Get Inspired: Show Off Your Collectibles

This kitchen was specially designed to display the homeowners' collectibles.
Alicia K. Clavell

Starting a collection is a great way to insert personal style into any home. But if you're not careful, those cute treasures can multiply quickly, and before you know it they're taking over your house. That's what happened to Jamie Gerard's Dallas kitchen. Here's how she got her teacup collection under control.

Tea Cozy
Each Valentine's Day, Jamie and her cousin Kim exchange teacups. They each purchase two cups, keep one, and trade the other. The swap, inspired by their grandmothers, has been going on for years, which is why the collection never stops growing.

When Jamie and husband Cameron decided to build a new home, they enlisted architect Pat Ford to design their kitchen with plenty of display room. Pat incorporated open storage cubbies for the teacups. Cabinets with glass fronts and backs were placed over the windows to better highlight favorite pieces such as teapots and vases.

Island Style
While the kitchen design may have revolved around the cups, the island is a prime gathering spot for the family. It was important that it feature storage galore. Open units under the cabinets were designed for display space. Island cabinets have pullout shelves, and a special extendable pedestal was added just for the mixer. What's more, a pullout cutting board makes chopping a breeze.

While Jamie and Cameron enjoy the storage and newfound cooking ease, their growing family and cup collection may need more room. "Pretty soon we'll have to build an even bigger kitchen just to house all of the teacups," says Jamie with a laugh.

This article is from the April 2005 issue of Southern Living.