How to Display Collections Like a Minimalist

You don’t have to be be a minimalist or an essentialist to benefit from displaying collections and meaningful objects in your home in a very simple and streamlined way so that they stand out and don’t feel cluttery. It’s just good practice.

Waaay back when I was a youngster working in retail a supervisor once told me that grouping a whole lot of one product all together on an end-aisle display was eye-catching and sold more. That stuck with me. And it applies at home as well.

The whole point of collections and mementos is to look at them and appreciate them. They take you back to when you got them or remind you of a loved one that handed them down. They’re the good stuff. The stuff you want to stand out in your home above all the laundry and dirty dishes and socks on the floor (am I the only one who takes socks off and leaves them everywhere around the house?).

So I have two main “rules” when decorating so that the meaningful stuff like photos, collections, art and memorabilia stand out:

  1. Start with a neutral backdrop (ie. paint your walls white, off-white or light gray or beige).

  2. Group your stuff.

Let’s concentrate here on displaying collections by grouping them.

Shelving displays

Try to bring all of one kind of collection or items - for example, vases, books, dishes, pitches, antiques - all together an display them on one shelving unit. See how in the photos below like things are with like? They all have either the same shape or same colour family. Even practical dish sets don’t look cluttery stacked on open shelving because they’re all in one colour. The eye is drawn to something large - and when you display a bunch of similar little things together to make one large display, it will show better.

Wall displays

The same tip goes for displaying artwork, family photos or collectibles on the wall. Group them together to make a display that’s way more impactful and also way less cluttery than having them spread out all over your home. Designer tip - this also allows you to save some white space in your home.

Surface displays

When you’re displaying collections of items on a surface like a coffee table, dresser or counter, try to corral them together. I love using trays, baskets and glass jars for this purpose. It makes such an interesting presentation and keeps them from getting scattered around and messy-looking.

Floor Displays

Even things like plants and large baskets or bins look amazing when they’re grouped together in one spot in the room! Bonus - it’s way easier to sweep the floors when you have more open space because things are spread around.

Action steps:

  1. Re-evaluate your collections and decide what you really love and want to keep, and what you really don’t care too much about any longer and could donate.

  2. Bring every item in one collection out and put it on your table. Are they all similar in size, shape or colour? If there is an odd one out, consider giving it away so that the rest of your collection will look better.

  3. Find a spot in your home to group them together and play around with the display until you’re happy with it.

  4. Stand back and admire your work, and invite friends over to enjoy it too!

Want more tips on decorating simply so that your home feels calm and beautiful? Download my free Essentialism at Home workbook for 5 steps to decorating simply beautiful spaces.