Yesterday, I went to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) with the sole purpose of collecting tips on displaying objects. I wanted to see what can anyone learn from a museum to apply at home.
With only one hour to spare, it still had to be a broad overview. I managed to visit 5 museum buildings and feel that my list of tips is comprehensive. As an avid collector of teapots, I know what to look for.
Tip #1: Center on the Wall
Playful or not, an architect in me tends to center. It feels more balanced and complete.
Tip #2: Utilize the entire space
When you utilize the entire room, it is very impactful. You are maximizing the space available.
Tip #3: Place at eye level
For something to be appreciated to the fullest, it has to be easily seen.
Tip #4: Create a composition
A week ago, I had to move all of my beloved teapots from the shelving unit they reside in onto a table surface for cleaning. My beautiful collection transformed into a pile of “junk.” What a difference careful and thoughtful placement makes! Artful arrangement is critical.
Tip #5: Feature prominently
A garden designer friend explained to me how every garden has to have a few “stars” or focal points. The same idea applies when displaying objects. Choose your “stars” and regard them as such.
Tip #6: Tell a story
Your home is the expression of who you are. When displaying objects, you want to reveal why they are important to you. More than likely, there is a story to tell about every treasure. What makes them special? Why are they in your home?
Tip #7: Arrange thematically
Telling a story is easier when you group things. My teapots are clustered by color, shape, and method of production. One of the tips is to find a complementary combination where each object belongs to a “team.”
Tip #8: Consider lighting
Lighting is very important. Out of these 8 tips on displaying objects, lighting might as well be the first one. Consider lighting carefully. Here’s some sound advice that would apply to displaying objects as well as art. At a museum as well as your home.
For more tips, please take a look at my free downloadable ideaBook 01: Displaying and Organizing.