Artful Decorating With Collections

Easy DIY home decor ideas for decorating with collections. Simple ways to make your collections look cohesive, and add style and personality to your living spaces.

In the world of interior design, collections offer a unique avenue to tell your personal story within a living space. We all collect something. Whether it’s vintage teacups, antique books, pitchers, or a curated collection of plates, collections add depth, character, and a sense of nostalgia to any room. Although collections are amazing decor accessories, they go a step further by reflecting our passions and interests. Over the years, I have discovered some key ideas for making your collections shine, and look cohesive. But first, what exactly is a collection?

Author’s note

*Affiliate links included. See my disclosure statement. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Many of the pieces featured in the post have been collected over years, and are part of my personal collections. Many are no longer available, but if there is a source, it’s listed in the caption below each image.

What Is A Collection?

A collection is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a group of interesting or beautiful objects brought together in order to show or study them.” These objects can vary widely, and include everything from rare antiques and vintage finds to everyday objects like ceramics, books, or even seashells. What distinguishes a collection is the intentional gathering of these items over time. Collections are often driven by a passion for a certain style or time period.

Best Tip For Decorating With Collections

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…so I believe any group of items can be a collection. The most important thing to remember is to group the items together. Boundaries help, but are not completely necessary. Using bookcases, a hutch, or shelves of any kind makes it easier. Tabletops or trays can also be used to display your things with simple style.

ironstone pitcher collection on shelves

If you have a group of five or six like items, but they are spread all around your room, they won’t make the impact they would if they were grouped together. In the photo above I have gathered white ironstone together, and filled the bookshelves. I used other items to add seasonal color, but the main focus is the ironstone.

antique blue ball jars with flowers

Home Decor Ideas

Don’t be afraid to mix the old with the new. Some of my ironstone is vintage, but most of it was found at discount or thrift stores. When it’s all grouped together, it doesn’t make a bit of difference. Your collections, no matter how big or small, will make sense if they are displayed properly.

blue pillow on sofa mason of jars with flowers on end table

If you are thinking to yourself “I don’t collect anything,” then think again. Just use what you have because chances are that you love it already. Books, framed family photos or items from a special time in your life make personal and meaningful collections. What follows are more ideas for collections, and how to incorporate them into your decor.


THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MASON JARS


Their timeless appeal and functionality make mason jars the perfect choice for adding a touch of vintage charm to various living spaces. I remember the thrill of stumbling upon a set of these amazing jars on eBay, instantly envisioning countless ways to incorporate them into every room in our home. I will never forget when that box arrived with several beautiful vintage blue mason jars inside. What a day!

Mason jars can serve as more than just containers. The unique color and classic design make them a standout piece, bringing a sense of history and character to any space. The appeal of these vintage jars lies in their ability to add a sense of warmth and familiarity, making them an ideal thing to collect. They are the perfect accessory for creating a cozy, welcoming atmosphere.

Ironstone

This type of pottery, commonly known for its durability and lasting appeal, was first produced in the early 19th century in England. What makes ironstone so special is its ability to effortlessly blend into any decor style. One of my favorite things in the world are ironstone pitchers. They are a stunning addition to any room, and they add a touch of vintage charm and elegance. Placing these pieces on open shelves or a mantel instantly creates a focal point in the room, drawing attention to their unique designs and historical value.

blue and white ironstone on open shelves decorating with collections

All that said, my pitcher and plate collections are not all vintage ironstone. Many pieces have been picked up at discount stores and online. I place my Walmart finds right on the same shelf with the valuable heirloom items I have collected over the years. I mix white with ivory, and I love to sprinkle in a little blue.

blue and white plates on rack decorating with collections

Make sure to follow your heart, and decorate with pieces that you love, and that tell the story of your family. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, so if your collection makes you happy, definitely display it with pride.

vintage quilts on blanket ladder decorating with collections

Vintage Quilts

Blending antique quilts into your home’s decor is the best way to honor their classic beauty. By showcasing quilts as pieces of art, their uniqueness and craftsmanship can be enjoyed, and at the same time, they will add a personal touch to your living space. Their rich history and limitless designs make vintage quilts priceless. When I look at a vintage quilt, I see more than just pieces of fabric stitched together. I see the stories and memories woven into each pattern and patchwork. The sentimental value of antique quilts is unmatched, making them a cherished addition to any style decor.

