10 ultra-cool collections you have to see

Livingetc presents 10 gorgeous collections, along with clever and inspiring ways to display them

Whether you are a bit of a magpie at heart, or you simply want to create a piece of original artwork using gathered objects, take a peek at Livingetc's edit of 10 ultra-cool collections... Here you will find a host of ideas for what you might collect, accompanied by inspiring ways you might display these treasures.

1. Kitchenalia

kitchen with storage and crockery

(Image credit: TBC)

Form and function combines in this wall of kitchen storage. The items on display are practical necessities, yet they have been transformed into objects of beauty thanks to the arrangement. Quantity is key – the impact here comes in the large number of products that are on display. Keep the colour palette muted to avoid it appearing messy.

2. Record covers

record cover with orange wall and wooden table

(Image credit: TBC)

This one is for the musos among us. Framed record covers hung in a grid-like formation on a wall makes a bold statement. Album covers can be extremely iconic so this offers an affordable way to introduce contemporary artwork to your home; you can pick up old sleeves for next to nothing at car boot sales or charity shops. You'll want to choose wisely and steer clear from framing any embarrassingly cheesy favourites... Guests are sure to judge your taste!

3. Antique plates

antique plates with wooden table and chair and white wall

(Image credit: TBC)

An arrangement of plates on a wall can be a lovely idea in a dining room or large kitchen. You could choose to display white plates of different shapes, coloured plates (a selection of different blue and white ceramics works particularly well) or limited-edition plates, such as the Coronation memorabilia shown here. You simply need to settle on a theme and stick to it; this kind of collection is not successful when it is a mish-mash of different styles. To work out the ideal positioning of each plate, first create paper templates of each piece and stick these to the wall. This will allow you put the fixtures in the correct spot.

4. Pretty butterflies

butterflies with glass box and white wall

(Image credit: TBC)

Collections do not need to be massive to have impact. Here it is as simple as two glass dome bell jars that have been filled with beautifully coloured butterflies. There are plenty of artists who can create similar pieces in an environmentally friendly way; just make sure to investigate their methods a little before you buy. This idea makes a lovely feature on a living room or bedroom mantelpiece.

5. Wall of books

wall olf books with white door and wooden flooring

(Image credit: TBC)

A collection of books is nothing new, but there are myriad of ways to make a library more beautiful. You could choose paperbacks all by the same publisher, so the covers match, or you could group together spines of the same hue for a colour-blocking effect. Or how about instead emulating the look of a library using wallpaper? Osborne & Little and Andrew Martin both offer nice options. Just think of the time you'd save on dusting...

6. Childrens' toys

kids toy with patterned wallpaper and wall art

(Image credit: TBC)

This approach succeeds on two fronts. First, the simple wood boxes provide needed storage for toys, and second the collection creates a charming piece of wall art. Patterned wallpaper in the back of the boxes offers additional decorative interest. We love it!

7. Vintage finds

vintage wares and white wall with wooden shelves

(Image credit: TBC)

Whether you are an avid visitor of local flea markets or simply have accrued hand-me-down treasures over time, you can create a stunning display out of vintage wares. Choose to style the space in a rustic way, in keeping with the pieces, or instead fit ultra-modern shelves to create dynamic contrast. Either way, the secret to this look is evolution; the more often you change or add to the collection, the better it will look.

8. Decorative ceramics and vases

colourful objects with vases and glassware

(Image credit: TBC)

Slim and simple floating shelves house a wonderful collection of vases and glassware, including car-boot finds and some Tom Dixon glass bottles. It can take years to build up this kind of look – don't rush it. When shopping, choose objects that you think look beautiful empty or on their own.

9. Stylish shoes

stylish shoes with glass cupboard and hanger

(Image credit: TBC)

Few of us are lucky enough to have a Carrie Bradshaw-style walk-in cupboard with rows of shoe storage. If you are an avid collection of fine footwear (think Louboutins over last year's trainers), then a free-standing glass cabinet might be a stylish idea. In addition to the aesthetic appeal of this approch, you'll find that you use your shoes more regularly if they are on display.

10. Family photos

woman with camera and lighting on wall

(Image credit: TBC)

Many of us like to display photographs of family and friends in our homes as this brings a very personal vibe. But rather than showcasing standard 6x4s in frames, why not instead take poloroids and stick them to the wall? Instagram filters optional...

Find more ideas on Livingetc's homepage.