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Interior Design

Four Ways to Display a Collection

A home should be a unique expression of the interests of its inhabitants. Plates, rare books, antiques are just some of the items one can collect and display. These pieces readily get conversations started and offer the opportunity to showcase them in stylish ways. Read on to discover how unexpected spaces in the home can be the perfect gallery for personal treasures.

Welsh sideboard

Practical and stylish, a sideboard offers discreet storage options on an uninterrupted surface. These timeless pieces were once relegated to the dining room, but now can be placed anywhere. Beyond serving food, they also offer a convenient area to display your treasures, particularly plates and vintage silverware. The trick is to select one focal point and keep backgrounds neutral. Collections will shine without overwhelming. If your display is particularly colorful, consider placing against a white or beige wall.

Pigeonholes of a desk

A desk can be the perfect place to display a collection. Pigeonholes were once used to store office supplies and papers. They now can provide space for a mini gallery. Start by clearing off stationary and polishing for the cleanest surface. Arrange your collection in a way that pleases you the most and get ready for the compliments.


From masks to statues of all sizes, sculpture is one medium that thrives on proximity. These multi-dimensional works should be viewed from as many angles as possible. Bookshelves provide the perfect space for display, as most are elevated or at eye level. This placement also prevents accidents by keeping too many hands away from creating a hazard. To enhance these bold objects, consider adding the right lighting. A spotlight or single light may wash out intricate details. Diffused light, such as sunshine, works best. If that is not possible, try recessed lighting.


Versatile built-ins are meant to be filled with personal treasure. Books, Depression-era glass or action figures can all find a home on them. These small landscapes offer the right amount of space and light to bring dimension and character to a flat wall. For the more creative types, deepen the impact of your display by playing with layers.  Arrange books as a foundation and move smaller décor items to the forefront for a multi-dimensional look that will start many conversations. Love displaying your personal treasures as much as you love collecting them. This article was inspired by the April 1958 issue of Better Homes & Gardens magazine, proving beloved collections are timeless and always in style.