Book Review: A Passion for Collecting by Caroline Clifton-Mogg


Confession time: I picked up a copy of ‘A Passion for Collecting ‘ over two weeks ago, and I’m so captivated by the photos that I have yet to read a single word of text! But really, this is one of those rare interiors books in which you can actually feel the presence of the people who live in these homes–their personalities shine through the objets they collect and the way they display them. I want to meet each and every inhabitant of these spaces. Don’t you just adore the mix of Rococo opulence and sleek modernism in the office above? That tall purple glassware on the desk has me drooling!


Clearly the person behind this dining vignette has spent a lot of time at French flea markets. I’d love to have tagged along while they hunted down that stunning chandelier and those folding bistro chairs. And I can’t even imagine how riotous it would be to have afternoon tea with the proprietor of the salon below!


I don’t usually go for loads of antiques, but the colors of this parlour keep the look fresh and youthful. If I had such gorgeous architectural moulding, I’d for sure paint it just like this!

passion for collecting city sage.jpg

Collections don’t have to be obscure and exorbitant; sometimes everyday objects make the loveliest collections of all! This hall of mirrors elevates the humble reflecting glass to a work of art.


Not every room in the book is overflowing with objects. The restraint of this sitting area–the carefully balanced mix of modern art and classical furniture—is simply exquisite. Plus you know I love me some pink walls!


A collector after my own heart: I adore vintage fashion prints and have a small but much-loved collection of my own. The casually organic display here makes the prints seem less like artifacts and more like members of the family.

city sage passion for collecting.jpg

Another room from the same house: the colors of the bedding pick up the vibrant hues of the fashion drawings above the bed. A spot-on example of how a collection can inspire the rest of your decor without getting too matchy-matchy.


And finally, it’s not even clear to me what this person collects but I want some! The mix of black and white photos, ink drawings, rustic farm tools and ceramics–the pieces are completely disparate yet they work perfectly together. Is it possible to collect a feeling, a sensibility? Would you say, “Hello, my name is Anne and I collect serenity?”


Tell me: Do you have any collections? What do they say about you? And if you don’t, what would you collect if you could?

All images courtesy of ‘A Passion for Collecting ‘ by Caroline Clifton-Mogg.


28 Responses to “Book Review: A Passion for Collecting by Caroline Clifton-Mogg”

  1. Kristin @ Contented Me Says:

    Ok, first of all, I am swooning over that blue glass chandelier. Oh how I wish I had something like that in my home!
    Second, I want to crawl right in to that pink sitting room and curl up on that chaise lounge and never leave!
    My most favorite things to collect are antique cake stands and milk glass. If I find a milk glass cake stand, I’m a happy camper!

  2. charlotte elizabeth Says:

    Dreamy! Thrifting is my favorite hobby. I imagine in another few years my home will look closer to one of these. Its a work in progress!

  3. mary jo Says:

    Love these images. Especially the pink walls and the last one–the bowl in the fireplace. For some reason that just mesmerizes me. I have a million collections but have really tried to cool it in the past few years for simplicity’s sake and peace of mind. But always lovely to look at other people’s collections πŸ™‚

  4. Rachel Says:

    I LOVE that hall of mirrors!! It’s beautiful! And the first purple room?? So cool. And I love the use of the goat-skin rugs in the pictures with the fashion sketches. They are so textural and soft.
    I’m not a big collector… hmmm, I guess if I could collect anything maybe it would be interesting side chairs.
    Oh, well, and my mother and grandmother collected antique early american glass – and I have my grandmother’s “good luck” collection! It was a wedding gift from my parents.
    The pictures in that book look beautiful! I’ll have to track one down!

  5. christina Says:

    I love how each of the rooms looks lived-in and realistic. I’m hoping that one day my home will have a similar vibe.
    For now, I collect dishes of any kind. Anything brightly colored and fun does the trick.

  6. josephine Says:

    i’m drooling over the photo of the room with the pale pink walls and striped setees! so sweet.

  7. Amanda Says:

    All of these photos remind me of how much I loathe our boring apartment-white walls!
    And I collect children’s books. Only a little creepy for someone who never wants to have kids.

  8. jo Says:

    awesome interiors! thank you for touring me around NY. the chocolate chip cookie at the city bakery put me in a sugar coma lol

  9. Joanna Says:

    These colorful walls speak volumes about the people who live there. What stories they could tell!

  10. Jen Says:

    Chairs. I have a serious weakness for chairs…and potted plants. I guess the plants are not a collection, but rather an intervention after Loran’s grandma has tried her best at killing them.

  11. Rachel (Heart of Light) Says:

    I try not to collect anything, but I seem to accumulate things – cakestands, dansk ware, tea cups. I guess I can’t help it.

  12. vee Says:

    what eye candy!! I love collecting type from letters to alphas and mini bank globes πŸ™‚

  13. vee Says:

    what eye candy!! I love collecting type from letters to alphas and mini bank globes πŸ™‚

  14. dwellings and decor Says:

    Looks like a lovely book! I love the blue and green dining room second down with those adorable fold up bistro chairs. Great post!

  15. dwellings and decor Says:

    Looks like a lovely book! I love the blue and green dining room second down with those adorable fold up bistro chairs. Great post!

  16. Heidi Says:

    Gorgeous post and gorgeous prose! I tried collecting mirrors once, but life interfered. Your posts about interiors always make me want to collect chandeliers. But then, your posts are always inspiring in many ways.

  17. Luphia Says:

    wow i’m so amazed by all the fabulous colours, i love collecting pretty & colourful objects too!

  18. michelle Says:

    What beautiful images! I just love them, the light bluish green room, and the top image, with purple and red…so perfect

  19. michelle Says:

    What beautiful images! I just love them, the light bluish green room, and the top image, with purple and red…so perfect

  20. nkp Says:

    I love that glorious blue opaline(?) chandalier. And that sublime green room with the mirrored walls is like a breath of fresh air. As for my collections, I have a particular affinity for lucite table grapes from the ’60’s and I would love to add to my small collection of french demijohn bottles. I find these homes, so full of well-loved objects, delightfully appealing!

  21. kasey Says:

    what beautiful images, and so pretty.

  22. Natalie H Says:

    I collect vintage ironstone. I think I like them because they are simple, functional, yet look nice without being showy, and that’s sort of how I view myself. I think we collect things that we connect with on some level. They become like friends!

  23. vicki archer Says:

    I am off to Amazon this minute – this book looks sensational Anne, xv.

  24. please sir Says:

    WOW – what a great looking book filled with so many inspiring photos!

  25. Lynne Says:

    I’m collecting: antique snow globes (current tally – none), bird wallpapers (actually in situ – none), milk glass (current tally 3 items, one brooch and two lamps which can’t be rewired to UK standards – not sure what to do with them) and vintage brooches to decorate next year’s Christmas tree (so far one, same milk glass one as above.) And I’m sure lots more things!

  26. fromtherightbank Says:

    This book looks awesome. I’ve actually had a clipping of the second to the last pic and the one before it in my inspiration book for a number of years. I still love it.

  27. christina Says:

    i love, love, love these rooms. as a flea market, thrift store, garage sale ADDICT, i have way too many collections to list here…(vintage lace, vintage landscapes, vintage women’s toiletries and on & on)…but i love to collect…
    thanks for posting…i might have to run out & buy that book!

  28. Heidi Jo Says:

    I adore that mirror room!
    I am the worst kind of collector because I will collect something for a while and then get sick of it. Right now I am collecting milk glass and jadeite glass, old books, and vintage ceramics- oh… and clothes. Ha ha.

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