Tips and Guides

RL Tips: A Collector's Handy Guide

Chinese vases, vintage toys, even pet rocks—whatever your collectibles may be, keep them under control with these cool display tactics


Personal collections are things that you desire, but don’t actually need. Oftentimes, a multitude of the same thing can take over your home!  Keep the clutter (and dust-gatherers) in check with these display basics that will help you showcase your collection creatively and neatly.

Production by Dagny Madamba. Photographed by Richie Macapinlac.

Read the original article ("Collector’s Items") in the May 2012 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.  

Line it up.

Arrange identical collectibles in one line on a shelf, emphasizing their sameness.

Blue-and-white porcelain achieve a Vermeer-like, still-life beauty when placed side-by-side, while vintage dictionaries look cheeky randomly stacked and displayed alongside wooden mushrooms.

Make a triangle.

Arrange your collection in a triangle shape to draw the eye to the grouping as a whole, and not to each object. Here, gold mirrors are wall-mounted in a triangular shape, while tabletop accessories are also arranged in triangular form, with low, medium, and tall objects.

Leave an empty space.

Keeping one spot on your display shelf bare (in the center, or at the side) can add breathing space to a mass of identical things.

Play with density.

Packing it in also emphasizes the similarities (color, kind, etc.) and differences (height). Layer your collectibles to achieve depth. 

Rotate your collection.

If you have a large collection of items, don’t bring them out all at once. Rotate sets so that you’ll have something different and interesting to look at every so often.

For more ideas, click here.


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