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Like hardwood floors, collectibles add lasting appeal to a home

March 25, 2014

Maple Hardwood FlooringHouston interior designer and writer Leslie Sarmiento believes that personal collections, whether they're salt and pepper shakers or movie memorabilia, should be treated as focal points within a room. Like the hardwood floors in Anderson's Brevard collection, the treasures that people gather over the years have longtime appeal that supersedes​ the latest fads in home design.

Some of the questions that Sarmiento is often asked by her clients is how to show their collections to their best advantage. Should all the items be located in a single space or spread around the house? If the home decor is modern, will traditional keepsakes look out of place?

While such decisions may be a matter of individual choice, Sarmiento advised people to consider scale when selecting where to place pieces. Small items look best on small shelves, larger pieces belong on large, longer surfaces. Otherwise, they would look out of sync and unbalanced within the context of the room design.

One of the interesting display ideas offered by Apartment Therapy has collectibles contained within a series of shadow boxes with no backing. They are placed on a wall painted in a vibrant color, which shows through the back of the casing as a colorful backdrop.

On the other hand, neutral wall colors are often a good background for collections. Posters, paintings and photographs, for instance, contain many hues that stand out against a light-colored wall.

Caring for treasures
In some cases, making the most of sunlight reflecting on a personal collection may make sense. Apartment Therapy reported on one homeowner's decision to place her colored glass collection on shelving situated across a window because the natural light played up the variety of colors in the glass.

But in many cases, people should be wary of locating their possessions so close to where sun damage and fading could result from direct light. Window coverings should be chosen for decorative and functional reasons. They must complement rather than detract from the display to create a harmonious overall look, but also shield them from direct light that may harm items that are difficult to replace.

When collections are housed in curio cases, they should be in a style that ties in with the furniture around them so there isn't a disconnect between the other furnishings in the room. The advantages to encasing a collection is that they're protected from dust that may accumulate on them when they're left uncovered on shelves.