Decorating When You Have Collectibles

Be selective about what you display

By ClubMom Decorating Expert Lauri Ward

Whenever I ask a client if there are any accessories she can do without, I’m surprised to find that she invariably removes all the cutesy bric-a-brac and leaves only the finest pieces. So why was she displaying those pieces she knew were not enhancing her home?

Perhaps because we are all constantly torn between sentimental knickknacks and simply beautiful decorative accessories. Many times we wind up with an eclectic mélange of decorative pieces. As a rule, as long as we keep shopping and collecting, we must also continue to edit our possessions. Whether you are a tag sale junkie with a penchant for knickknacks or a minimalist who abhors excess, being selective about what you choose to display will determine whether your home has an elegant or an unsophisticated look.

Surprisingly, many women decorate their living rooms as though they were their teenage bedrooms. Dolls and stuffed animals that could be relegated to guest rooms or even family rooms, if not stored away, instead line shelves and sit on upholstered pieces, detracting from other, more appropriate living room pieces. After rearranging the furniture and accessories in the living room of one client (and removing a doll collection), her teenage daughters returned home from school and exclaimed, “Mommy, now we have a grown-up house!”

Here are two ways to make your collections and accessories shine: Keep all large collections together. The grouping will have greater decorating impact and be less obtrusive than just having a few pieces scattered carelessly around the room. And next, remember, attention to detail pays off. If you are selective and rotate your accessories seasonally, being flexible will provide both you and your home with a more spacious look.

© Lauri Ward, 2006.

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