Rotating Collections

If you are a collector, you have probably faced the challenge of how to display your collectibles.  And if you have multiple collections, as I do, or have one gigantic collection, you may also face challenges in finding sufficient display space. The solution to this problem is rotating your collections.

Even museums and art galleries rotate their collections to keep their displays fresh and interesting.  I’ve found that rotating my collections gives me the opportunity to bring out items that have been packed away and greet them anew. After a time out of the spotlight, they feel like old friends I haven’t seen in a while.  Changing out collections freshens up the space and often helps me to see them in a new way.  Even small changes can have a big impact and reinvigorate a room.

The ironstone has a calm, architectural feeling. I think it is appropriate for any time of the year, but I enjoy adding a bit more color to my decor once the weather starts to warm up.

As a self-professed “dish addict,” I have several collections of tableware that bring me great joy.  I find tableware aesthetically pleasing, as well as useful (well, “useful” is how I justify it!). When we purchased our home in southern California last year,  one of the best selling points for me was the built-in bookcase in the living room. This feature is the first thing you see when you enter our home and I knew it would be the perfect place to display my collections.

I have had my white ironstone collection displayed on these shelves since we moved in almost a year ago. My blue and white china collection had been stored in my dining room hutch, largely behind glass doors. I decided to simply switch them out, letting the vibrant blue and white collection take prominence at the entry of the house.

As I was taking everything off the shelves, I realized it was also time for a little spring cleaning. I took the opportunity to dust and wipe down the shelves. I wiped down each piece, making sure lids were secured with earthquake putty before placing them in their new home. While I had to set aside an afternoon for the task, the exercise was not at all onerous for me. It makes me happy to look at and handle my collections, and I’m guessing you feel the same way about the things you collect.

So whether you rotate an entire collection or just several items within a collection, I encourage you to do this on a regular basis. In addition to gaining a renewed appreciation for your collections, you’ll also find a change can infuse new life into your home. The exercise is well worth the time and effort.

I found these adorable white porcelain bunnies and thought they added just the right touch of whimsy to the display. It almost looks like they are playing on the shelves.


7 thoughts on “Rotating Collections

  1. I too enjoy changing out my collections. You have inspired me to get a move on and put some color in my cabinets. Thank You!

  2. Hi, Kathy:

    My mother had a LOT of blue and white china — and delft. Her “collection” mushroomed beyond crockery– into dish towels, pot holders, tablecloths, aprons, and even lighting fixtures. Eventually she had her kitchen walls and cabinets painted a pale blue — and the linoleum a somewhat deeper shade. I remember vividly what we used to call “the blue plate specials”: large dinner plates that had separate sections for the main course (likely meat ); the “sides”; and even little round circles for condiments.

  3. Earthquake putty! Where the heck was that when I needed it in Japan? They can build everything from beds to buildings that are quake-proof, but I never heard of quake putty. 😀

    Lovely collection! I’m partial to the blue one. 🙂 And I’m a dish addict, too, but my weakness is anything handmade and Asian, or tea-party Victorian looking.

  4. Earthquake putty is also known as museum putty. I believe that’s where it originated. It’s probably available in Japan if you know where to look. I know it won’t save me if “the big one” hits, but I hope it might prevent a few things from falling during tremors. By the way, a lot of my blue and white collection is Blue Willow–a classic Asian pattern.

    1. I noticed the Asian themes. 😀

      And, yeah, nothing will save them from the Big One. I do wish I’d known about that kind of thing. Might have saved my Chinese dragon. It fell from the entertainment center and its head broke off. It was cloisonne, so fortunately I can set the metal stem back into the ceramic and metal body — nothing else broke off. But if it had not fallen during the quake in the first place … Still, I’m grateful and happy to say that is the only thing that ever broke in all the quakes we experienced there. Not too shabby. 🙂

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