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How to Style and Display Your Own Collections

Updated: May 14

(Image Credit – IKEA)

If you’re a bit of a magpie like me and love collecting beautiful and intriguing things, then this will hopefully help inspire you to curate them imaginatively at home.

Some people collect shells from every beach they’ve ever visited. Others bring home something memorable from each country they’ve travelled to. It might be brightly coloured glass candlesticks or vases you can’t get past and have collected over the years. Maybe it’s vintage kitchenware or old bicycle parts that’s your obsession!

Displaying still life collections in your home (or on the shelves of an office board room for that matter) is an excellent way to add a personal touch and create an authentic feel to any room or space. How you do it, is up to you! But here are some tips and tricks I use that will help you get started.

Golden Rules Before Starting

(Image Credit – Shelfie Styling from ‘Extraordinary Interiors’ by Jane Rockett and Lucy St George)

Use only what you love – steer clear of conformity and fads. What’s on trend today will eventually become outdated.

Work in odd numbers and begin your displays with no fewer than three items. This gives more visual impact.

Decide where your focal points will be. Spaces like a mantelpiece, bookshelves, a corner table or wall can all provide the ideal backdrop to showcase your favourite pieces.

Curate Objects by Colour and Type

(Image Credit –

A good way to create impact is to curate objects by colour and type. Start by deciding what colour you want to focus on and stick to that palette.

For example, you can gather all your organic shaped ceramic vases and build a still life that showcases their different shapes, sizes and textures like this Tikamoon display. This will create a cohesive and considered look. Experiment by moving things around until it feels right. Display them in a random order so it doesn’t look too organised and contrived.

This not only adds visual interest to your space but it also lets you appreciate your collection in a fresh, new way.

Group by Theme

(Image Credit –

If you’re a house plant lover and have the wall space for open shelving, then gathering all your greenery and trailing plants into one place will create a stunning ‘living wall’. Spider plants and ferns work especially well. You can even work it around subtle matches of furniture within the same space.

Group them alongside other treasured items you’ve collected over time, like books and ceramics to create a stunning organic and personalised display.

Let Your Collections Shine Through

(Image Credit – IKEA)

If you have a collection of delicate items, such as shells or birds’ eggs, or small treasures like pearls and coloured beads or semi-precious stones, think about displaying them in a decorative clear glass jar. This will create a visually stunning grouping and make your collection even more precious.

For particularly special objects, a bell jar (antique is even better if you can find) is a great option as it not only draws attention but also provides added protection. IKEA has a great collection of inexpensive containers to choose from.

So, let your favourite pieces shine!


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