Monday, June 8, 2015

Starting a Collection

 A grouping of like objects.  
Some how when you put a lot of one kind of thing together it becomes
a show stopper.  Above you see my collection of purple transfer ware and purple glass.
It hangs on my walls, and is displayed in cupboards in my kitchen and dining room.
Most of what I collect is old but some of my things are new, like the purple wine glasses
from Crate and Barrel (a wedding gift from my sister Ellen) and a floral stamped goblet from HomeGoods.  I would have bought an entire set, but they only had one. 
 A small kitchen cabinet above the stove is where I decided to display this
overflow of my collection by simply removing the cabinet doors and then
screwing in some cup hooks to hang the tea cups.  Its a cheery space that
was once an underutilized cabinet.
Matthew Mead captured my kitchen collection during his photo shoot.
 Starting a collection usually happens naturally, as you find yourself
drawn to a particular thing.  It usually starts with one, and then you 
just start looking around for more of the same.  My collection is old
 and vintage, so I find these pieces in small antique shops or in flea markets
or online by googling Purple Transfer ware.  You can build a collection very
quickly by using the online method, however its more thrilling to just stumble
upon a new find for your growing collection.  
 After receiving so many compliments on my collection of purple transfer ware
I realized that maybe its a good idea to point out, that anyone can have such 
a collection.
 All you need to do is start with one piece.  Then start the hunt.  The thrilling hunt. 
 When you finally have enough to call it a collection, figure out where to display it all so you can enjoy it everyday.  I hang many of my plates on the wall. I also have stacks that I use for special dinners so I don't have to remove them from their spots.  
If you only have a few plates they look great hung around a mirror or a window. Maybe your collection is something that must sit on a table top.  Group them on a silver tray for maximum impact.
Or gather them together in a bookcase, like I did with my husband's little dog collection.
 We love dogs, and I noticed my hubby had quite a few miniature
dog statues, so I started adding to his collection when I would visit
Brimfield Antiques Fair or vintage shops. 
Putting them all together makes for a finished look instead of a hodgepodge.
So look around at what you have been collecting without realizing it and 
pull it all together in a grouping.  And if you want to have a collection
of something you have long admired, don't wait. 
Remember, a good collection starts with just one piece.

 photo signature_zpsxi5q1w6r.png
Note: Photos by Matthew Mead and Amy Chalmers.
 Partially sponsored by HomeGoods as part of my participation 
in their Pinterest Designer program Happy by Design.


  1. Hi Amy,
    I have always loved your beautiful collection of purple transferware. I collect the brown and it's so hard to find and afford, but I keep looking.


  2. You do have quite a collection, Amy!!! It's lovely. You have such an eye for bringing it all together, and setting up gorgeous displays.
    Love all of your images.

  3. Some years ago I saw a home featured in Veranda and this place was just loaded with purple transfer ware! If I remember correctly, several rooms were decorated with transfer ware and toile in shades of purple. By description this may not sound appealing,but when it was viewed it was stunning. Perhaps you have seen this particular feature. I saved the spread for inspiration but cannot find it ( decorating magazine hoarder?). Amy your collection in your decorating scheme is every bit as appealing! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Replacements unlimited is a good source for vintage dishes. I also love purple and have an old set of vintage purple transferware. My daughter has claimed it and I'm giving it to her as we Thanks for the post!

  5. Love your collections and I have always admired your purple transferware...just gorgeous!

  6. The purple transferware is just so darn pretty.... such a yummy color, and it looks so good with the greens in your kitchen. Those are great photos too!



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