How do you display collections?
Anna Hill Designs
November 15, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I had a situation with an extreme design dilemma.,
I have a client who has a very impressive (but difficult to tastefully display) collection. My clients do have a separate room for this collection in their home, but wanted something that didn't involve pegboards and thumbtacks.
I had "slatwalls" installed - you have probably seen them in stores and we had the company come out and install them. It wasn't too expensive and I think the results are really great! Let me know what you think!
How do you like to display collections? I'd love to see photos - I think displaying treasures and collections really adds personality to a space, but it can certainly be a tricky Design Dilemma.
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
I would pick the biggest wall in your home and fill it with shelves of your items. Make that wall only for your collectables. If that is not enough space, then you could do a band of shelving on the way top of walls in a room or too. I'll post a pic so you know what I'm talking about.
November 15, 2013 at 2:23pm      Thanked by Anna Hill Designs
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Emily Hurley
WOW! I would want to get my hands on all those things. :)
November 15, 2013 at 2:31pm        Thanked by Anna Hill Designs
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Sorry but it looks like a comic store, but maybe that's what the owners were going for? I think it's hard to display really large collections at the best of times, but when everything is still packaged it's even worse. If it's truly a collection of objects I love and enjoy, I'd ditch the packaging. But if the owners consider it some kind of investment (hence the "mint in original packaging") then take it a step further and store these things in a climate controlled sunless "vault."
I personally like the idea of rotating what's on display. Highlight a few favourites and then switch it up every once and a while.
November 15, 2013 at 2:59pm        Thanked by Anna Hill Designs
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Anna Hill Designs
Thank you everyone for your comments! Yes, the homeowners have the entire collection in a separate room, completely dedicated to this collection...and it IS sunless. :)

Here are some more photos that give everyone a better idea of what this room looks like. (It was a workout room.)

I think this kind of collection is very polarizing - you either love it or hate it. As a designer, my personal opinion of the contents of the collection itself doesn't matter. They hired me to meet their needs, not mine, but FWIW I think it's really awesome. :)

My challenge was figuring out a display that met the needs of both the husband and wife:

1 - Husband - display the entire collection, no boxes opened, and displays for all loose figures

2- Wife - display the entire collection in a way that looks well thought out and didn't involve pegboards, thumbtacks, and piles of action figures.

They are both really happy with the results - the collection has its own room so doesn't creep into other areas of the home and the they both love the "store look" of the finished product.

Happy clients, happy me!
November 15, 2013 at 3:16pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
So the owners were going for a comic book store look. Then it's perfect.
I love the shelving for the open figures. Did you use spice shelves for the tiered shelves? My MIL has shelves of those little figurines you used to get in Red Rose Tea boxes. The tiered shelves would be perfect for those. It would help the grand kids obey her "look but don't touch" policy too. It's hard to see the ones in the back.
November 15, 2013 at 3:21pm        Thanked by Anna Hill Designs
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Anna Hill Designs
Thanks Anne! Yes, he wanted that "store look" and said he would never dream of of opening his boxed figures. He actually bought duplicates of many figures - one to keep in the box and one to open and display loose. (I wish I could do this with my SHOES!!)

You are right, we used spice shelves for the tiered shelves. Those are from the Container Store and so are the open white shelves with all of the loose figures.

Now you know what to give your MIL as a holiday gift, her Red Rose Tea figures would look great on those spice racks. Little people could look with their eyes but not with their hands and be able to see the ones in the back! I'd love to see a photo of the before and after of her collection!

This project was all about displaying the couple's collection in a way that preserved the boxed items, allowed for viewing of the loose figures, and still made room for extra figures as he continues to grow the collection.

I don't want to wear you all out with too many photos but here is a close up of some Lucite shelves to give a "floating look" and then a little Batman Vignette in an empty corner. This was another solution to the design dilemma I had with this one.

