All my friends and family know better than to buy me “what nots” or “tchotchkes” as a gift. They know it will pretty much not see the light of day in my house. And there are times when I have kept the occasional knickknack out on display for fear of hurting someone’s feelings.
For example, I had these little wooden elephant bookends (that my mom gave me) on my bookshelf for years until my friend Tami said that they were bad luck because their trunks pointed down instead of up. So then I gave myself permission to stick them into the Sally Ann box.
Sometimes collections start accidentally. I had a friend whose mom and sister just started buying her glassware with flowers etched into them because she had received some from a friend and had them displayed. Another client said, “I had two chickens and suddenly my friends and family started buying them for me and now I’m overrun with them!”
When I am in a client’s home who is overwhelmed with “one-off” candle holders and tacky $20 presents given to her by friends over the years, I ask how long they have been in the china cabinet. I think 10 years is long enough don’t you? It sometimes gets hard distinguishing between “tacky” and “an accessory.” I have been told they have enough “accessories” and don’t need any more.
What about the little things you have because they were given to you by someone special and you happen to love them? What’s tacky to someone else is precious for you or me. I have a small pig covered in fake rhinestones that sits on my bookshelf given to me by my friend Liz who passed away a few years ago. I love it because it reminds me of her.
So I have two solutions to the problem of how to display them and here’s the first one:
See that little tiny potted plant with the cloche on it? It would not look quite the same with the stack of green books underneath them.
Interior by Maria Killam
Remember that sneak peek of my clients living room I showed you awhile ago? Her little hippos would not look like accessories on this large glass coffee table without the books.
The second one is wall cubes, shelves or sconces. When my friend Tami received these fabulous dancers for Christmas from her mom who had bought them for her in Cuba, I immediately pointed out that she didn’t have any table space for them. “How about displaying them on sconces attached to the wall?” “Fantastic!” she said, and rushed out to Bed, Bath and Beyond to buy some.
This set of shelves she purchased for her husband’s office. His glass trophies from work look fabulous in them! (picture to follow at some point).
Photo by Maria Killam
Here they are on little boxes we found from Bed Bath & Beyond, you can still see her Christmas tree in the reflection.
So who knew that what’s actually standing in between our tchotchkes looking “tacky” versus “a fabulous accessory” is books and/or a cubed shelf (maybe)?
Where do you keep your knick knacks displayed?
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Cheap Placeholder Art (Plus my dining chairs)