Collections to Covet

This afternoon we delve back through our archives to showcase the homes of collectors, where creative displays, including vintage tins, top-shelf crockery, tortoiseshell hair combs and even Vespas(!) take centre stage.

The key is not so much what you collect or the size of your collection, but how you choose to display it.

Lucy Feagins

The Brisbane home of Kylie Johnson. The kitchen displays some of Kylie’s extensive ceramics collection. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

A sweet collection of vintage tins displayed above the mantle in the Enmore home of artist Renata Waterfall. Photo – Nikki To for The Design Files, production – Lucy Feagins.

The South Melbourne home of Greg Irvine takes collecting to new heights! Greg’s master bedroom showcases his impressive collection of Victorian plates.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The mid-century Melbourne home of Martin and Louise McIntosh. Pictured above is their front/record room, with the couple’s extensive collection of mid century inspired artwork and vintage memorabilia, including an early 1960’s original MAD magazine illustration, a 1953 abstract by Danish artist Mogens Lohmann, an original 1967 Men’s Adventure Surfing cover illustration, contemporary self portrait in top right by US artist Charles Schneider, and George Nelson Eye clock. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Inside Jo Dabrowski and Andrew Fisher‘s Californian Bungalow, in Melbourne’s inner west. Their dining room wall featured an array of illustrated plates collected by Jo. Photo – Anette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Also displayed in inside Greg Irvine‘s home is his remarkable collection of antique tortoiseshell haircombs. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The Albert Park home of Lynn and Geoff Clay. The dining area features vintage artwork collected by the couple from overseas and local markets, including the Camberwell market and Glen Waverley Antique market. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The Brisbane home of stylist and photographer Kara Rosenlund and Timothy O.  Above – kitchen. ‘Our kitchen is filled to the brim with old, loved, weathered and worn utensils and crockery,’ explains Kara. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

More from the incredible home of Greg Irvine. The kitchen showcases his exhaustive collection of Victorian dinnerware, enamel teapots and canisters. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The Perth home of Andy and Lisa Montgomery. Their Vespa GS 150 (1959), Vespa GS 160 (1962) and Lambretta T 175 Series 2 (1959) are among the collectors’ most prized possessions. Photo – Jack Lovel. Styling – Anna Flanders.

Lucy Feagins
18th of October 2017

In these days of small-space living and Marie Kondos-inspired ‘decluttering’, there’s a rebellious joy to be found in collecting. An artfully displayed collection can be the most spectacular centrepiece in any home – the key is not so much what you collect, but how you choose to display it.

When it comes to collector’s homes, we can’t look past the truly remarkable South Melbourne abode of artist Greg Irvine – one of the most memorable spaces we’ve ever set foot in!

Greg’s many collections are displayed in tightly curated, orderly arrangements. Take these cues from Greg for successful collecting :

1. Collections should be themed at point of purchase.

If you can’t see a home for an item when shopping, don’t buy it.

2. A collection should be consistent.

Unrelated objects can look untidy and cluttered. A safe bet is to choose all one type of object, or all one colour/material.

3. Collections are to be seen, not archived.

There is no point in hiding your treasured pieces away; the enjoyment is in the viewing and admiration of each item, and recalling the stories they tell. As Greg says, ‘If you can’t display it, don’t own it!’

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