Living with an incorrigible collector

Living with an incorrigible collector
Herbert and Dorothy Vogel started their collection of conceptual and minimalist art in the early 1960s.

I peek outside our overflowing apartment and eyeball the delivery men bearing a truckload of cling-wrapped, mid-century modern chairs, dressers and lamps.

"I can't believe you bought so much, where are we going to put all of it?!"

My husband brushes aside my shrieking like he would a fly, and throws the door open to his latest acquisitions.

Welcome to life with a collector. The scene repeats itself with dazzling frequency - if the delivery men are not bearing design-conscious furniture, then it is contemporary paintings.

Sometimes it is my husband himself outside the door, heaving a box of newly purchased vintage vinyl records.

Every wall and nearly every sq m of our three- bedroom apartment is packed with testaments to my husband's love of good design and art.

Prized possessions include original mid-century chairs by Scandinavian design greats Alvar Aalto and Arne Jacobsen, and paintings by emerging South- east Asian artists such as the Philippines' Victor Balanon and Singapore's Hong Sek Chern.

He is also an audiophile - think gizmos from a second-hand Rega turntable to huge honking Vandersteen speakers - and his books, CDs and LPs number several thousand, nestled on shelves and racks or stacked in vertical piles that rise dangerously towards the ceiling.

The house also contains miscellany such as back copies of one-time style bible Wallpaper, including its first issue in 1996, and two antique typewriters that previously belonged to my father-in-law.

Did I mention that we also have two young kids?

A risk manager by profession but an aesthete and adventurer at heart, my husband remains impervious to the usual exhortations to child-proof one's home.

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