How to Make Collectibles Shine in Your Home Design

Curated Living Room

Curated Living Room

Photo: J. Savage Gibson; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Southerners are the best kind of hoarders, acting as the caretakers of both their family history and our community’s culture. Minimalism has been in style for a while now, but if you ask us, it’s time to bring your collectibles out of storage and put them back on display. Hear from some of the South’s best interior designers on how they incorporate collectibles into the home in a thoughtfully curated, aesthetically pleasing way.

Layer Up

In the South, more is more. That’s why when Lance Thomas of Thomas Guy Interiors in Lake Charles, Louisiana was tasked with incorporating a servingware collection in a kitchen, he went all out. “We created a statement wall with a retro feel in this cozy kitchen by layering a Blue Willow dishware collection against the original shiplap walls,” he says. “A bold blue Smeg refrigerator complemented the collection and completed the look.”

Turn it Into Art

Movie tickets, baseball cards, even vintage keys or seashells—they can all be hung on display, which is way better than being stashed inside a closet. One example? “We decided to frame the client’s collected artwork from a series of calendar prints so they could continually display and enjoy the artist’s work—rather than only seeing one month at a time and then filing it away in a drawer,” shares Lauren Sullivan of Well x Design in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Mimic a Museum

When Gray Walker of Gray Walker Interiors in Charlotte, North Carolina purchased her current home, she continued a collage of New Yorker covers the original owners had started on one side of the hallway. “People truly get lost in studying the covers while passing through and great conversations start as a result of these brightly colored pieces of time and history,” she says. If that doesn’t perfectly illustrate the beauty of putting collectibles on display, what does?

Line ‘Em Up

Sometimes, the straightforward displays are the most effective—and for Catherine Branstetter of Catherine Branstetter Interiors in Nashville, Tennessee, the most meaningful. “This walnut table has passed through several generations of my family and is the perfect piece to display a grouping,” shares Branstetter. A simple lineup of her ginger jars draws attention to the setup while also allowing equal attention to be paid to her grandparents’ antique walnut tavern table.

Make it Pop

Color is a fool-proof way to catch the eye, which is why Amy Studebaker of Amy Studebaker Design in St. Louis, Missouri used it to draw attention to her client’s china and vintage pillows. “With this fabulous and fresh tangerine grasscloth wallpaper, the collectibles pop against the bold color, creating visual interest in the space,” explains Studebaker.