Collections to consider

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 October, 2011, 12:00am


Hongkongers are great collectors - but whether it be serious treasures or Hello Kitty dolls, there are guidelines to help build an eye-catching mixture, regardless of what it is you accumulate.

The first is to decide whether you want to make the display public, as a centrepiece in the home, in your bedroom or a specially dedicated cabinet.

If you love vintage handbags, these may work best in the bedroom. Similarly, comic books would be ideal for a study area, while vintage teacups suit the kitchen.

Size is one of the most important factors to consider. It can be easy to fall into the trap of only buying lots of tiny things or just a few large items. But diversity in scale will help make things look just right. If you have a collection of vases, try mixing things up and focus on finding a larger piece if you usually stick to smaller objects.

Also consider colour when displaying your collection - complementary colours make pleasing groupings. If you have books, try grouping them according to their subject or colour of the spine. And if you buy something and dislike the colour, it is easy to change it with a bit of spray paint or dye to enable it to fit in with your other things.

Similarly, hunting for pieces that will diversify your collection based on materials they are created from will not only make it more interesting, but create versatility and flexibility if you want to move them around your home.

Pay attention to texture as a mix will add depth to your display. It can also be practical too. For example, smooth porcelain displayed on velvet-lined shelves is good for the glass and glamorous too.

How it's displayed can make the difference between something that looks as though it's just there to collect dust and a real collection. Setting items on a shelf is simple, but to give your items more personality try grouping a few together in unexpected ways, possibly in a jar, or under glass in a frame. Sometimes custom-made shelving or niches with downlights can help offset a collection.

In other cases, you probably don't even need shelves or a table for display - try going vertical and hanging items directly onto the wall. This especially works for things like hats or handbags.

Once friends and family discover you enjoy collecting something like tea cups, it will seem that's all you'll ever get at gift-giving time. But don't be afraid to only keep pieces you truly love and enjoy, and sell or trade the rest.

If you don't have a collection, but would like to start one, find something you're interested in and base it on a theme - such as an era, a profession or a sport. Remember, design is not static and it could take many years of searching before you build up a substantial collection.