The fine and decorative arts collections of Carrick Hill are eclectic in nature, largely because of the manner in which they came together. Rather than acquire works in order to create a considered and representative collection, the Haywards bought paintings, sculptures, decorative art and books that reflected their broad ranging interests and fascination with contemporary and modern thinking, and the friendships that enhanced their lives. The works of art and other items also worked as “souvenirs” or aide memoires, as a record of their travels on their return to Adelaide.