Look Like a Bona Fide Collector (Not a Borderline Hoarder)

August 11, 2016

By: Tyler Wisler

Tyler 1

So many people love to collect things. Some collect dolls, others plates, maybe pottery is your thing, or teapots. Whatever it is, I’m sure you’re proud of all the hours spent surfing online, haggling with flea market vendors and scouring every yard sale that happens within a 25-mile radius of you. I get it. You did the time, you want to show off your spoils.

Have you ever considered that you may be the only person who actually appreciates all that effort though? To the uninformed eye, your collection could be perceived as more of an obsession.

So, how do we solve this dilemma and still display objects we hold near and dear to our hearts?


Go through and choose the items that are most important to you. Maybe the one that you discovered buried in a steam locker in your aunt’s attic. Maybe the piece that you fought for until the bitter end and finally won in an eBay auction. Those are the parts of your collection that have a story, a meaning behind them, so leave those out. All the other stuff can be put away for safe keeping.

Maybe you love Japanese ceramics, and you have over 1,000 pieces. Yes, you could easily put every single one of them on a shelving unit, side-by-side-by-side, but then nothing is important, nothing is given focus. You just have a massive wall of stuff!

If, however, you only cluster the most exquisite pieces together in groups – one of 7, one with 5 and another of 3 – no one could deny you are a collector, and it would still demonstrate your love of the art form.

Always try to keep your groupings in odd numbers, since that tends to be most pleasing to the eye, and if possible, keep the largest cluster under 7 pieces.

Remember to group things that vary in size, shape, form and volume. This allows the eye to bounce around and see the differences in each object, and it provides a nice compare and contrast moment.

By following these simple tips,  you’ll have a collection that looks more boutique gallery, less estate sale gone wrong.

Meet expert Tyler Wisler -...Want to hear more from Tyler? You can check back in with him on our blog and watch his Behind the Design videos on our YouTube page.

In the meantime, be sure to catch Tyler’s witty insights on all things design and more on his InstagramFacebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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