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My Simple Roadmap for Timeless Collected Interiors

If you have been reading this blog long you know I am a huge fan of timeless collected interiors. The original version of this post was written in 2016.  It remains one of my most popular posts. Much of the information and pictures were outdated so I thought it was time to update the post with new pictures and more extensive information. Let’s take a look at My Simple Roadmap for Achieving Timeless Collected Interiors.


Most of us want a home that looks current and fresh but won’t look dated in three or four years. For those of us over 55, it might be our last house so we do want it to stand the test of time.  At our age many of us have traveled and brought back accessories for our home.  We have collected real art, and perhaps some antiques. We want to combine all of these elements cohesively without making our house look like a gallery or a museum. Timeless interior  design is quietly understated, simple and sophisticated “just like us”. How do we go about making our homes functional and sensible yet stylish and fresh at any age?


Try to pick mostly neutrals with a couple of accent colors that will be continued throughout the home.  Every room should connect to those around it in some way.

My former fixer upper home was smaller than my Chualar home, and the home we live in now.  In order to not overwhelm the space with furnishings from my former home, I kept the color scheme consistent. The dining room is completely neutral. The built n cabinetry  was painted just a shade darker than the walls for dimension. The wood of the antique dining table adds texture and history. The wall colors are the same throughout to make the small house seem larger.


Pick classic furniture pieces with clean and simple lines in neutral fabrics in your home decor.  Keep the expensive items neutral and timeless. The beautiful neutral colors of this space are augmented by the abundence of texture.  Splurge on the signature, quality pieces that will stand the test of time. I love this beautiful space by the talented Jackye Lanham. Jackye is known for her astute design choices and  timeless decorating style. The gorgeous chandelier adds dimension.  You can find more of Jackye’s design work on her website here.


( such as pillows, art, and decorative accessories)

This is the family room in my former home in the fall. It has a timeless look. The salmon cupboard doors were added to the fireplace mantle for a splash of color.  I added 



Furniture should fit in a room perfectly.  It should “belong” to a room.  It shouldn’t be so large as to overpower, or too small to seem insignificant. Make sure you have enough comfortable furniture to make guests feel welcome. My pal Mary Ann’s San Francisco apartment is filled with everything that makes a room timeless, but it also just works.  There is plenty of comfortable seating where guests can take in the beautiful views of San Francisco bay. You can follow Mary Ann’s blog Classic Casual Home here.


That add your own personality and history to your space. Stephen Gambrel always incorporates interesting, one-of-a-kind accessories into his designs. He keeps the palette simple but weaves in interesting relics and artifacts. The open shelving houses interesting art objects. The black beamed ceilings  and trim add interest to the overall design style.  You can see Stephen’s portfolio here.  You can also buy Steven’s latest book Perspective on Amazon here.


The Rarity of a work of art is what gives it value, so an original will always be worth more than a reproduction.  Purchase from unknown and emerging artists for a better value. The beautiful abstract above the fireplace in this Giannetti Home Project adds a pop of color and modern vibe to this otherwise traditional space. You can find more of Gianetti’s wonderful work on their website here. You can purchase their books on Amazon here. You can find more of Steve Giannetti’s work here.



A room without texture or pattern will be boring and flat. Texture and patterns bring rooms to life and add dimension and warmth. This beautiful space by ODG Interiors  has plenty of textural elements that add interest, them millwork, the architectural interiors, the rug, the mirrors, the interior of the fireplace.  


Avoid overly carved ornate furnishings that will become dated quickly. A piece here and there adds interest but too many become old fast. This wonderful living room by the talented Steve from Urban Cottage is filled with vintage furniture and antiques but he favors clean lines in his furnishings. Steve loves timeless design but isn’t afraid to bring in modern art or quirky light fixtures to add interest. 


(if none have been handed down) they can give your space a sense of history and character. They help create a curated look.  Antique furniture becomes timeless when incorporated with other styles and furnishings. The gallery wall with antique oil paintings lends character and charm to this fabulous living space by Ware Porter. The beautiful crown molding adds interest to the neutral wall color.



Choose some items that make you happy (regardless of interior design trends). You’re less likely to get tired of a piece if you’ve always gravitated to that style. Who says a downtown L.A apartment can’t be timeless? My friend Kelly loves a white backdrop for her whimsical treasures.  She has lots of interesting pillow covers in stripes and vintage fabrics,  and accents and changes them in and out throughout the seasons for fun. You can see more of Kelley’s work here at the blu canoe studio.  You can follow her personal account on Instagram hereand her charming shop the blu canoe here.

 If you love a timeless home, think about keeping your design consistent throughout your home.  Spend your money on important pieces and use trends in inexpensive accessories.  Keep your color palettes simple, embrace texture and use pops of color as accents. Add a vintage piece here and there for interest.  Include art and treasures from your travels that speak to you. Be sure to include some items that just make you happy! 

