I aim to live a purposeful life with the exact things I need to live my life the way that I want to, no more and no less. This is definitely a work in progress and I’ve got no doubt this learning process will continue as I move through life. When I started this way of living a number of years ago I started with the obvious areas like the kitchen and wardrobe. Pretty easy to go through the utensil drawer and know whether or not you really need those 7 spatulas. Pretty much everything contained in these areas have a functional purpose and you know exactly why you keep what you do. Applying this practice to my artwork and decorative accessories was so much harder!
One of my main loves in life are ceramics. I am drawn to the organic, hand-crafted nature of each piece, I find them absolutely irresistible, and to be honest it’s the one area of my home that doesn’t serve a functional purpose. Sure, there are some pieces scattered throughout that do serve a functional purpose, think vases for flowers or small dishes for jewellery, but these pieces can stand amongst everything else with confidence that their primary purpose is for its aesthetic rather than its functional use.
Ceramics represent my personality in the best possible way. Quirky, individual and with little regard for what anyone else is doing. I see the ebb and flow of my own life represented through these pieces, how my tastes have evolved, places I’ve visited, key milestones and those big moments in my life. Sentimentality at its best!
Using this sentimentality is really the best way to curate your own collection. If curated to your own personality these items contribute immensely to living your own purposeful life. They serve a purpose to bring joy, happiness, contentedness or whatever else you want to call it!
I’ve had a few clients of late almost apologise for their artwork, ceramics, curiosities and everything else they have on display. Typically, they preface this with ‘I know the artwork doesn’t really go…..’ or ‘My daughter doesn’t like those trinkets……’ and it fades off. I can tell that they love the piece but they’re afraid the piece is dated, doesn’t look trendy, isn’t fancy enough…..the reasons why they’re questioning themselves are endless but there’s really only question to ask yourself.
DO YOU LOVE IT?
Ask yourself, did you immediately fall in love with this piece? If you did then never get rid of it! You were drawn to it for a reason! Don’t question why you love it, just love it! It will all work out in the end, trust me.
Curating your own collection could require you to cull some pieces. Consider each piece and whether this holds value for you and your family personally. If it does, then keep it. If it doesn’t then add it to the donation pile. Whether you have a small or large collection of art and decorative accessories using decorative they probably all have sentimental value to you and your family. This same practice applies whether you have a small collection or a large collection.
Once you’ve got together everything that you’re going to keep it’s really up to you how you display them, where you display them, whether they remain static or whether you move them around and mix them up every few days, weeks or months.
Using colour to group items together is a great place to get started on displaying your pieces. This gives you a clear direction to follow and makes the process really simple. Building out from your dominant colour is great for a small collection. I’ve got predominantly white ceramics so this sits central and I build out from there. Where there is a piece that has dual colours, such as blush and white this allows the transition through to pinks, golds, yellows and so on. You get the picture! The best part about using colour is that it quite often provides you with random variation in heights giving the overall look a laid back feel.
Tuning into the seasons is such a great way to mix things up every few months. I have recently started this practice and find this a lovely and gentle reminder of the ever changing cycles we live with. I will take from my collection colours or pieces that represent the season and set this up as a separate display. To this I’ll add my crystals that I’ll be using for the season as well as flowers. I’m extremely lucky that the flowers are always gifted to me by one special person.