Saturday, February 21, 2009

How to Display Collectibles and Antiques: Cottage Style

Cottage style decorating is very popular today as folks are mixing and matching vintage with new furnishings and accessories. In this article let's take a look at how to display your collectibles and antiques "a la Cottage Style".. Many flat surfaces are available for displaying collectibles and décor. Shelves, windowsills, mantles, the top of beams, on top of kitchen cabinets, tables, and chests, etc. They can be used to group collections. Collections can be arranged with objects of similar color, shape, material, era, or use. When displaying mixed objects in a collection or objects of different size, also experiment with using different levels. For example, create height by placing an object on top of a few vintage books or old tin. Another way to build interest is to have some objects come forward on a shelf and some recede behind. To accomplish this you may want to create a background object. Here is a suggestion to get you thinking about styling your collectibles. Perhaps you might take a pretty vintage hand-painted plate and set it upright on a small easel. Then you can choose a complementary object to set in front of it. This brings out the color and creates a backdrop. In my shop, I will often set a colorful cover from a magazine, vintage toy box, game board, book, or piece of vintage fabric to make an interesting display.
It's always fun to change your displays. Some people enjoy using the seasons as a time to re-arrange their collections. Pastel colored florist vases from the colorful era look so pretty grouped together and are a lovely change after the winter holiday months. White pottery of different sizes and shapes form an elegant collection in any room and any time. Candlesticks mixed and matched are also a classic way to go. These collectibles are easy to find and still reasonably priced.

There are so many ways to create shelves. Here are some ideas:

• Bookcases can be turned upside down and mounted on the wall.

• Old stepladders make adorable stands for planters and other small collectibles. Shutters can be made into very durable shelves.

• Boxes can be mounted on the wall and used as shelving.

• Painted vintage children's chairs can be mounted on the wall and used as a shelf to hold a favorite doll, a plant, stuffed animal, etc.

• Hang an old children's swing from the ceiling and use as a shelf.

• Mount a vintage doll-size dresser on the wall and use as a shelf.

• Insert glass shelves into a vintage birdcage and use as a quirky "showcase."

• An old cornice can be converted into a shelf or flower box.

• Attach a small shelf to the side of an armoire to store small items or for display.

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro café.

To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link:
C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff

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Dianne is a member of:
The American Society of Journalists and Authors
The Authors Guild, Inc.

1 comment:

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