Tag Archives: display a collection

Things We Love: Collection of Thanksgiving Pilgrims

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I talked with my mother-in-law Kathy about her collection of more than 700 pilgrims.

We have always been big fans of displaying personal collections in your home. Recently I blogged about decorative ways to display a collection and ways to display your ceramics collection. I think a collection adds character and personality to your home and looks so interesting creatively grouped together.

Kathy with her collection of Thanksgiving pilgrimsTo use one of my favorite Southern expressions (I occasionally try to throw them in to fit in with the locals, bless my heart) my mother-in-law, Kathy, has a pilgrim collection “what-am!” For those of you who need a translation, that is a very large and completely impressive collection of pilgrims – and other Thanksgiving-related – objects.

The first pilgrims in the collectionIt all started more than 30 years ago, circa 1982. Kathy was strolling through a Hallmark store in the mall and ran across a pair of pilgrim sculptures that she thought were cute. (The little tiny ones in the left front corner of the raised platform in this photo.)

She bought them on a whim and showed them to John when she got home. Probably because she was so delighted with them, John soon brought home another pair of pilgrims – just to make her smile. (Those were the next two to the right.)

Pilgrims collection Thanksgiving displayNot long after that, Kathy found another pair of pilgrims in a local K-Mart, and a collection was born. Friends and family gave her pilgrims around Thanksgiving every year and sometimes as holiday gifts.
The burgeoning collection grew to include Indians, pumpkins, turkeys, cornucopias and all things Thanksgiving-related. To date, Kathy estimates she has around 700 objects in her prized pilgrim collection – it is incredibly impressive when displayed together, as she does in the EuroLux Gallery window starting in October every year. Collection of pilgrimsPassersby can’t help but stop in their tracks and exclaim with wonder!

Thanksgiving pilgrims sculpturesKathy especially loves pilgrims because to her they represent courage, bravery, and fortitude.

She greatly admires their willingness to leave behind everything familiar and set out to build a new life in an unknown world, far across the ocean. The pilgrims had to make do with so little and work so hard in order to survive.

It really bothers Kathy that Thanksgiving is the holiday that doesn’t get much airtime. Halloween runs into Christmas in our retail stores, but Thanksgiving doesn’t get much attention – probably because the focus isn’t buying stuff. She thinks we should take more time to honor the bravery of the pilgrims – and to be thankful for what we have in our lives, including relationships with family and friends.

Pilgrims collection Thanksgiving displayKathy’s absolute favorite pilgrimage site (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun) was to Plymouth, Massachusetts, which she describes as “pilgrim heaven.” There were shops on every corner with an amazing selection of pilgrim-related things! Some were even life-size, but Kathy restrained due to limited space in the car during the New England adventure. She did enjoy seeing Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower.

Pilgrim figures collectionKathy’s collection contains pilgrims in all shapes and sizes – monkeys, bears, dogs, foxes, chipmunks, cats, mice, and plenty of owls dressed as pilgrims. She tries not to duplicate the ones she has, and she is always glad to serve as a pilgrim matchmaker when she finds a single pilgrim man or a pilgrim woman all by their lonesome. In fact, she found a single pilgrim woman in Waynesville, NC, who had lost her mate to breakage, and paired her up – a year and a half later – with the original matching pilgrim man, whose mate had been stolen from a shop in Columbus, OH! Reunited at last in a happy and growing pilgrim colony in South Carolina.

Kathy is a real inspiration to us, and to everyone who sees her pilgrim collection in the store window. Come and see it if you find yourself on Historic Main Street, Newberry, South Carolina. (We’re at number 1409.) We wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving holiday in the true spirit of the pilgrims!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 9 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Organize your Jewelry in Vintage Style!

My last posts were about decorative ways to display a collection and ways to display a ceramics collection. I’ve saved the sparkliest till last! Today I’m sharing some fabulous ideas to organize and display your jewelry collection in vintage style.  vintage style jewelry display

This idea from the Better Homes & Gardens blog is charming. It’s also easy to do. The framed jewelry display at the back is just a vintage style picture frame. You can paint any decorative frame you find in a flea market or thrift store. The back could be metal mesh or chicken wire backed with toile fabric for a French Country look. Or perhaps choose a heavyweight canvas – anything you can use to hook your earrings to the backing and pin up your necklaces.

Find a pretty vintage cake stand, either a metal one or a ceramic cake stand or another kind of tiered tray to add the finishing touch to the dressing table tableau!

You can also make your own cake jewelry holder from vintage china. This tutorial on Houzz shows you how. It looks like a vintage cake stand with a twist! I think it would pair perfectly in the boudoir with our custom-made vintage tea service chandeliers.

PIcture Frame Jewelry DisplayFor a more formal take on the picture frame idea, check out this Better Homes & Gardens suggestion. They’ve created a picture gallery of jewels! This would look at home in a Victorian bedroom. I guess the arrangement works best with a theme in each framed group. Put all your pearls in one frame, all your brooches in another, or perhaps group jewelry by color.

Or go completely crazy and deck a whole wall with baubles and beads! This jewelery display in a 1926 bungalow in Seattle looks just right for the space. It’s also very practical as it’s easy to spot the piece you want, then see how it looks in the ornate gilded mirror.

