Design - Working With Curated and Collected Pieces

Art and Artifacts, Collections and Curated Items....

They truly are valuable in reflecting who we are, our history, what we love and provides a story...many stories.  That is what makes life interesting and "multi-layered" and we all love a good story.

But many clients bunch their collections all up and it cannot be seen or enjoyed  for the beauty and uniqueness of each item.  Or worse, they have it in boxes and crates because they are just lost on how they can aptly display things they have collected.  

Putting out collections and having them where others can enjoy is a great way to converse and also reflect on experiences.  How can they be shown properly??

Take notice the next time you are in a museum...the surrounding space is well designed but quiet because the most important thing in the room is the art.  

5 Tips For Displaying Collections

1) White.  White is a wonderful way to elevate items to "art" status and make them "pop" For instance, I have a fiddle back chair from the late 19th c. and I have it against a white wall under a very modern mirror.  Many people comment on the chair as if it were art (and to see the craftsmanship, it truly is) But imagine if it were just sitting in the corner of my dining room?  People would try to sit in it.  

2) Edit.  Sometimes there isn't enough space for all the items but find the most intriguing and interesting.  I had wood blocks for printing fabric and I hung a collection on a wall in my became art.  I kept it at 5 and balanced the sizes/shapes so each complimented the other.

3) Art.  You just have to be thoughtful and have a good eye.  But artifacts, those can be shown in hallways, entry areas, offices, just about everywhere.  Plexiglass boxes or shadow boxes or floating shelves.  Be sure you leave enough "negative' space.  That means where nothing is.  Negative space is just as powerful and the item and is very necessary.  

4) Textiles.  Hang them.  But usually, that is all that can be put on that wall.  I like hanging weavings near beds and in hallways where you see it at the end.  

5) Mix it up.  A plate from Majorca and a chest from Indonesia can be set near each other.  Add a ledge for the plate and set the chest on the floor below or if its small, on a clean simple console table. 

Remember - Clean light spaces are perfect for collections.

The room can have beautiful stone floors, moldings, and architectural features...but it's best if the room takes a back seat to the curated collection.  That is where the story is and that is what will make the collection undeniably interesting.  

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