The #1 tip for displaying your collections


There is a rocker in Rebecca’s 1961 split level house. Not the grampa on the porch kind. The guitar in the living room…and dining room…and family room kind. Which leads me to the #1 rule of displaying your collections: Bring them together. “Mass them,” it’s called. To be sure, these guitars look lovely — architectural — in their present locations. And maybe you’ll want to keep them that way. But collections of objects often make a bigger, even more beautiful statement when you display them together. Oh, and once you have three of anything — you have a collection. 


If you’re interested in making the guitar collection a focal point, Rebecca, a first thought is to bring them all down to the media room, and to try to do something with them along the fireplace. But — they may be too tall to display on that lower ledge . You don’t want them to feel all squeezed in. Even so, it’s worth playing around with. Also, it’s interesting to see how you and Keith have chosen a color palette harmonious with the guitars. Clearly – someone loves them. Keep working with that palette. It gives you a direction.


Another example of massing collections: Troy’s paint by number dogs, in this story about mid-century houseplants. Oh! Another story about mid-century houseplants, which I forgot about. There you go. Troy — are you reading? How are you doing with your new house? Troy has exciting news — and a big, new project that he promises to share with us when it is ready for prime time.


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  1. gavin hastings says

    Those guitars would look great centered under that mantle-Guitars as Art.

    My hiatus lasted 3 hours. Maybe less.

  2. gavin hastings says

    I really have to hand it to you Pam…You saw the guitars…I saw the plug.

    There are 2 ways to go about decorating a home: You can either showcase “who you are” OR “who you strive to be”. And that is where our roads separate. In the long time since hitting upon this site, I have consistantly seen you zero in on exactly where someone is in life…and what they are looking for…and that is a real gift.

  3. Annie B. says

    Hmmmm….folks, the instrument peeping out from behind the orange chair looks like a banjo to me. Wonder who plays it, Rebecca or Keith?

  4. Eucritta says

    If the fireplace is used, then I’d worry that guitars ranged on the bricks might suffer heat stress. Though if the firebox is well-insulated, I don’t know that it’d be a factor.

    What is it called, when a collection is large enough that it’s … oozed into just about every room? *cough* inquiring minds want to know *cough*

    • pam kueber says

      errrrrr, I call it “passion,” Eucritta. 🙂

      And yes, I agree re: heat and the guitars (and banjo?) Certainly something I am sure the collectors Rebecca and Keith will be cognizant of!

  5. Rebecca Prichard says

    Keith is the musician, along with many many other creative talents. I am the lover and appreciator. Yes, they would look nice all together in the media room, but then they aren’t close by to pick one up and play for a bit when the moment arises. One of the FEW times I put function before, and not with, form.

    • pam kueber says

      Got it, Rebecca. Function is almost always paramount! Hmmm. Maybe you need some more guitars and banjos so’s you CAN make a collection focal point. 🙂

  6. Annie B. says

    Pam’s got the right idea: more! With more, you could group vintage
    instruments into a collection and keep the others handy for moments of inspiration. I’ve hung just about every string band instrument somewhere on the walls of our house and they’ve all worked great. Fiddle bows make a great grouping, by the way.

  7. MrsErinD says

    A little off topic, but forgot to post this the other day, Rebecca asked about the fireplace “seat” that’s not really a seat and what to put there, pillows or what.
    I just wanted to say, that I saw pics of the living room in the set of “Bewitched” tv show and they had those cute box and button retro pillows on that ledge but not flat like to sit on, but upright like as to display them or have them lined up if someone wanted one or whatever.
    I just wanted to mention that I have seen pillows done there upright back then and I thought it looked pretty cute!
    I found where I saw them, go here and scroll down, there are several pics of what I mean plus other ideas too-

  8. gavin hastings says

    Oooooh! Grandma Moses over the fireplace…and mixed with French Provincial! Thanks, MrsED.

    I am almost positive that the Steven’s lived in Patterson, NJ. though…..

  9. MrsErinD says

    You’re welcome Pam and Gavin! :O)

    I just saw that the other day and knew everyone here would love it, and made me think of the fireplace post.
    Ya, the pics there are great, they have them from the whole house! I love how they mixed things and did that a lot back then, makes me feel better about my mix of stuff, lol!

  10. gavin hastings says

    MrsED- Not that I have watched alot of TV or anything, but I cannot help but notice how sophisticated that room began in say, photo 73. It looks much more “Sally and Mac McMillan” to me.
    After that, it’s a downward spiral to Sears and Roebuck….

    Another wonderful interior was the Brooklyn Heights home of Datty Duke

  11. Barbara says

    In looking at the Bewitched pictures, I have to ask – how many chimneys did they have? They have a fireplace in the living room, kitchen, bedroom and den…That house was one big chimney!!

  12. MrsErinD says

    Rebecca~ you are welcome! :O)

    Gavin, ya, I see what you mean, that’s my problem though, I love the more sophisticated looks of the first couple styles but can’t help love the sears and roebuck look of a “everyday” house too, lol. I tend to like a little of everything and mash it all together, hehe.

  13. Genjenn says

    There’s a rocker in my house too. He’s a total gear head. This means guitars. Lots of guitars. Even more guitars. Guitar stands. Guitar cases. Imagine guitar mushrooms popping up all over your house. Arggh. Desperation -not design- inspired our wall of hanging guitars. It’s a big hit with guests. Their compliments are always heartwarming. More important, however, is the peace that wall provides. Ahhhhhhhh….
    Rebecca- I see yours is an acoustic enthusiast. Be glad. Amps and cabinets pose a far greater challenge…

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