Ice Bats! Beer Steins! Salt-Glazed Pottery! Whatever crazy collection you've amassed, we've got a clever display idea for you
Our readers collect stuff—lots of stuff. And they can't all be as creative as Cath Strung of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, who built a wall of glass shelves in the powder room to hold her Westerwald salt-glazed pottery. Lucky for you, there are all sorts of great-looking shelving units out there to display your cherished possessions. Traditional or modern, freestanding or wall-mounted, tall or short, metal or wood—these choices add architectural interest even when they're empty. (But think how much better they'll look holding your baby-blue, four-fanged Ice Bats, which is what Cara Dubroff of Hoboken, New Jersey, collects.) And with enough creative storage options, you won't have to do what Kristina Sell of Jersey City, New Jersey, did: buy a second home just to have a place to stash your stuff.
Simple floating blocks can be arranged in any configuration and added to as your collection grows. Mix colors and textures (these are available in three wood finishes and white) to create drama on your walls.
6 inches long by 5 inches high by 5 inches deep, about $54 for a set of three; West Elm
With its slim profile and combination of closed spaces and open platforms, this 6-foot-tall bookcase could work equally well in a living room or a home office. Units can be assembled in left-or right-hand versions or connected in multiples to form a wall of storage. About $149; Crate&Barrel
It displays photos on its face and knickknacks on top, but the best thing about this shelf may be the hidden compartment on the inside. The hinged front drops down to store photo negatives (remember those?), CDs,
and anything else you want to hide from view. About $45; Improvements
Popular in the mid-1800s, étagères like this graduated, four-tiered unit give you plenty of display space. Silver-finished iron gives a light and elegant look. About $1,645; Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
A storage shelf that doubles as a decorative wall feature will look good even as you continue searching for the perfect items to put on display. This clever chocolate-stained, solid wood unit can hold up to four prized collectibles. About $99, West Elm
Safely store and showcase your collectibles in a wall-mounted cabinet. With its dentil molding pediment detail and reed carvings on the door, this curio holder works well in the parlor of a Colonial home. About $395, Howard Miller
Clear, adjustable glass shelves and a mirrored backing highlight the items held and framed by this cherry-finished cabinet. Acanthus leaf molding carved on top adds a subtle, but stately decoration. About $395, Howard Miller
Look for a collection keeper with multiple, architecturally designed staging areas that look good even when empty. This hand-carved rosewood cabinet holds up to 20 collectibles on its 4-inch deep, oriental-inspired shelves. About $250, ChinaFurnitureOnline.com.
Store your Victorian-era figurines and Faberge eggs in an equally elaborate vitrine. Gold gilding and furniture-like carvings dress up the burled, knotty wood grain finish of this door-fronted cabinet. About $350, Horchow.
Take your sports memorabilia from their out-of-sight closet hideouts or from their roll-risky spot on the mantel and place them in an elegant, specialized case. Shatterproof Plexiglas protects up to 14 of your favorite slugger-signed baseballs in this diamond-shaped, solid mahogany display. About $105, Freedom Display Cases.
Whether its rare Indian Head pennies, foreign dollars from your latest vacations, or real gold Dubloons, this solid mahogany rack will keep up to 32 of them in orderly, easy-to view rows. About $85, Freedom Display Cases.
After linotype took over the printing presses, the shallow and compartmentalized trays that once held moveable type often found a second life as the home for tiny curios. This wooden reproduction holds up to 25 miniature figurines or decorative thimbles. About $39, Fine Home Displays
Dentil molding and elegant arches turn this simple, three-tiered wall shelving into an architectural accent worthy of being mounted by your patiently restored cornices and ceiling medallions. About $140, Touch of Class.
For your heftier heirlooms or art pieces, these sturdy wood podiums can hold up to 45 pounds. Mounted onto a wall, the massive shim-shaped displays make for a captivating setting. About $40, Treasure Combers.