Trash vs Treasure 

I admire minimalists. I do. To have that superpower must be amazing. It is not something I have ever possessed.

Here’s my confession: I like stuff.

I am a collector, a curator if you want to make it sound classier. A hoarder if you aren’t feeling so charitable. I find comfort in having the familiar around me. And my familiar happens to be more than most. As a young girl, I collected rocks and anything to do with cats. As an adult, I still have these collections…and then you when add in artwork, my grandmother’s tea sets,  oh so many books and whatever else catches my eye, you have a lot more boxes to unpack after moving.  This doesn’t even account for the fact that my husband is also a major collector. He has comic books galore; he owns statues and figures and sports memorabilia out to wazoo.  Everyone has their “thing.” The key comes in figuring out how best to display the items that you’re passionate about.

This tendency to collect is something I have and will continue to struggle to accept about myself. It’s not a bad trait, but sometimes I get so caught up in how much stuff I have that I forget the joy of certain pieces and the reasons I fell in love in the first place (usually when I need to dust, if I’m fully honest). Collecting is all well and good. A well-displayed collection can be a focal point and conversation piece in any space. It can add interest, bring joy (or horror depending on the collection) and just plain look cool… if it’s well edited.

This month I’ve tried to focus on how to display my collections in a way that brings us happiness every day. My husband’s collections are more extensive than mine and one of our biggest challenges as we blended our belongings was finding ways to organize and display all our stuff in a cohesive way. Honestly I think this will be a lifelong puzzle.

Here are some ideas that we’ve fallen in love with:

The options for displaying collections  seem endless because there are just so many different paths you could take. You really can go many directions. The biggest thing to remember is to you make sure to enjoy the process. Drop a comment telling me what you like to collect and why… let’s compare tips!



Layer, layer, layer

As the seasons change and move into colder months, we start the habitual dig for extra scarves and sweaters. This same concept of layering is important in your home. The way to create a dynamic space is to give a blend of textures and materials. Mix your woods with metals. Don’t be afraid to put a stripe next to floral or ikat. Your home will be more interesting and versatile for it.

This beautiful living room by Andrew Flesher at looks lush and cozy

This beautiful living room by Andrew Flesher at looks lush and cozy

(Added bonus: mixing textures, colors, and materials makes it easier to later reuse pieces in other places. That pillow from the living room looks more natural in the bedroom…great! When your pieces are already eclectic, you have mixing options.)

The rules for layering patterns and textures in your home are similar to those for your body. Everyone channel your inner Stacy London and Clinton Kelly (shout-out to ya’ll for teaching me to dress myself). Remember¬†The Rules? When mixing patterns, keep the colors similar, though they don’t have to match exactly.

Color layers on color with this Kim Armstrong space at

Color layers on color with this Kim Armstrong space at

Consider scale. Small scale patterns such as clustered polka dots placed next to another small scale pattern like pinstripes will likely be too busy for your eye and lose appeal. Try pairing small scale with medium or large.

Next, pair organic with inorganic to add interest. Too much floral is not what anyone wants. Your house is not a garden. Geometric patterns can be friends with floral. Have fun with design and with pattern; don’t be afraid to think outside of the box!

Your home will thank you for it.