This client’s collection of vintage clocks are mixed with family photos from all generations. We used the clocks and clear acrylic risers to create a well curated collection and composition.

We all know the buzzwords from recent years: “downsize, minimize, and let it go!  And now that it’s the beginning of the year, the need to purge the clutter in our lives becomes apparent and we desire to start the year with a clean slate! So what do you do when you are a collector and want to clear the static without letting it ALL go? Or how do you keep family memories without keeping the “stuff”?  There are thoughtful ways of handling the flotsum and jetsum of a life and the key to cleaning up the “clutter” is by curating your items and displaying them in a cohesive manner.       

Using a diverse collection of mirrors stacked on a mantle to create an eclectic “large” mirror!

  1. The best collections start with a paring down to showcase the best of the best. Gather your collection together and take a look at the collection as a whole.  To pare down the collection, you need to analyze what goes together best. The easiest way to do this is to choose the items that “match” in some way. Either they are all the same color, the same size, the same finish or the most valuable to name a few.  
  2. Locate a place in your home to showcase the collection together.  By treating the collection as a whole unit, you create a visually clear message that will be less cluttered.  
  3. Decide how to display the collection depending on the size, type and theme.  For example, display all in one cabinet, add shelves to a niche or group shelves on the wall.  For example, our client had a collection of clocks from her father that she wanted displayed. We utilized 2 niches on either side of her fireplace to install glass shelves and lighting to create a backdrop for her collection.
  4. Don’t forget to use risers to create interest with height and allow the items to be seen more easily.  With our client, we used acrylic risers and mixed in black and white family pictures to complete the collection.  If your style is more modern and the items are all the same size, line them up on a shelf like soldiers to simplify and create a rhythm.  If they are all different heights, create a composition with the items or line them up largest to smallest or largest in the middle decreasing in size on each side.  Odd numbers are typically the most pleasing groupings.
  5. Large collections of memorabilia from family can create a problem if you are short on space. If you have items that remind you of a loved one but maybe those items are bulky and/or something you might never use.  Don’t lose the memory, just take a picture! The picture can be saved in a photo album full of memories or if the pictures are artful enough, frame them and create a picture wall full of memories.

Mixing different patterns of plates can create a pleasing and storied collection for your diner table. They would also look great on a wall!

There are so many ways to create a beautifully designed home that isn’t filled with stuff but remember that to have that you don’t necessarily have to let everything go.  No one wants to be the “Miss Havisham” of the family, so find the fine line between minimal and packrat!  Collections are an extension of you, your family and your memories. Pare it down, clean it up and display it cohesively.

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Approaching 40 years in the business of Interior Design
Originally founded in 1982, family-owned Tran + Thomas Design Studio has emerged as a top leader in Interior Architecture, Interior Design, and Product Selection. Our team brings extraordinary beauty and luxury to homes, offices and other commercial properties in the Kansas City area and beyond. There are no tired formulas or leftover recipes used in our work, but rather an approach that starts with heightened imagination and a practiced design philosophy and ends with happy clients residing in a beautiful space. For over a quarter century we have turned dreams into reality by first imagining the ultimate interior and then determining how to achieve that interior.

Building new homes and commercial properties, remodeling, finding the perfect furnishings…
We are well versed working with architects and builders: constructing new homes, remodeling tired (outdated) spaces, and redesigning/refreshing one room or an entire house. Our breathtaking Interior Design is famous for being a reflection of the uniquely different styles of our clients personalities.  Jill and Carmen have extensive experience designing traditional, transitional, and modern homes to dental offices, sports arenas, restaurants, retail and other commercial spaces!

A wonderful and better source for furnishings
Jill Tran and Carmen Thomas have, and continue to, research, gather and curate wonderful resources for the homes and businesses of their clients.  When working with us, clients gain access to 250+ fabulous designer lines which include upholstered furnishings (sofas, chairs, beds), casegoods (tables, cabinets and furniture without upholstery), lighting (table lamps, sconces and chandeliers), fabrics (for upholstery, pillows and drapery), custom drapes, rugs, antiques of all kinds, bedding, artwork, and more.  Our clients also have access to specialized craftsmen, artists, and suppliers to create that one of kind space that is unique to them

Why Tran + Thomas?
The choice of whom you work with on your home or office is absolutely everything.  Knowledge of what is available, creativity, organization, dependability, trust, sources, contacts, education, respect, personality and the ability to interpret and bring to life your needs only comes from one place…experience.  Tran + Thomas has that in spades!

We hope you will consider Tran + Thomas for your next design project!

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