There's something about starting a collection that feels nostalgic. When I was young, I collected every Babysitter’s Club book I could find (hoping it would make me millions some day - and the books were just awesome). I even have 3 Barbie dolls in my collection (but still don’t have the one I REALLY want). But that’s not the collection I’m most excited about. As if Babysitter’s Club and Barbie Dolls aren’t odd enough, I have a major obsession with something and it was actually Lauren Conrad who inspired this obsession.
In this excerpt from Lauren Conrad’s book Celebrate, she explains what she collects: “…my home office is overflowing with an admittedly ridiculous number of gorgeous, patinated brass pieces covering just about every inch of the room. That’s not an exaggeration; I have roughly three hundred brass candlesticks and vases, and I’m always looking for an excuse to use them. But trust me, I have a very good reason as to why I have curated this seemingly absurd exhibit. During the year leading up to William’s and my wedding, I began obsessively scouring eBay, flea markets, and antique shops for vintage brass for our reception tablescapes . . . and I promised him that the collection that was rapidly taking over our home was a thoughtful investment that I would use for years to come. Let’s just say that these days, it’s hard to come to a gathering at our house without spotting some brass. If you’re a habitual party thrower, I strongly encourage you to invest in some key items; it will end up saving you a good amount of money in the long run. It will also make you very popular when your friends are throwing parties of their own.”
So what do I collect? I became obsessed with collecting glassware and white ceramic dishes. Every time I travel I look for a piece to bring back with me. I have glass bottles from Amsterdam and Switzerland, and can you believe this isn’t all of it? I love going through the home section of TJ Maxx (it’s literally the only section I shop in). I collect cool shaped wine bottles and I only recently replaced my lost rectangular ceramic plate (still haven’t even used it).
Why do I collect these things? I genuinely admire food photography and became passionate about it, about two years ago. So I’m constantly expanding my collection to have various props, tablescape decorating tools and nice things to serve it in for my recipes. I probably only have just over 40 pieces, but my mother is still ready to put me out over it.
QUICK TIPS ON HOW TO START YOUR OWN COLLECTION - CUPCAKES & CASHMERE
1. If possible, collect something you can use. I love the French vases, because they're something I can display, then pull down to fill with flowers. Collections become sad when they gather dust on a shelf—or in a box.
2. Collect timeless things. Collections can take years to amass, so they should stand the test of time. Rather than collecting something of-the-moment, consider classic items that will be just as cool in five or fifty years.
3. Be mindful of kitschy-ness. The line between kitschy and cool is particularly thin when it comes to collections—a set of ceramic containers can be cool. A set of chicken-shaped ceramic containers? Not so cool. That being said, the beauty of collections is that you're free to collect what you love! If chickens are your thing, go for it.
4. Don't become too attached to your collection. At the end of the day, they're just objects. Be careful not to cross the line from collecting to hoarding. If you come to a point when your collection is causing you more grievances than joy, either consider editing it down, or find someone to gift it or sell it to.