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A Complete Guide to Collection Displays

A Vintage Collection Containing Floppy Disks, Rotary Phone, Open Book, VHS Tape, Radio, Camera, Envelope, Cassette Tape, Records, and More on A Black Surface

To start with: no, collectibles don’t always have to be encased, and yes, surrounding colors and fixtures do matter. However, as someone just starting out in their interior design journey, you might need something a bit more substantial than an answer to leading questions.

So, we bring you an introductory guide to showcasing collections.

Make an Exhibition of It

Exhibition-style collections are perhaps the most common display types, but they might escape you when it comes to collectibles that aren’t family photos.

Walls aren’t just for frames—collectibles have as much right as anything to be up there. Group a plate, record, or mug collection in a single place on a wall above the mantel or right by the entry. If your client is still adding to it, don’t conform to a definite shape.

Shelf it As You Should

Shelving might be the first image that pops into your head whenever you hear of collection displays. There’s nothing wrong with being predictable, but it can get rather dull if you simply place them on boring old closed or open brown shelving.

You could play with colors by arranging plain fine china on teal or yellow shelves. Distressed shelves are also en vogue, so you can showcase a vintage collection within the glass shelves of some distressed white wood. Shelving units can be tall rows framing a wall instead of going along the length of the wall itself. You can just place them at various points across a house to compensate for capacity. 

Find Common Ground

You may have heard of arranging books by size, color wheel, or in alphabetical order. Now, apply the same rules to other collectibles, and you have yourself a brilliant display.

A butterfly display frame can contain species small to big, or a crayon or hat collection can be arranged as per the color wheel. Depicting similarity through arrangement must be the focal point, and it can either be subtle enough to keep the onlooker guessing or so glaring it gives itself away at first or second glance.

Make it Shine

Display cases made of glass can be viewed from every angle, so why not give them the best angle there is?

Place them in front of a window with the best sun or beside it for a more subtle impression, and let the light hit your pieces. This strategy works best with white collections, and you don’t have to confine everything to the case. Relegate some to the side-accent role as the contrast will make the case pop.

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