If you're an adult with a Lego collection or have a kid who is into the hobby, it can be hard to find a good place for models once you're done. That's why today we've gathered some of the best display ideas for large Lego sets to help manage the sheer volume of space some collections can take up.
With a little work, these display ideas will allow you to turn a hodgepodge of models into something either appealing to the eye or easily kept out of sight when not in use.
The Easy Approach
Lego sets can be quite large and even small sets can start to pile up if you get enough of them. The first thing we recommend is deciding how much you care about a given set.
Lego storage, as you might imagine, is much easier if you're willing to break the set up into individual Lego bricks or at least smaller chunks once you're done. Then you can use some of the tips we've discussed in a previous article to work out a reasonable storage solution.
That said, this is an article on displaying Lego sets, and big ones at that. There's no shame in that either; Lego sets can make for great home decoration. First, we need to craft our display ideas around a few factors:
- How much time do you want to spend setting up a display?
- How much space do you have to devote to Lego sets?
- How much money will you devote to this project?
- Are you doing it yourself or hiring a design service?
Perhaps the easiest approach is to purchase a curio cabinet or similar display case large enough to fit the sets you wish to display. Many collectors do just this and it works well enough. About the hardest part of this approach is that you need to occasionally wipe the glass doors.
That said, we can get a bit more creative. In turn, this opens up a variety of options. As for which is best, that depends on your goals for a space.
Should You Glue?
While The Lego Movie turns into something of a joke, it's up to you whether you glue your Lego sets together. If a shelving unit goes and drops your sets, it may well save you from losing hours of hard work.
At the same time, the downside is obvious. You must use a careful hand unless you want glue marks marring that characteristic Lego look. A Lego set glued together can't be taken apart; fixing any errors will be tough.
If you or any of your children hope to engage in Lego play, you may want to give gluing a pass. It definitely turns sets more into display objects than play objects. (At the same time, turning sets into display objects is why you're here.)
Learning From Similar Niches
Plenty of adults (and creative kids) have done great stuff when it comes to Lego. While there is plenty to learn from that niche, we actually recommend looking at a similar niche instead: model trains.
Collecting and displaying model trains is something that has been around a long time. Moreover, we can find a lot of useful advice from that community when it comes to displaying models in interesting, fun ways. This is ignoring the fact Lego also literally has train sets available for purchase.
One interesting way one can display Legos could be based on the train community's theatrical stage model train displays. While it takes some dedicated space, it essentially has a display split into sections. One section is visible to passersby, the other is hidden (either in a separate room or with a curtain).
The visible section contains a scene you've set, meant to showcase sets, Lego mini-figures, and whatever you'd like people to see. The hidden section is a staging area, not unlike a theater, with various kits you may want to swap in and areas for things like electronic components.
While it does take space, this allows a collector the best of displaying and storage. You need less dedicated display space as the setup allows for swapping models in and out. You can more tightly store sets not in use without feeling like you can't show them off if you want to.
One could also envision a less extreme version of this setup. First, imagine a Lego display case containing scenes you construct. This is almost identical to the visible section described above.
All that changes is your "staging area" is elsewhere. While it takes a bit more time to swap kits, having sets not in use stored in a closet or even in less elaborate living room display cases opens this option up to more people. Now you don't need one large amount of space; two medium spaces will do.
For the Dedicated Fan
The above idea is involved but could be done without a huge amount of space. This idea isn't unreasonable but it might be the "biggest" of the ideas we talk about today.
Some collectors build (or purchase) Lego tables. These tables, some of which can take up entire basements, allow one to display many sets at once. You can build entire landscapes or worlds.
This is a great idea if you have a huge collection you want to show off. Take for instance the many Lego Star Wars sets. You can even do some DIY Lego building to help blend the sets more naturally together, really setting the scene.
Not everyone wants a huge Lego display in their living room. At the same time, some people do. It's also worth acknowledging some Lego sets may be so massive that an idea like this is about the only way to display them anyway.
This idea is space-heavy but easy to implement. Once you have a table with a Lego compatible surface in place, the rest is obvious.
This setup is also fantastic for people who want to play or otherwise mess around with their sets; you have tons of space to work with. Any kid who is interested in Lego is also sure to love it.
Finding a Middle Ground Option
We considered what our service might do if asked to display Lego sets. While it would depend on the size of the sets and the space available, we'd consider recessed shelving. Done right, it could allow many sets to be displayed without becoming a huge space burden.
Recessed shelving is also a DIY option (that links even discusses as much). You can save costs but make sure you know what you're doing! You do not want shelves meant to display your hard work looking shoddy.
The benefit of recessed shelving is that it is space additive (in storage terms). The shelves go into walls, turning unusable space into usable space. You must, however, be sure to remember to measure twice and cut once.
This option won't work for everyone (nothing ever does). In some homes, it may look odd or the walls won't be suitable. If you're renting, you won't be allowed to cut into the walls.
The Right Option for You
If you're intending to display multiple, large Lego sets, consider hiring an interior designer. While the above ideas are valid, they are going to change the look of a space quite a bit. It is a good idea to get a professional's opinion on the matter before making big changes.
On top of that, Legos are often bright objects that don't "gel" in the traditional way with other objects in most spaces. An interior designer can help you find a look that makes the most of both of your models and the space they're in.
Moreover, an interior designer can adapt an idea to match your means while getting as close to your vision as possible. Otherwise, you run the risk of either going over budget or getting a final display result that disappoints you.
These Display Ideas for Large Lego Sets Are Just the Beginning
I hope you enjoyed the display ideas for large Lego sets I managed to come up with. That said, it should be acknowledged there are plenty of ways to display large models and other objects; more than we could get into here.
If you'd like my help with interior design or have any questions, contact me! Many people take model display for granted but there is an art to it. If you're not sure you can get the result you want on your own, let me help!