Your home should look like you, not like a catalog! Here are 6 easy tips to help you create a collected – or curated – look in your home!

As much as possible, I try to create a collected, or curated, look in my home – one that looks as if it’s evolved over time.  I think it’s important that our homes look unique and reflect our individual tastes as styles, as opposed to looking like a store showroom, which is a bit impersonal.

The easiest way to create a collected look is to, of course, actually collect the items in your home over a period of time!  Since our tastes, interests, and style changes over time, history alone creates a collected look because the items in your home will represent different points in your life. 

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If you’re doing a makeover of a room, though, you might want it to look as if you put it together over time, even though you didn’t.  So here are 6 tips for creating a collected look…in a short timeframe.

Even a collected looks should still feel cohesive”

1.  Mix and Match

Mixing and matching furniture styles, finishes, textures, etc. is one of the easiest ways to help a room look as if it’s evolved over time.  While matching sets are convenient to buy, they are also a dead giveaway that everything was purchased together at the same time.  Instead, pick pieces with different wood tones, finishes, and styles.  Be sure to mix the elements consistently throughout the room to create a cohesive look.

{A variety of finishes and textures help to make this room look as if it's evolved. Image via Tara Dillard.}
{A variety of finishes and textures help to make this room look as if it’s evolved. Image via Tara Dillard.}
{Differing styles and finishes add interest and character. Image via House and Home Magazine.}
{Differing styles and finishes add interest and character. Image via House and Home Magazine.}

 2.  Create a Consistency

Using a variety of furniture styles, wood finishes, etc. can be daunting if your fear is that the room will look chaotic.  The key is to look for consistency among the items in terms of color, scale, shape, feel, or visual balance, so that the pieces complement one another.

At first glance, you might not realize that the two sides of this bed are quite different. With the art hung at the same height and similarly shaped and colored furniture pieces, a visual balance is achieved. Image via Houzz.}
{At first glance, you might not realize that the two sides of this bed are quite different. With the art hung at the same height and similarly shaped and colored furniture pieces, a visual balance is achieved. Image via Houzz.}

3.  Combine New & Old

I think that sometimes, antiques get a bad rap and conjure up images of dusty relics tucked away in your grandma’s attic.  Not true! 

While a home full of antiques may not be for everyone, they can still be used sparingly through the space.  Consider mixing antique or vintage items alongside your new pieces to help give your room a bit of history.  Vintage pieces mixed with new allows for unexpected finds, adding interest to the space!

{New appliances and cabinets are balanced by a weathered table and stools in this cozy kitchen. Image via Pinterest.}
{New appliances and cabinets are balanced by a weathered table and stools in this cozy kitchen. Image via Pinterest.}
{A tarnished silver bowl and a single antler is paired with a sleek lamp and modern vase. Image via Rue Magazine.}
{A tarnished silver bowl and a single antler is paired with a sleek lamp and modern vase. Image via Rue Magazine.}

 4. Think Outside the Box

Using an item in a way other than its intended use immediately gives personality and adds creativity to a space. To find a new use for an old object, look at its shape, not its intended purpose, which will allow you to brainstorm other uses for the item. 

Keep in mind, though, that simple is better.  If you can use a vintage object as is, without modifying it, the look tends to be more effortless and thus, more natural.  If you have to try too hard to make something work, it often ends up looking kitschy.

TIDBITS & TWINE - Champagne Bucket Utensil Holder v2 REV
{A silver champagne bucket works well as a utensil holder in the kitchen or even as a pot for a beautiful plant!}
{A vintage medical cabinet has both form and function when used in the bath to hold toiletries. Image via The Perfect Bath.}
{A vintage medical cabinet has both form and function when used in the bath to hold toiletries. Image via The Perfect Bath.}

5. Shop at a Variety of Places

I was recently in Restoration Hardware looking at some chairs and the salesperson offered to draw up a floorplan for me so that I could better assess how everything would fit in my space.  A free floorplan?  Okay! 

A day later she sent me a presentation with furniture suggestions for everything from the chairs, to the pillows, the paint, mirrors, and more.  I ended up ordering the chairs but I could hear the disappointment in her voice that I wasn’t going to purchase anything else from them.  While I love Restoration Hardware, I don’t want my home to look like their showroom!

Venturing out and buying things from lots of different places is one way to expose yourself to new items, styles, and decorating ideas so that you can combine your favorites from each into one place in your home. 

Here are some of my personal favorite places to shop:

6. Choose Meaningful Items

Collections are generally made up of items that are meaningful to a person, so it would make sense that a collected room would be filled with items that you love.  Decorating with meaningful items helps to tell your story.

Home Story
TIDBITS & TWINE Master Bedroom 2014
{I LOVE my vintage dress form, especially now that it holds a collection of my grandmother’s necklaces.}

To me, a collected look has personality and interest, plus it allows us to add and remove items without throwing off the entire look of the room.  After all, our lives are constantly changing and evolving, so shouldn’t our homes reflect that?!  :)

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7 Comments

  1. Kim,
    I loved this post. It really rings true to what I attempt in my own home. I’m always inspired by your ideas. Thank you.
    Karen B.

  2. Kim,
    I enjoy reading your posts, as I skim along the words, enjoying the picture you include, (I want to scream yes that is exactly it) So many pieces of our home, have been collected over time or are sentimental to our family. I love your dress form with your Grandma’s Jewelry. What a sweet way to honor her in your home.
    Karen Marie

    1. Tidbits&Twine says:

      Thank you, Karen! :)

  3. Great post, Kim! I love the whole idea of a collected look! I’m getting there with baby steps! I absolutely love the last photo of your fireplace! You did such a lovely job of accessorizing it!!
    Have a wonderful evening!
    Becky

    1. Tidbits&Twine says:

      Thank you so much, Becky!!

  4. Well said. So many people think they have to buy the matching pieces… not a fan of that look. I firmly believe need to shop around… build a look.

    1. Tidbits&Twine says:

      Gee – Thank you! And I love the phrase you used! I might need to borrow that… ;)

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