Home & Leisure

Art of Design: Curating Your Collection

Joseph Pubillones on

My first collection or attempt at displaying items as a child was boxes. Made of any material: cardboard, wood or plastic, I would organizes them by sizes and stack them in all sorts of arrangements. Now that I think of it, this was probably my first foray into architecture and interior design.

Accessorizing is one of the most fun aspects of decorating. Accessories can change the mood of a room. It can also make a room feel complete or in some instances not quite finished. There is an art to what makes for an interesting vignette, shelf or table-scape.

First and foremost, let's make a distinction between accessorizing and creating clutter. Accessorizing is creating artful arrangements for flowers, household items, collectibles and art in such a way that they almost seem to tell a story. Creating clutter is just plain old filling tabletop space with random items that are incongruous. Most anyone can tell where there is clutter and when there has been little or no effort to arrange and control it. As a matter of fact clutter can be arranged and edited so it looks like a good assemblage of accessories.

When it comes to accessorizing, an important thing to consider is the composition, which can be symmetrical, asymmetrical or seemingly haphazard. Everyone has their own preferences. The shape of the composition is really a personal choice and with the number of items you have to display, whether you have a single item, a pair or three items, they can all be assembled in a myriad of ways.

Another issue to contemplate for a vignette is groupings of a similar type of item, such as a table full of decorative obelisks of every material imaginable. Likewise, a collection of cut glass objet d'art and other items of cut glass such as water pitchers, vases and candleholders make for a great group. These groupings start to let your company know of your interests or hobbies. From an interior design point of view, this is a good thing.

Yet another type of grouping can be a selection of items sorted by a single color. A variety of items can be linked and have some common ground by displaying disparate items with a unifying color. Imagine, for example, a collection of cobalt blue turn of the century medicine bottles of all shapes and sizes. Let your mind run wild with what interests to you. Your visitors will be mesmerized by how interesting you are.


The scale of items can also be an intriguing element of a display. For example, a chair, a child's chair, a doll's chair and a dollhouse chair can be displayed side by side, or stacked to create an unusual composition and conversation piece. The options are endless.

Lastly, no place in your home should be off guards for a display. Any surface can serve to show off your things. A fireplace mantel, a windowsill, a nightstand, skirted table, a dresser or a display case can act as a collector for all your items. Organizing your collections is a bit like curating an exhibit. So make it enticing and thought-provoking, so your guest will be entertained.


Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Fla. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones, or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Copyright 2021 Creators Syndicate Inc.



Between Friends Breaking Cat News Barney Google And Snuffy Smith Cathy 9 Chickweed Lane Bill Day