I would never classify myself as a hoarder -- far from it in a one-bedroom, New-York-City apartment. I will admit, however, that I had to keep my collecting tendencies at bay last weekend at the flea market in New Jersey's Allaire State Park, where the goods were great, both in price and variety.
Take, for example, this instant collection of animal figurines. As in a pet store, the vendor placed these cute creatures with take-me-home care. I resisted.
If you should all of a sudden find yourself with a collection you don't know what to do with, such as this wild assortment of spice racks, go ahead. Display them in your home with pride. There must have been something about these objects that must have caused a frisson when you spotted them and carted them home. So celebrate them! Don't hide them away or drop bits and pieces throughout your decor. It will only make your space look like you are headed down the cluttered path to becoming .... a hoarder.
As we discuss in The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details, you'll find more pleasure in sharing your gathered objects when you arrange them in planned vignettes or assign them all to place of honor. By densely grouping similar objects, you'll give your collection a curated sense and create an attractive focal point.
Even plain bottles, such as these spotted at the flea market in Allaire, can inspire a collection. Group them by opacity or color and mix in different sizes to maximize visual vivacity.
Decanters, plentiful at flea markets and garage sales, also make for charming vignettes. Here, Alice Quinn displayed her thrifty finds in her Point Pleasant, New Jersey, living room and added interest by staggering them by shape and size. While these vessels were discovered in different locales, their shared emptiness and their similar shiny glass textures make them appear as if they were destined to find each other.
Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,
The Elegant Thrifter