How To Style Your Collections For A Cohesive Decor

Share this

Make Your Collectibles Work for Your Decor

Everyone has something they like to collect. Whether it’s pottery, vintage typewriters, comic books, or seashells, when displayed the right way, the things you love can make an artful statement. The key, though, is to keep your collections under control by displaying them in ways that minimize the potential for looking cluttered and chaotic.

Here’s the secret – it goes both ways. Meaning, that displaying your collections in an aesthetically pleasing way is just part of the process. Making subtle Tweaks that tie your décor to your collection is the other part. The goal is for you to enjoy your collections in a thoughtful and cohesive way that adds to your aesthetic instead of detracting from it.

Leading by example. Use the project shown below, and the 3 easy steps, as a guide to help you understand the importance of the relationship between your collections and your decor. How both working together will give you spaces that will speak to your style and flow beautifully with your collections.

Decorated mid-century modern living space using homeowners collections of African Sub-Saharan art.

1. Getting started

  1. Roundup every item from one collection and put them on your table or take pictures with your phone (example below) making it easier to see everything at once. We collected only African artifacts and sub-Saharan art. This included sculptures, paintings, pottery, rock art, textiles, and masks.
  2. If there is a an odd one that doesn’t quite fit in, consider saving it for when you have enough of the same to start a new collection or giving it away.
  3. Re-evaluate your collection and make sure you really love it before adding it to your space.

Collage of homeowners African art collection.

2. Displaying your collections

Family room with display shelves behind the sofa showcasing the homeowners collections of African sculptures, pottery, and masks.

Shelving Display: Display all the items in a collection on a shelving unit. See how in the photo like things are with like? They all have either the same shape or are in the same color family. Even throwing in a few family photos works because they’re all the same neutral color. Using a shelving display draws the eye to something large. When similar, smaller things are grouped into one large display, they show better.

Cozy reading corner with layered rugs on the floor, ethnic patterned drapes and and the homeowners African mask collection displayed vertically on the wall.Wall Display: Whether displaying artwork, family photos, or collectibles on the wall, group them together for a more impactful display. An organized wall display is just that, organized. It keeps your spaces from looking cluttered and is better than having similar items spread out all over your home.


Antique chest used to display homeowners collection of African sculptures coupled with a round mirror and lamp.Surface Display: When displaying collectibles on a surface like a coffee table, dresser, or counter, group them together. I love pairing them with books, a candle, and/or a lamp. Hanging a mirror over this chest worked well as opposed to using art that might compete with the sculptures. Using a tray or basket is another great way to organize and make an interesting presentation.



Picture is showing the back of the sofa with a console table with a yellow mid-century modern lamp and potted plant. Over the top of the sofa you can see the new display shelves showcasing the homeowners African art collection.Floor Display: Don’t forget the floor! Even things like plants, large baskets, or bins look amazing when they’re grouped together in one spot in the room! It’s a great way to fill a corner or complete the underside of a console.





Mid-century modern lounge chairs sit atop a black and white hounds-tooth rug. Canary yellow pillows adorn chairs. Nestled in between chairs is a side table with a orange mid-century modern lamp. Displayed on the wall are masks from the homeowners collectibles.

3. Tell a story with pops of color, patterns, textures, and textiles

Instead of picking your rugs, pillows, drapes, and throws based on your mood, take a more curated approach. Take cues from your collection. Think about using patterns and textiles that best represent your collection for a more cohesive look. For example:

Designer Tip: We loved the yellow beaded sculpture on the chest above so much we had to find a way to tie her back to the collection and the decor. Using yellow as our accent color did the trick!

 Click any photo in this blog to see the full Before & After pics of this project!

Before and After photo of the family room showcasing the homeowners African art collection. Black and white houndstooth rug sits beneath two gray mid-century modern chairs across from a sage green l-shaped sectional.

Happy Tweaking!

Subscribe for Tweak Tips!
Get access to our weekly design tips & my eBook,
"12 Tips to Tweak Your Way to a Happy Space
*We respect your privacy and would never sell your information*