5 colourful collections you’ll wish were your own

One of the trickier aspects of writing about people’s homes for a living is the envy of seeing a collection you wish was your own. Particularly the variety that was ‘just picked up in the charity shop,’ or ‘spotted when on holiday at the side of the road’ etc etc. We’ve increased torture levels by having a good look around for collections where colour plays a role. Our findings are all things that would cheer up any shelf or wall in a flash. Admittedly, mostly all things that will require patience to amass enough of to make enough impact…

Bird taxidermy

Image from The Last Tuesday Society

It’s worth saying right away that the above collection of colourful bird taxidermy belongs to Viktor Wynd of London’s The Last Tuesday Society, which aided by a kickstarter campaign, has managed to amass an impressive collection of curiosities that it promises is nothing like a comprehensive collection. “This museum will merely display everything that has glittered & caught the eye of its founder,” the mission statement says,  “from rare priceless marvels of the natural and scientific worlds like Dodo bones or speculum to the intriguing beauty of McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, from old master etchings to prison inmates & mad women’s doodles, occultists paintings and pop art prints, the horrors and wonders of nature, two-headed kittens and living coral.” But anyway, it’s the birds catching our eye right now.

Woven wrapped wine bottles

Image from Sight Unseen

It didn’t surprise us to learn that this covetable collection of Spanish wine bottles belongs to a textiles and display designer – Luren Jenison, you can see the rest of her home here. We have been taunted with similar on The Chromologist before here and here and so can confidently pass on that it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled at any and every market you attend. France, LA, Spain, London, wherever. Buy five if you can and see your shelf perk up under the weight of all that colour and geometric shape.

Handmade baskets from all over Africa

Image from Pinterest

The basket room in South Africa’s swish Saxon Hotel features a collection of over three hundred handmade baskets from all over the continent. Colours are all muted in this display making it the perfect idea to steal for a neutral room where all the tribal patterns can stand out.

Japanese Kokeshi dolls

Image Design Sponge

Here’s a secret. For at least the past two Christmases, hip Hackney bookshop Donlon Books has filled its windows with a huge collection of Kokeshi dolls to sell and it’s started something of an obsession here at The Chromologist. The above house  belongs to an artist in Cape Town who’s a few stages on from me in committing to purchase, with a fine collection of the Japanese dolls showcased on her sideboard, all slightly different heights. Start your own here if you can’t wait until next Christmas in east London – otherwise I’ll see you there.

18th and 19th century paper illustrations

Image from Picture Book by John Derian

New York antique dealer John Derian’s collection of over three hundred paper images from the 18th and 19th centuries have been brought together in his recently released Picture Book – as seen above over the author’s face as he lies beneath an enviable collection of framed examples. The ultimate gallery wall, you can shop for similar, along with decoupage paperweights, plates and furniture, at one of the three East Village stores in New York or online.

Jill Macnair


Jill Macnair has worked as an interiors journalist for 13 years, contributing to titles including Elle Decoration, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. She set up cult interiors blog My Friend’s House in 2009 with Ros Anderson and continues to run the forum daily.

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