Save for our minimalist friends in Scandinavia, many designers live by the principle of layering. But when it comes to adding antiques into the mix, it takes some skill. According to Rebecca Robertson, an interior designer and co-author of "Collected: Living With The Things You Love," the secret to creating a design that feels collected and curated rather than something that belongs in a museum lies in these four styling tricks.
Group Objects By Color: "This is one of my favorite tricks," Robertson says. "Antiques instantly become unified and, unlike a museum, you don't have to organize by geography or time period -- you make the rules." The library of a Connecticut home designed by Thom Filicia is an ode to indigo, right down to the blue and white ginger jars on the built-in bookshelf.
Stay Focused: Museums have collections scattered throughout the entire space. In your home, concentrate your collections in a few areas so they feel like a special focal point. A 1960s Los Angeles high-rise might seem an unlikely spot for a renowned antiquarian, but Lee Stanton proves that plate glass and rare finds can happily coexist.
Keep Them Close: Why keep a collection out of reach on a pedestal? Instead, Robertson suggests putting your favorite collection on display on your coffee table. "That way it is always in view and makes for great conversation over cocktails." Layering bold patterns, jewel-tone colors, and exotic accents throughout his Manhattan apartment, designer Alex Papachristidis discovers that enough is never enough.
Mix Old And New: Collections don't need to be all antique, according to Robertson. Mixing old and new allows you to see the evolution of design within a specific world. For example, "An 18th century floral painting can look striking next to a contemporary Etsy artist's creation," she says. When he's not traveling the world in search of inspiration for his textile designs, John Robshaw heads home to a haven of exotic treasures in Manhattan.