You probably think my main reason for getting all these vintage brass French horns hung was because I’m super excited for Christmas. After all, I’ve been collecting them for two years, scouring thrift stores, flea markets, and corners of antique malls. I set a price limit that I wouldn’t go over…I only broke it once for one of the larger ones!
But no, the most urgent reason to hang these horns before Thanksgiving is because I have a six-year-old son. And he takes GREAT delight in blowing them loudly. Ever since I started going through my Christmas bins, organizing for my holiday decorating, and laid these horns out on the table, well…let’s just say we’ve had some startling moments!
One of our favorite Christmas memories is when he was about 2 ½. At the time, I only had a couple of the small horns. Our fun-loving toddler got one from the tree and marched into his sisters’ room. At 6:45 a.m. “Dirls! Time to get up!” (And that’s not a typo. That’s how he said it!!) I am pretty sure “Comfort and Joy” was not what the “dirls” were thinking about.
So back to the gallery wall, mantel, and all things Christmas…
I wanted to make a big statement with this vintage brass collection. It took me a long time to curate the look I wanted, but for me, most great design doesn’t happen overnight! I think they were worth the wait!
To get this look, I laid my collection out on the floor, in roughly the amount of wall space I planned to fill. When styling a collection, asymmetry and a “random” look will be your friend! Especially when working with vintage, you likely have a variety of sizes, patterns, colors, and even textures. A more random look gives the feeling of a collection curated over time. I started by off-centering the largest horn and working out from there on both sides.
When styling your Christmas collection, think of varying the height and depth of placement. This lends to the curated-over-time look rather than I-pulled-out-my-Christmas-bins look!
I used my mantelscape to add an extra layer and more texture to the look of the gallery wall. A mix of faux eucalyptus and cedar garlands and brass candlesticks soften the edges of the horn collection, while vintage books add rich color and character. The books also add variety and height to the candlestick collection.
No matter the season, collections are a lot of fun and when styled well, add character and interest to your home. I like to group my collections in the same space, where they make an impact rather than feeling like they add clutter. It could be a vintage thermos collection like Down Shiloh Road uses at Christmas. It might be a special set of ironstone dishes or milkglass vases. Perhaps your collection of vintage books adds interest to a simple bookshelf and are used in your décor year-round!
Here are a few of my favorite things to collect throughout the year:
Mortar and pestles
For the holiday season, I like to collect vintage brass deer, French horns, and simple Nutcrackers. You can see how I used my new collection of wooden Nutcrackers to make a statement in the dining room, over on this post.
Besides styling them in my home, having some vintage collections makes for wholesome entertainment through the year too. I love to browse estate sales, thrift stores, vintage shops, and flea markets. Don’t underestimate a good yard sale too! It can be easy to get carried away, so I usually have a budget for different items, with a little wiggle room for something particularly unique!
I’d love to hear about YOUR collections! Do you have any special traditions surrounding a Christmas collection?
These French horns might be starting a new tradition for us! I love how they look, grouped together and hung on the wall. After all, it got them off the table and out of reach a little faster.