There is arguably nothing more Southern than an heirloom collection that tells a story. Whether it’s a batch of rolling pins amassed through the years as a tribute to a grandparent or a wall of pastoral paintings gathered as an homage to childhood,
collections tell the story of a home and those who reside in it.
All too often, though, these collected pieces sit tucked away in cabinets and closets. Though treasured, they don’t have to sit in a glass case. Pull those collections out of storage and put them on display for all to see—they’ll be better for it.
As they tell a story, cottage collections provide the perfect talking point for guests. Welcome your guests’ inquiries about your piece, or, better yet, let your treasured collection do all the talking. Even a new-build home in the suburbs can be filled with character and charm with heirlooms on display.
If you have more than one, don’t be afraid to display different collections throughout your home. When it comes to family heirlooms and vintage wares in a Southern home, we say the more the merrier. Better yet, mix your collections together, especially if you’re still finding pieces for one. No matter what you collect or the reason why, let your prized pieces shine in your home.
Some collections are just begging to be on display in anything but a china cabinet. Let more unique antiques, like these cutting boards and rolling pins, make a statement by displaying them at eye-level or scattered over a wall. Despite what your mother always told you, china can find its home somewhere other than the dining room. These homeowners lined their heirloom wares vertically along the wall and around the door frame. They even scattered pieces of china with other antique goods, like vintage candy molds, to create even more interest. Pastoral scenes bring a piece of the outdoors in—a classic part of any Southern home.
No matter your style, there are dozens of ways to display your collection to blend with your current décor. Open shelving proves the perfect spot to mix and match collectibles with other vintage goods, creating a charming vignette and conversation starter. For a classic traditional style, consider placing china and other dishware in a place setting. Or if you prefer to keep pieces at hand for use, stack them on a console or other style table. There’s no right or wrong way when it comes to showcasing your treasured collectibles. As long as you honor your heritage and passions in a way that blends with your style, your collectibles will create a conversation with anyone who steps foot in your home.
Just as they don’t have to be stored away, collections can also be reused and repurposed. Vintage biscuit tins and other boxes can find new life as vases or planter—just be sure to create drainage for the plant. You can also use vintage pieces like shelves that have been found or handed down as places to keep knick-knacks. These homeowners used a vintage secretary to house books and picture frames. Even more charming, use vintage pieces to display other prized collections, and don’t be afraid to bring certain pieces out of their traditional element, like this copper pot housing fresh lavender in the living room.