A dress form or mannequin is another vintage-inspired display idea that always looks pretty and romantic. Layer on necklaces of different lengths and a few brooches for maximum effect. You can also use a dress form to hold long silky scarves, or perhaps your favorite vintage hat of the moment.

Vintage brooch treeIf you have a collection of vintage brooches or earrings, cluster them closely together on a simple jewelry tree and let the jewelry itself do the talking… and the sparkling!

Jake's dog bed of toys

I can’t finish this mini series about ways to display your collections without sharing this photo of Jake. He seems to be going with the “cluster everything together” theory to show off his collection of toys. I promise you that our real-life dog is in there somewhere!

If you have a collection featured in your home decor, we’d love to hear how you display it. You can also post a photo on our EuroLux Facebook page.

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Ways to Display Your Ceramics Collection

My last post was about decorative ways to display a collection. That included vintage teapots, cameras, and model trains, amongst other collectibles. The Welsh Dresser style hutch that I showed in that post is a classic way to display china and ceramics  – our antique buffets are great for this too! But today I’m sharing some other ways to display your ceramics collection.

Blue and white ceramics Delft

Blue and white ceramics, especially antique Delftware, always look fantastic grouped together. This photo from my earlier post about Blue and White Delftware proves it!  Remember that if you have three or more of any one type of item – or even three or more different objects in the same color – you immediately have a collection. Group them together for maximum impact.

This photo is also a good reminder to USE your ceramics collection whenever possible. Take your blue and white ginger jars and vases down off the shelf and flaunt them in a stunning table setting like this. Just add a few simple white flowers and wait for the admiring comments!

Usually you see blue and white vases and ginger jars displayed on a shelf or table, all on the same level. What I love about this photo is that the jars are clustered both on the console table and below it, creating more dimension in a double layer of visual interest.   The tasteful blue and white looks crisp and elegant against the mellow wood table and flooring.

Create a gallery display of your collection of plates to add a beautiful dash of color to a room.  This example blends traditional blue and white plates in all shapes and sizes with some punches of lively red. It’s the perfect combination for the rustic beachy feel of this space, or for a breezy maritime look in an ocean cottage. Before hammering any nails in the wall to hang plates in a gallery display, it’s best to get your layout arranged. Place the plates on a large table or on the floor for a test run!

Looking for a completely different way to display your collection of plates? The creative couple in this 1980s ranch style home used an antique picture frame to show off their plates. The picture frame is about four feet wide and the flourishing silhouette makes a focal point of the plates.  I think this display would look fabulous with our vintage teacup and spoon chandeliers!

To finish up this mini-series about displaying your collections, I’ll be back soon with a post about storing and displaying jewelry in creative ways to enhance your home decor.

If you’ve got any examples of great ways to display your ceramics, jewelry, or collections of anything else, send them my way! Tell us in the comments or on our EuroLux Home Facebook page!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Decorative Ways to Display a Collection

I love seeing how creative people are about displaying their collections of antiques, vintage pieces, or other collectibles. If you’re looking for inspiration to display your own collections, take a look at these decorative ways to display! Let’s start with a couple of traditional display options…

A classic Welsh Dresser or hutch makes any kitchen look cozy. In this VIctorian cottage kitchen the hutch is home to a collection of vintage teapots, teacups, and other ceramics and canisters. The teapots look especially charming grouped together on the top shelf. Although the shelves are very busy, that’s part of the friendly appeal – inviting us to come in and relax over a cup of tea.  Everything framing the dresser looks fairly clean-lined and clutter-free, so the dresser is the focal point here.

Jonathan Charles China Book Display CabinetFor a more formal living room, dining room or library, a display cabinet with glass doors is a traditional choice for displaying rare books and small antique objects and statues. This new Jonathan Charles cabinet from our antique and antique-inspired china and display cabinets  is a handsome example. The Jonathan Charles Windsor cabinet is crafted with crotch walnut and starburst inlaid doors, as well as adjustable lighting to highlight your precious collectibles. The angled shape of the cabinet shows off every single piece within, while glass doors keep everything dust-free and safe from spills and knocks.

How about this for a fun way to display a collection of vintage model trains? The bright colors and varying lengths of the trains could have looked a bit messy, but the creative homeowner in California tamed and streamlined the look by perching the trains on symmetrical white floating shelves. The trains add a lovely dash of color and whimsy to the otherwise traditional decor.

Vintage camera displayOur customers Aly & Bruce in Oregon were also clever and creative about displaying their collection of vintage cameras. When I wrote a customer spotlight about the antique Chinese cabinet they bought from us (the Late Qing Dynasty cabinet front left of this photo) the story of how the couple bought it was romantic enough. But then we got a bonus with a glimpse of their gorgeous line-up of cameras. Can you spot the cameras, in the arched alcoves above the book shelves?

vintage camera collection

Here’s a close-up (no pun intended!) of some of the cameras. They look wonderful arranged in simple rows about the books. Even this small space has been put to good use with lots of evocative visual impact, so it’s always worth thinking about how you can make use of even a sliver of shelf space. Perhaps you have a ledge above a doorway or a plate rail in the dining room that would work perfectly for your collection of vintage apothecary bottles?

I’ve got some more ideas to share about displaying ceramics so I’ll save those till next time. TIll then, I’d love to hear about your own decorative ways to display your collection. Tell us in the comments or on our EuroLux Home Facebook page!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.