Collecting Collections: Arranging

Contributor post by Lisa Congdon

Arranging collections in a display can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of collecting after the hunt is over. Nothing like realizing you have just enough of the thing you've been collecting to make a really cute little display on your credenza.

I've always obsessed over arranging things, and love this book that my dear friend Lorena gave to me a couple of years ago. It's called Arranging Things: A Rhetoric of Object Placement . Design writer Leonard Koren discusses the principles that govern how we arrange things in three-dimensional compositions. The book is beautifully illustrated by Nathalie Du Pasquier .

Not so much a "how to" book as a theoretical perspective, the book is also an interesting discourse on composition for painters and illustrators.

Speaking of arranging things, I love this little shelf from Ferm Living called The Dorm . A modern take on an old fashioned knick-knack shelf!

Some people have a gift for arranging things in exquisite ways. I just love Holly Becker's armoire in her new home. Mostly, I love how she's managed to use it for storage but in a way that artfully showcases the beauty and interest of the objects in it.

Notice how Holly groups things that are alike: old books together, white porcelain together, newer books arranged by color. The visual impact is achieved by grouping these like things together, but alternating heights, colors, directionality, etc. {BTW, you can get Holly's gorgeous new decorating book here .}

What is your favorite tip for arranging things beautifully?


Lisa Congdon is an artist, author and prolific collector of old and unusual things, including bits of nature, and surrounds herself with these things in her home and studio. In 2010 she chronicled all of her collections in her Collection A Day 2010 Project. That project is now a book, published in March 2011.


Jan Halvarson


Maureen said...

I LOVE that little "Dorm" Shelf!!! Adorable!

Brown Button Trading said...

last image? to absolutely die for. love it x

Jan Halvarson said...

i like colour coding - that works really well. and to do things in odd numbers....: )

Eva / Sycamore Street Press said...

Thanks for bringing that armoire of Holly's to my attention. I must have missed it somehow on her blog.

I like to do groups of threes... with all three at different heights, and the taller two of them overlapping.

vosgesparis said...

I love looking into other peoples cupboards and always love to see if we have the same books or things ;)