Doctor
House Doctor Keeper (33 x 52 x 11 cm)
Shelving
81.–

House Doctor Keeper

33 x 52 x 11 cm

4. Lighting

We usually light up furniture such as the dining table. But your decorative items and plants also deserve to be in the spotlight. One table lamp is enough to set highlights in your home. House Doctor uses three lamps to stage a group of plants. You can apply this same principle to other collector’s items. House Doctor also shows how to create an exciting arrangement with furniture of different heights.

Whether using lamps or other light sources such as candles, the right lighting makes your arrangement look beautiful.
Whether using lamps or other light sources such as candles, the right lighting makes your arrangement look beautiful.
Image: House Doctor

5. Framing

Very few of us have a Picasso painting in their home. So why not incorporate a painting in your decorative setting? The HK Living brand uses an abstract painting in the background as a frame for a group of candleholders. The candles pick up colours from the painting. Copy this and only use decorative items in the same colour range. This helps the two elements blend together.

A great combination: the painting and the decoration form a unity.
A great combination: the painting and the decoration form a unity.
Image: HK Living

Don't want to place anything in front of your painting? Use your window sill as a display area to stage your vases and other decorative items. Just don't take a window you want to open regularly.

A window frames what's outside and is great to display your decorative items.
A window frames what's outside and is great to display your decorative items.
Image: HK Living

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Pia Seidel

«There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. I believe in the latter.»
– Albert Einstein


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