Well Collected

Displaying collections is a wonderful way to add interest and personality to our interiors. After all, whether it’s priceless or personal, what we choose to collect is a reflection of ourselves. To help collectors make the most of their finds (and inspire those who have yet to incorporate a collection into their decor), Richmond-based designer Janie Molster offers the following advice:

I always encourage clients to group whatever they are collecting en masse. It is visually stronger and much more interesting to display a group of similar items in relation to each other.
Rotate your collections. An easy way to do this is to empty your bookcases and restyle, or you can take your artwork down and rehang it. If things remain visually static, we stop seeing them, so ask a designer or a friend whose design sense you like to help you look at your things with a fresh eye.
In addition to grouping likes with likes, an easy way to group collections is in a color genre. For example, grouping a collection of artwork in tones of black, white, and grey creates harmony with a like-minded palette.
Even if you don’t think you have a collection to display, you probably do. If you have a favorite stack of china hiding in a cupboard, consider grouping pieces in a fun design on an accent wall. You may as well enjoy it!
Be creative—most anything can constitute a collection. On a walk through my house one would find collections such as a grouping of sculptures by a favorite New Orleans artist, Julie Silvers; my children’s primitive pottery; a wall covered with brown transferware; old, sepia-colored photos; and, saving the best for last, 15 odd pairs of my boys’ very worn toddler-sized red Keds sneakers (and one white pair that was my daughter’s), which I have tied all together as a vertical hanging sculpture.
Keep in mind, collections don’t need to be costly to be loved.

TSG Tip 114 from Janie Molster of Janie Molster Designs in Richmond, VA. Photo of Molster’s collection of her children’s Keds taken by Janie Molster; see more of her collections and her clients’ collections here.