The Etsy Blog

Apartment Therapy’s Collections as Inspiration: Wendi’s Pioneer Modern handmade and vintage goods

Apartment Therapy‘s Gregory Han is like a life coach for your home! He walks you through this house tour from Wendi Weger and he whispers brilliant decorating advice in you ear.

Collecting is easy, it’s the organizing and displaying which often confounds even the best of collectors. But as illustrated by the “nature indoors” menagerie of Wendi Weger’s Silver Lake home, displaying a collection doesn’t necessarily mean just sticking your beloved collections on shelves. Maximizing a collection’s impact is not only about having the right items to display, but also “how” and “where” they’re given the spotlight to add to the spirit of your home.

When displaying a collection keep in mind that larger pieces often do best alone with enough space to breathe. Whether it’s a deer head on the wall or a beloved piece enshrined within a glass display, giving your larger collectibles the role of a focal point can center an interior space. Think of larger collectibles as the grand fountain in the front garden of a home.

Smaller items in multiples especially work well when grouped together in various sizes and finishes, offering opportunities to convert normally ignored sections of the home into newfound gallery spaces. Wendi’s stairway landing gallery beautifully illustrates this idea, offering something to see whether you’re going up or down.

Got something you think is especially worth highlighting? Put it under glass! A bell jar makes almost anything seem that much more valuable and delicate, even if it’s a thrift store find.
When displaying a collection, consider how and where you and others will be seated and standing within the space. Displaying a collection is partially a game of catching a person’s eye; take note of the view from specific points in the room to help determine where to display your collectibles, and whether to organize them vertically or horizontally. Or even better, try finding opportunities to display portions of your collection with an element of surprise, positioning certain items to only be viewable from a specific viewing angle or position. Let curiosity lead the way. Whether guests are looking up or down, offering a new perspective introduces a fun element of discovery into experiencing a collection. It also maximizes space, especially if using ceilings and walls, and can “fill in the gaps” when used strategically. In Anne and Jacob’s house tour, we see a corner nook with glove molds anchoring an anatomical chart which leads up to a fun and surprising clock. Check out their house tour for more artfully displayed collections.

What if you have too much to display and too little room to display it all? Take a page from the ultimate collection organizers and do what museums do: rotate your exhibit. By displaying less at one time, you’re often offering more. And by occasionally trading out items from your shelves, display cases, walls and other areas throughout the home, you’ll be able to refresh your home’s decor regularly without buying a single thing. Well, except for the fact you’re probably continually adding to your collection, but that’s something we can’t help you with.

Finally, displaying a collection should be an opportunity to communicate the life you live within the space you call home, all without making it a dominating feature. The best collections are ones that feel naturally a part of the space itself…an extension of your own spirit with the collections highlighting specific interest (or obsessions) in your life. Check out Bigboy Cheng’s vinyl toy collection in this house tour, for example.

With just a little planning, your collectibles can be showcased across your whole home instead of delegated to a corner shelf. Yes, even your Precious Moments collection.

If you’re feeling inspired (and maybe a little bit competitive), enter to win Apartment Therapy’s Do It Now challenge! You could win a sweet Etsy shopping spree!

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