Despite my passion for interior design and vintage treasures, I've somehow never given in to collecting groups of one item. I suspect that once I began, I wouldn't know when to stop. Exactly how many straw bags or enamel signs or cooking molds is enough? For me, it's safer to stick to individual items that I respond to and group them together as though they are a family.
Collections seem to spring from a desire to honor a gift that was made by someone we love (grandma's cameo or dad's fishing creel) or from a genuine passion for the pieces themselves and what they represent. A collection that can be displayed in one place, without spilling into every room of the house, is often beautiful and visually arresting. And having something specific in mind when browsing flea markets and antique shops makes the hunt that much more exciting. A collector also makes life much easier on their friends and family when gift-giving season arrives.
Images: Aged to Perfection: Adding Rustic Charm to Your Modern Home Inside & Out by Leslie Linsley, published by Hearst Books 2010. The Way we Live with the Things we Love by Stafford Cliff, photographs by Gilles de Chabaneix, published by Rizzoli 2009. Marie Claire Idees magazine, July 2010 issue. Red magazine, July 2010 issue. Inside Out magazine, March-April 2010 issue.