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We will be the first admit – we have too much stuff! Being lovers of all things old (and quite frankly, all things design), we are always searching for the next great find to add to our collection. Maybe an all-elusive piece of Ironstone? Or a platter that completes a set of dishes we love?

There is always something that causes us to pause (or slam on the brakes!) when we see yard sales and flea markets. Oh, please do agree that you know that feeling: your heart starts pounding, your eyes enlarge, your hands may even shake a bit when you see that rare artifact that you have been in search of for years! There it is – the piece your collection is missing. What a rush that feeling is, and the reason we always stop.

After the excitement of finding and buying, you realize you need a place to store all of these “treasures.” (And yes, we truly feel they are all treasures.) Many times we start piling our finds in Rubbermaid tubs and stack them away, completely hidden from the world. This is no way to appreciate and enjoy what you collect!

At The Gray Boxwood, we are always in search of new and exciting ways to use collections as art around the home. We believe that what you collect is an expression of who you are. We want to help you show who you are as art for all to enjoy.

Take note of a few of our helpful hints:

Say No to Clutter!

Clutter is always bad. Dispersing your collection in many areas can make your home feel overwhelming and uninviting. Instead, try grouping your collection in confined areas and display only what fits. Here we used a wonderful Ironstone collection to define the shelf. Always remember, limiting your collection to the allotted space does not mean you can cram in every piece. Pack some items away if they do not fit and change them out throughout the year as a “refresher.”

Remember that you can mix and match patterns as long as the majority color scheme for a space is uniform. Ironstone works perfectly for our displays since we always pick all-white pieces giving uniformity to the collection, even with a mix of patterns.

Push the Boundaries

Collecting has no boundaries, as seen in this collection of vintage pictures and

We love vintage pictures and frames but often find that when used as single art pieces throughout a home, they can appear tired and boring. When grouped on a wall (like in this office), they become part of a larger piece of art. This display was a bit more time consuming as many pieces were needed to find the perfect layout where all the lines work together. A nautical theme was employed throughout the artwork to tie the pieces together and create a cohesive project. The result is a dramatic and inspiring presentation that is rustic, yet professional.

Start Small

Collections always start small. As your collection grows, excitement comes with deciding how to create a unique and unified display that will help you enjoy the collection you have spent many years gathering. There is no fun in storing your collections in boxes and never enjoying them. Lay your collection out in a large area, choose your display method (shelf, wall, frames), and start arranging. Remember to keep it compact and uniform. The possibilities are simply endless!

-Happy Collecting!