House Doctor: Display and enjoy objects you love

Collections are an important part of creating a comfortable atmosphere, and there are a number of ways to show them off.

Whether it's art, books, silverware or porcelain, many homes feature collections of objects that the owner has taken a keen interest in. While the size of the collection can range frommassive - such as Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé's recently auctioned art collection - to a few hand-painted thimbles, the intent of the collection is the same:to bring the owner joy and pleasure.Collections can be displayed and enjoyed from a distance or used daily.

If one's budget allows for it, a collection can be an investment.Other collectors treat their habit as a sport and personal challenge, trying to amass every item in a series,searching for missing pieces online, at auction or in shops.

For most, however, collections are just fun - there are no rules when it comes to what and how you collect.

Like many designers, I have collections that reflect my interests. Because I like architecture and design, for example, I make a point of visiting antique stores when I travel, searching forminiature buildings or architectural objects.And because I am always writing or drawing in a sketch book, I collect unusual writing instruments, one of which I make sure to use every day.

Collections usually fall into one of two categories: those for personal use and those for decoration.While personal collections can include such things as cars, shoes, jewelleryandhandbags, collections for decor can include porcelain, furniture, rugs, books, items from popular culture or sports memorabilia.Think of personal collections as being comprised of items we adore and enjoy using, while decorative collections express our style, taste and interests.

But surrounding ourselves with things we love is also anecessary consideration when creating personal space.It provides a sense of security and intimacy, which inturn creates an atmosphere we find comforting.

Of course, collections can be displayed in many ways. Groups of similar objects have a visual impact and create a focal point with a hidden story.A grouping can be made on a table, in a bookcase, on the floor or in a niche.The objects can be highlighted with spotlighting for additional impact.

An alternative approach is to disperse one or more collections throughout an interior to create common threads that connect all areas of a home, allowing a collection to be enjoyed no matter which room is being used.

Robert Reid is a professor of architecture, art and design at the American University of Sharjah.

Published: November 24, 2011 04:00 AM


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