Sunday, March 13, 2011


I've never been much of a collector. Or a vignetter, for that matter. As an adult, I think this has come from a combination of not enough space (a dozen years in NYC will either knock the collection right out of you or drive you to it, I think) and a practical side which understands that coffee tables are for feet, and magazines, and remote controls, and toys, and, well, coffee. Not coral fans and porcelein horses, lovely as they may be.

Yet I was stopped in my tracks by this collection of black objects in a home that recently appeared in Chicago Home and Garden. Gathered together and unified by hue, I find this so very striking.

The miss, for me, is that this was curated by a designer, and while I think they did a gorgeous job, I just can't imagine giving up this much space to things that were not personally meaningful to me.

And oh, okay, I did have two collections growing up. Vintage pins (you know, brooches) in elementary school and porcelein dolls, particularly harlequins, after that. I can't believe I am admitting this. But I need to collect the dolls from my closet at my parents house, so it's about time I confronted this collection. Literally.

What do (or did) you collect? Would you live with a collection gathered by someone else? Most importantly, if anyone was or is inspired by this or a similar collection and decides to take a can of black spraypaint to a bunch of old crap they find lying around the house, please, please send me a picture!


  1. very cliche but I have white hobnail milkglass from fenton. All the same color and texture appeals the same way this all matt black set does...

  2. I'm kind of a collector by nature. It's actually something I have to fight sometimes. I've collected a number of things over the years, starting with the obligatory sticker collection in elementary school, and it was so bad that for a while in high school I had a collection of useless objects (which started as a joke, but grew from there). When I got my first apartment I realized I had to limit my collections. Now the only thing I collect is dragons. I only have a couple of them on display right now (on my mantel). The rest are in boxes waiting for me to figure out how/where to create a display for them - one of my collection (as it were) of unfinished projects.

  3. I keep telling my husband I collect diamonds, but he's not buying it.
    I've not been much of a collector, but I do love my china cabinet that's filled with crystal of various kinds, mostly wedding gifts.
    I look at the picture and I kind of like how it looks, but the practical side of me is completely turned off - how in the world would you dust all that? And black? You'd have to dust it daily. Forget it. :)

  4. I love hearing about these collections! Kelly, I think an all-white display is stunning, and I love the texture of hobnail. Ren, maybe I'll share images of creative display for collections one of these days. And Renee, I'm with you: ANY collection means a lot of dusting, but black? I generally figure that a couple paying a curator to plan and collect their collection probably pays someone to dust it for them. They probably also collect diamonds.


Let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!


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