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The Collected Look

Home Decor and Style ideas for how to Create a Collected Look throughout your Home.

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Console table layered with coffee table books and objects of interest.

Have you ever seen a photo of a bookshelf that is packed to the brim with books, figurines, art, or random decor pieces? Did you think to yourself, "Wow, that should look cluttered, but it's actually super stylish!" This my friend, is The Collected Look. This aesthetic is one I've coveted for years; The perfect balance of layers with interesting pieces. The Collected Look is created best when using items you love, or have meaning and can tell a story. I've discovered most of my Collected Look pieces through travels.

If you're looking to spruce up your home with a more interesting, collected style, here are some tips to help guide you!

Tip #1 - Mix it up and Layer, Layer, and Layer Some More!

Don't be afraid to mix up colors, patterns, and textures. The key is for pieces to compliment each other and not totally match. Mix new pieces with old and splurge items with the more affordable. The most important thing is to use items you love!

Have a beautiful bookshelf or console you're trying to create The Collected Look with? One of the easiest ways is to layer Art, Mirrors or Photos against each other. If layering art, use pieces that are of different style. For example, layer a small Abstract piece with a larger Landscape piece. Keep them within the same color palette or let your imagination run wild!

Another way to layer is to gather multiples of the same item. For instance, found a vase you love? Get two of them! Or gather a large and small version of the same vase together. Or layer boxes or bowls of varying shapes and colors.

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Art and mirrors mixed and layered.

Tip #2 - Add Treasures from your Travels

One of the best ways I've added to my Collected Look over the years is with artifacts I've picked up through traveling. I find this such a great way to add to collected decor since most regions and places I've visited often have different art and aesthetics that I wouldn't find in my hometown. Not only is this a great way to add to your home decor, but it's also a fun way to look back on your trip and remember the special times you had at those destinations.

I want to point out that you don't necessarily need to spend a lot of money when looking for items during your travels. Visit local flea markets or vintage shops. Some of the best decor I've found while traveling has been at random markets. Collect rocks or shells from special beaches. Pick flowers from a memorable meadow and dry them for display in a vase. Visit a local bookstore and pick up a small notebook or novel that you find interesting. There are so many affordable options!

I even had a (very affordable!) painting commissioned from an artist I found painting in a warehouse down a sketchy alleyway at 11pm in Thailand. Keep your eyes open to treasures and who knows what beautiful pieces you may stumble upon!

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Some of my favorite travel treasures: carved bowl from Belize, notebook from Singapore, wooden bowl from Thailand, Zulu Tribe masks from South Africa.

Tip #3 - Think Outside of The Box

The Collected Looks is just that - decor items that are gathered together. Another easy way to create this is with items you already have around the home - blankets, paperback books, baskets, folded curtains, etc. Linens can be gathered and folded nicely to create a collected look with beautiful texture. Use books you have (paperback or large coffee table books) and mix them up. Leave some books with spines showing or others turned around with pages showing to give visual interest.

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Display cabinet layered with loved books, figurines, photos, art, and lots of linens.

Tip #4 - Make It Personal

Don't be afraid to add family photos or pictures of friends! The key to The Collected Look is using items you love to tell a story. When displaying photos, add different types of frames - metal, wood, color, matted and non-matted. This will create even more visual interest in your display.

I also love incorporating family heirlooms. My Grandma had lots of travel treasures or items gifted to her from all over the world (she was a boss at The Collected Look!). After her passing, I was fortunate enough to inherit my favorite decor pieces from her collection. I love looking at these pieces and remembering her!

Home decor, dining room, grey dining room table, wooden spoon decor, white slipcover chairs,  crystal chandelier, neutral dining room, grey walls, wood floors, interior decor, modern decor, transitional decor, collected decor
This photo includes a few pieces close to my heart; the first is the fork, knife and spoon trio that belonged to my Grandma. They originated from Spain and are depictions of the author and characters from the novel 'Don Quixote'. This is also special because my Grandma had a love of books she instilled in me. The second item is the modern dancing statue in the background. This special piece belonged to my mother and I am so happy to have a piece of her style in my home.

Are you ready for The Collected Look?

Look around your home for pieces you already have! Want to pair with some new items? Visit the Abode Shoppe to add to your decor collection! Whatever you do, fill your space with pieces you love for a style that can't go wrong!

Happy Decorating!



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