Collecting is a human instinct. For as long as people have focused on acquiring more objects than they needed, they have turned that excess into collections, automatically, instinctively. Parisian homes are filled with collections because the French love to collect. I think we Americans have the same desire to collect just as the French do; I know I do! Your home should be designed to display those articles and collections that have woven the tapestry of your lives – your family – your travels – your accomplishments and your passions. Displaying your collections is all about balance and fooling the eye with various levels of objects, furniture and wallgroupings; also using different materials and textures will add interest. The various levels of a setting should let the eye rest periodically. By that, I mean there should be a gentle flow from one side to the other; whether it is from one side of a piece of furniture to the other, or, from one side of a room to the other. It can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical. All of my friends and clients are very well aware of my love for French Country, and for my symmetry. Today, I am featuring our French Country server topped with an apple topiary which balances in height with our original oil painting of the cow. Notice how the chicken and moss pot are close in height, thereby giving the eye the rest it needs to notice the entire picture, and to keep the appeal.The French wallcovering with chickens pulls in our color scheme, as well as our farm theme of animals. Our outdoor elements of moss and apples lend themselves credence in completing our French Country farmyard look. Notice the bleached finish on our French server…that seems to be an ongoing trend in furniture these days. Each piece of this vignette could be individually used in other areas of your home; the server could be used as a hallway piece to display family heirlooms on or in a bathroom. The cow painting could be used in a den or a sunroom, or any place in your home that makes you happy. Remember, one outstanding piece of furniture can change the whole look of a room…so plan to have at least one timeless antique in each room of your house. Antiques will radiate elegance to your guests, I promise!