Stylish Ways to Display Collections

“Can’t quite decide how to showcase your favorite collections? Take another look at those shelves. From shoes to dishes to quilts, let these artfully displayed collections inspire you. Collections can be so much fun and are a great way to let our personalities and our passions shine. So don’t hide your favorite pieces away or leave them strewn about the house, gather them up and show them off. Here, crisp white shelving with a blue-painted interior showcases colorful pottery while serving as a point of interest in the breakfast room.”

No matter your passion (tiny treasures, oversize artifacts), here are ideas for displaying, organizing, and storing your favorite collections so they gather compliments—not dust.

Show Off Small Objects, Like Dice, Matchboxes, or Dollhouse Miniatures, in a Divided Case

Colorful, varied collections look pulled-together but still playful in a weathered grid. Let randomness and imperfection be your guides: Split up pairs, mix sizes, place pieces at different angles, and leave some spots blank. Mount the box on the wall at eye level—before you load it up, of course—or set it on a mantel for maximum delight. (The dice here are in an old wooden type tray.) To keep a display like this clean, spray it with a can of compressed air, standing about a foot away so nothing shifts. A glass jar (far right) can hold extras. Printer’s tray, check out for options. Large apothecary jar (similar to shown), $34, Dice collection in type tray courtesy of Polly Dufresne. Dice collection in jar courtesy of Elena Holowaty.

Use a Sunny Window to Make Glass Bottles or Crystal Animals Sparkle

Set on a deep sill and backlit, translucent collectibles take on an ethereal glow. To up the ante, try modern glass cases—they add levels and have a way of making old-fashioned objects look cool. Scattered groupings of two or three items outside the cases keep the composition from being precious. Don’t feel obligated to use every piece you have. Keep spares safe in a quilted box made for china teacups. For cleaning, use a microfiber cloth made for glass, plus a stiff, angled artist’s paintbrush to get into nooks. Display cabinets by Roost, $70 to $145 each, Antique perfume bottles, for info.

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