This was a FUN project!
November 15, 2013 at 3:35pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Studio NOO Design
well, it looks so busy all these figurines on shelves...but I guess if the collector wants to have access easily...if not, I would hang them with different lenght wires from the ceiling in one specific room...just to have fun !
November 15, 2013 at 3:49pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Laurence Tillett
Yikes! I shudder to think about having to dust all that!!!
November 15, 2013 at 3:53pm        Thanked by Anna Hill Designs
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Anna Hill Designs
Alicia, your work is LOVELY!! I really like them all but especially the tile backsplash. What fun!!

StudioNOO - I know exactly what you are suggesting - that wouldn't have me the needs of the clients in this situation, but I was in an Indian restaurant in London and they did that with beautiful marionettes - they made a wedding parade on the ceiling with different length wires. I attached a photo I took of it, and although the photo doesn't do a great job of showing how magnificent the collection looked, you get the idea. You are very clever!

Laurence - I hear ya...
November 15, 2013 at 3:59pm   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
For all the figures on the open shelves I would place those in an encased glass cabinet to prevent the dust from setting on them , the ones on the wall are pretty much displayed as a store would have them but even these could be placed under glass .

a few of these would take care of some

November 15, 2013 at 4:30pm        Thanked by Anna Hill Designs
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Anna Hill Designs
Thanks Genevieve! Those glass cabinets would be really great for a collection! Definitely a good way to keep the dust away. Thanks!
November 15, 2013 at 7:24pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
My 8 year old grandson would go completely nuts in that collection room! It is amazing what some people collect. I have a friend who collects hot sauces from all over the world and has several thousand assorted bottles now. Two of each, one to taste and favorite shaped bottled ones in glass display cases with lights. To each his own. You did a great job meeting your clients taste Anna Hill Designs.
November 15, 2013 at 7:40pm        Thanked by Anna Hill Designs
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
I have a collection of swarovski crystal and some bells, tea cups - a bunch of pretty dust collectors really! But so many of them are roughly the same size, so they don't look as good as they could if there was some variation in height. Spice rack probably doesn't have wide enough levels for most of my things - and I don't think plastic shelving is the way to go with this imo. So - any other ideas out there?
November 15, 2013 at 7:46pm     
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Anna Hill Designs
Rosecottagehome, Thank you for your kind words. This project required me "letting go" a little bit of my natural tendencies. This process is all about meeting my client's needs and they are beyond pleased so I am too.
Kathy, I bet your collection is really nice and something you enjoy which is what matters most. Have you seen these acrylic risers from the container store? They come in a variety of heights and widths. They are not too expensive and depending on the size of your collection, perhaps you wouldn't need too many. You could secure your treasures with museum putty, also sold at the Container Store (or Home Depot, etc.) I hope this helps!
November 16, 2013 at 5:12am   
Thank you for reporting this. Undo
Anna Hill Designs
Kathy - here are the acrylic risers and the museum putty:
November 16, 2013 at 5:34am     
Sign Up to comment
Related Discussions
How do you display holiday cards you receive?
What do you do with the holiday cards you receive from...
How to display growing concert poster collection
Should I display together as shown here in our tall...
How should I display toy collectibles?
Help! I need some ideas on how to display my SO's toy...
How can I display a collection of Kachina dolls contemporarily
My collection is packed away for remodeling, so ideas...
How can I display a large collection of redware plates?
My friend is a collector and has a huge collection...
More Discussions
Matchy - Matchy wood. Which wood would work?
This is my nursery. Sorry the photo with the rocker...
Painting fire place
Want to lighten up the fireplace stone any suggestions...
Asbestos Tile? What did you do with yours?
There is asbestos tile in two rooms of our home over...
Bad staircase design...please help!
We are not around to monitor our new build, and ended...
What home design trends do you find most compelling right now?
We're seeing lots of interest in better kitchen organization...
© 2014 Houzz Inc.
Houzz® The new way to design your home™