Occasionally, when I am in need of some decorating inspiration, I go old school and look at my decorating books. Recently, I pulled out my copy of Country Living Collection Style.    As a lover of vintage and antique items,  anything Country Living does is a feast for my eyes.  (All photos from Collection Style unless otherwise noted).

book cover

As collectors, we love to surround ourselves with the things we love.  We are passionate, maybe obsessive, otherwise, why would we accumulate so many of one type of thing.  This got me thinking, when does a collection of stuff become excessive or worst yet a hoarding situation?

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Does a tasteful display of a thousand of the same type of item, like the potato mashers above, make it appear less of a hoarding situation?  I mean who needs 1,000 potato mashers?    When a collection is intentionally arranged and displayed properly not only will it highlight the items, it makes a personal visual statement.  As with the mashers above, there are a lot of them, however, the neutral tone and the way they are lined up doesn’t overload the eye.  I think it would be different if they were all crowded, standing on a table top or thrown in a basket.

How about a collection of colorful antique wooden spinning tops from Lost Found Art ?  Lots of color, but, the uniform shape and spacing of the tops make this arrangement visually appealing.

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The simplicity of some collections can have a minimalist look.  This collection of clear glass cake stands, while numerous, is not overwhelming.  Like the crystal chandelier, I bet they reflect light, making the room sparkle-

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clear glass

The symmetrical and simple layout of the Ironstone platters and gates below gives this collection a clean look –

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This collection of curly metal sconces and artwork hanging on a wall could be a visual disaster.  However, the way they are arranged, the neutral color scheme (candles are even white), and because they are all a similar design keeps it from looking too busy.

wire structures on wall

More hanging metal.  From Country Living online, here is a collection of rug beaters hung in a stairwell.  It’s like 3-d wallpaper-

rug beaters

This is quite an amazing collection of metal picnic baskets.  If you’d like to start your own collection of metal picnic baskets, we have one, just like the middle bottom, for sale at Semper Stylish-

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I love this collection of wicker baskets topped with a fishing creel-

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I found a lot of similarities between the collections shown in the book with my own home – like this room with framed American flags and signal flags. Notice the collection of file boxes in the upper right hand corner.

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Here is a picture of my bookcase.  In addition to the flags, this bookcase also displays my collection of Depression Era cobalt blue Sportsman series glassware (one of the first things I ever collected)-

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A couple of Ironstone collections-

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My collection of Ironstone-

ironstone cupboard

Some simpler collections include-

Polished stone balls on a mantel, and my collection of croquet balls in a basket-

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A jar of red tomato shaped pin cushions, and my antique pickling jar displaying various nautical items-

jar of pin cushions1jar of nautical

Pretty, decorative soaps and paste containers-

soap

My collections of soaps-

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Vintage flash bulbs in a martini glass for sale at Semper Stylish.  It’s like they were made for each other-

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My collection of vintage yardsticks and rulers displayed in a clear glass vase-

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Karen’s collection of Milk glass-

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How about a collection of whisk brooms?  For $1450 you can own one of the three whisk broom collections below from East Market Street Antiques on V&M

whiskbroom collection

Here is my collection of whisk brooms in a glass hurricane jar.  Most of them were “gift with purchase” at estate sales-

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How cute is this from The Polished Pebble?  Whisk brooms as a valence in a laundry room window-

whisk broom curtain- polished pebble

Your collections don’t have to be large, expensive or fancy to make a statement.  Arranged together in such a way as to create visual interest, they will personalize your home.  Hopefully this inspires you to look at new ways to showcase your treasures.