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Living Room: The collector's home

Love collecting things and find hard to let go of vintage pieces and heirlooms? Well lucky you! This autumn/ winter the latest interiors trend to hit shop floors will be that of the the Globetrotter Collector. This style is all about telling stories of where you've been, what you love doing and most importantly, makes for beautiful, lived in interiors.

Self-confessed collector Sophie Ashby of the eponymous studio said once in this interview for City AM:

“I spend my life searching for these odd items and little bits. Unless you make that special effort, then you get everything looking too perfect. I don’t like things to look too pristine, it has to look lived in in a convincing way.”

You don't need to live in a Georgian mansion filled with antiques to get this look. It has nothing to do with where you live but with what you fill your home with, continues Ashby. So expect your typical collectors home to look less like this:

Photo: Philippe Debeerst At Malplaquet House

and more like this from Design Soda (photo: Ruthie Matthews):

Yes, the modern day collector is sophisticated and has access to resources like online vintage interiors shops and auction houses; they also travel and bring back unique pieces like ornaments, fabrics and more. Ruthie by the way, has a fantastic collection of favourite fabrics in the form of cushions as well as wall art, and you should totally check out her home here.

If you want to recreate the look in your home, take advantage of key pieces you may already have and dress them up to give them a modern look. An antique dining table and chairs for example can be given a new lease of life dressed with beautiful plates and cutlery and the chairs can be recovered with modern fabrics.


A collector will often use ornamental mirrors in a variety of colours (even in the bathroom) but in always in unusual shapes. Sunburst mirrors like this from EMDE look vintage, have french origin (because the collector often travels too) and they are an easy way to add a touch of luxury in the room.

Left to right: Window Mirror, by Latitude Vive | We Need Sun Flower Wall Mirror by Emde | Blue La Flor Decorative Mirror, by KARE Design | Sunburst mirror by Emde | Green Jeremiah Mirror | Blue round Galdine Wall Mirror; all via Wayfair UK


A collector will show of his prized possessions in a display or curio glass cabinet or on top of one. Chinese cupboards will keep your most special items out of sight when needed and away from the dust too. A bit of Far East is essential in the globetrotter style.

Left to right: ornamental Chinese cabinet in black | Chinese cabinet with butterfly detail in teal | Hangzhou 2 Door Cabinet; all via Wayfair


Collector homes tend to be packed with beautiful things, so the best way to show them off is with the right light around the room. Use statement lighting pieces on either side of your sofa, making them part of the styling arrangement. These table lamps from Safavieh are my absolute favourite and they are in this year's most exciting colour (green).

Photos: Kit Kemp Interiors


Whatever your collection, make sure you display it beautifully. Even if you are just starting and only have a couple of pieces, arrange them on a coffee table over books, in pairs on either side table or on a bookcase. This Porcelain Horse Figurine looks antique and is big enough to make a statement on your coffee table.

Above: the home of Sotheby's curator Tim Ellis, photo: House & Garden

For your art: use exotic photos like this one by renowned wildlife photographer Marina Cano called "Together".


It is very rare that a collector's home will feel sterile - they are usually full of colour thanks to beautiful fabrics, cushions and throws. These geometric cushions by the Pillow Collection come in the Hermes orange colour - Hermes style is the epitome of the globetrotter collector. You can see more of this style here.

Photo: Kit Kemp Interiors


Do you have a collection? What is it all about? Share it in a comment below. This is not a sponsored post.



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