10 Fresh Looks, 1 Simple Step: Collection Roundup

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There are the tacky collections – shot glasses, dried roses, license plates. If done right, though, collections are striking.

United by color or theme instead of design or period, collections make a confident statement without much cost (carbon or cash). Using what you already have around the house or scooping up vintage pieces is eco-friendly and guarantees your look will be original. I’ve done it with my grandmother’s cobalt blue stemware (culled from years of estate sale shopping), the vases I’ve picked up in thrift shops, and an assortment of antique silver trays.

A few of my favorites right now:

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Vintage birds (birds!) from hownowdesign.

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Forget the forks – these would look great on the wall. Rosanna via  Dose of Design.

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I love the swirling shape shown here. Via Lisa at Bluelines.

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Clever use of Picasa – print on glossy paper and frame or pin up. Via  stryker W@SP.

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I’m inspired by the bright yellow and the forest ‘n fauna themes from geishaboy500.

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I used to keep a dish full of sea glass, message pebbles and large beads on the coffee table. Friends loved to absentmindedly play with them while we drank wine and watched movies. Keep your baubles out for enjoyment instead of locked away in a case. Via PetitPoulailler.

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Etsy love: make decorative use of those kitchen bowls, pots and pans. We could all use a little more form in our daily functioning.

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You might remember Kim’s post about her love for pretty pillows. Here’s an idea: bring that collection out of the closet and pile up your sofa or a large chair with the whole assortment. Who cares if they match? If you have at least 5, the look will be inviting and colorful. (Before my cat thoroughly destroyed the silvery sage velvet that was my sofa, forcing me to slipcover, I made it a shimmering green and blue vision by storing the store-issue back and side cushions and replacing them with large vintage pillows covered in silk fleur-de-lis and striped patterns in a range of aquas, Tiffany blue and mint green. It worked beautifully without being "matchy-matchy". I promise never to say that again.)

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Assemble a free-spirited collection of flowers in a dozen or more mismatched cups, bowls, vases and mugs. Peonies and ranunculus are perfect for this type of arrangement. Display in the middle of your dining or coffee table, or pave a buffet or mantle with the collection. Bridgman Pottery image.

For another great, virtually-free design trick, check out Booksmithing.

Image (top): hottholler 

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