blue vintage quilts on blanket ladder decorating with collections

Vintage quilts are functional as well as beautiful, because they can double as furniture throws or bedspreads. The vibrant patterns and colors of these quilts can transform a plain couch or bed into a stunning statement piece. Whether draped over a sofa or neatly spread across a bed, these quilts bring both visual interest and a touch of history to the room, seamlessly blending with the existing decor.

Plates

You can create a major design statement in your home with a carefully curated plate collection. When it comes to plates, the possibilities are endless. Each plate tells a story, and adds a unique touch to the décor. When you start a plate collection, it’s important to select pieces that speak to you. Look for plates that reflect your own personal style, whether it’s floral designs, patterns, or simple white plates. Mix and match different sizes, shapes, and colors to create visual interest in your display.

Arranging and hanging plates on a wall can be done a few different ways. You can carefully plan by making mockups of your plates, and hanging a dry run on your wall. Or, like me, you can eyeball it, and hope for the best! It’s very important to use the right hardware. These are my favorite plate hangers, but these disc hangers work great as well.

The beauty of using a plate collection for home decor lies in the fact that when displayed, it becomes a part of your home’s narrative. Another point to remember is that no two plate walls are the same. So when you design your own, you know it’s one-of-a-kind. Whether you choose to arrange them in a symmetrical grid or in a more relaxed, organic manner, collecting and displaying plates is a wonderful way to add character and charm to any room.

white pantry with window antique baskets on shelves

Baskets

When incorporating baskets into your decor, consider their size and shape, and how they function. Opt for baskets in different textures to add visual interest. Using them to corral items like blankets, magazines, pillows, or mail is a great way to reduce clutter. Mix and match different types of baskets to create visual depth and dimension. Feel free to display them on shelves, tables, or even hang them on walls as unique wall decor. Whether they hold beautiful greenery, seasonal items, or practical everyday necessities, baskets bring a touch of warmth and nostalgia to any room. Arranging baskets strategically can add amazing style, and they raise the overall aesthetics of any space.

I hope you’ve been inspired to put these home decor ideas to good use and gather your collections together. Place them on a coffee or side table…or on bookshelves. No matter how you present them, if they are items you love, you can’t go wrong.

osp single flower

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7 Comments

  1. Leandra Snow says:

    Love my collections! Thanks for the tips on displaying them! I belong to a club called Questers. It’s for collectors and is such a fun club to be a part of.

  2. Thank you for this timely blog. I was putting away my snowmen collection and thinking to myself ..you have so many snowmen Lorri!! My husband is a minimalist but knows that I love collecting certain items. Birdhouses, birds, baskets of all types, tea cups, all kinds of glass items, to name a few.I am like you, I decorate with class, every thing looks very lovely when displayed.(In my humble opinion ..lol) Everything is displayed at certain times of the year. I think when collecting and making your vignettes you give your Home a “Soul”, gives your Home beauty, a coziness and peacefulness. Ann, thanking you for your thoughts and pictures of your home so that I can make my Home as lovely as I can.

  3. Ann-thank you for this post. It was a good reminder about how best to create a haven that reflects our individual styles. I regret letting my blue Mason jar go; we were moving (right around the same time you moved), and I was trying to lighten the load. I appreciate the recommendations about plate hangers. There is a wall in my dining area that calls for a plate display; I saved your recos in my Home Decorating list on Amazon. I pinned almost all of your photos!!

  4. Kathy Hill says:

    Could you share where you got the beautiful prints Westminster Abby and the other one on the shelves with the ironstone? They are so pretty! Love the soft colors. Thank you

  5. Ann, your home is beautiful, and I always enjoy your simple, uncomplicated decorating style. Would you happen to remember the paint color you used on your foyer wainscoting?

    1. Hi Mary…it’s Sherwin Williams Modern Gray. I will add that to the post. Thank you!