 If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy The Collected Look and How to Get It. Do you prefer a timeless collected look or a more modern space? I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading My Simple Roadmap for Achieving Timeless Collected Interiors. 















Reader Interactions


  1. Deborah Thomsen says

    I love your style. I am such a fan of lifetime design your home wraps, its arms around me. That’s what I think a Home should do. It’s more than just a happy place it houses a lifetime of your treasures and memories. I think you for your post and your love of design.

  2. Harriet says

    This piece is so timely for me as my husband and I are refreshing our kitchen and family room. Could you do a piece on flooring? My family room is carpeted and the kitchen has cork flooring. We disagree on installing hardwood. How do you make all the rooms cohesive? Thank you. I love your blog and have learned so much.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Harriet

      Hi Harriet. I will try to do a post on flooring soon great idea!!

  3. Annie Diamond says

    Cindy! So many wonderful examples of timeless interiors and why they work. Your home is the perfect example. Such great advice about mixing and why it works!

  4. Dora Renata Pala says

    Buongiorno Cindy
    Bellissimo articolo la mia piccola casa di città e anche in montagna sono esattamente così…. cioè un mix di cose di famiglia e altro che deve piacere a noi che vi abitiamo.questo in fondo è quello che conta rispecchia re la nostra personalità Ammiro moltissimo Elisabeth,la contessa perché si circonda di cose a lei gradite,molti non ne hanno il coraggio.possiedo un cassettone del 600 dei miei nonni,per me è come un passatempo pensare al suo vissuto ,tutto quello che ha visto e sentito,……(Dora Renata…. Margot fonteyn)

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Dora

      I so agree. The Contessa is the ultimate example of surrounding herself with the things she loves!!

  5. Karen B. says

    I love every room you’ve shared. The award for the best view goes to Mary Ann’s home. It’s so beautiful.
    Thanks for the ideas. I always like to add some fresh accessories every few years.
    Karen B.

  6. Judie olivero says

    Cindy – this post was soooooooooo perfect! Fifty years ago I saw, for the first time, Jackie Lanham’s work in Southern Accents- shortly thereafter, I bought my first globe, first zebra rug and first good pieces of blue and white! I still have them and I still love them. Thank you for bringing this 82 yr. old woman such joy!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Judie

      I too have admired Jackye Lanham’s work for years. So glad you enjoyed seeing her latest!!

  7. Elizabeth says

    Cindy, it is refreshing to see classic, collected homes on blogs instead of the same neutral pallet with no character. Now, if that is what you like that is great. I’ve been a collector my entire life, in fact I have things in my house that I collected and saved from my travels when I was 16. Yikes that make me old. Yet when I see them I am instantly transported back in time and it make s me smile. Thanks for sharing your updated post, I am off to explore some of these links. Happy weekend

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Elizabeth

      I so agree about collecting things you love. My husband and I started collecting antiques before we were out of college. I think we still have a couple of those things today. We would buy something that we liked at a good price, and trade up when we found something we liked better. That is how we acquired the collection we have today. You have me thinking about what piece we have owned the longest. Hey Bill and Judy you might know better than us!

  8. Janet Arden says

    I’ve always loved your look and this is such great advice. IO’ve followed much of this advice but keep tweaking. We just sold out home and re moving to a new build — i can’t wait to start tweaking there!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Janet

      Have fun with your new home! I think it is healthy to move on. We haven’t regretted our choice for a minute. We thought we would, but it was time for a change for us!!

  9. Jan Correll says

    This was perfect timing! We sold our home unexpectedly and have bought another. I do love a clean slate and loved every point you made.

    Thanks, Cindy!

    Jan Correll
    Silver is the New Blonde®

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Jan!

      Congratulations on your new home! Will you be moving far away or staying in the same vicinity?

  10. LA CONTESSA says

    YOU DID COME FOR LUNCH and I heard years after YOU DISLIKE EGG SALAD in general…….even if it was from my own chickens!
    I have been told my house looks like a” MUSEUM” a few times and ITALIAN(NOT AT ALL!)I do have a few good pieces of ART……But not on display for folks to take in a REAL DEGAS and a DALI………….for MY eyeS ONLY.I HAVE THE COLLECTED LOOK DOWN!
    PS I had the blue cupboard at one time that KELLY has and the glass JARS on top which were worth a fortune!I SOLD them back in the days when I had an antique shop!I just WoNDER…….how small this world can be!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Elizabeth

      I always tell people about that luncheon because really fresh eggs taste nothing like regular eggs. I actually loved the lunch! I have spotted pieces in magazines that we have owned over the years. We traded up a lot when we were younger. Most of what we own now we don’t want to get rid of but we sure had fun collecting it back in the day. We still love finding smalls.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Mary Ann

      As you know when you write a post that gets a lot of traffic and the pictures are bad and the copy old and not so relevant it is time to update!!

  11. holly says

    Beautiful collection of inspiration. I was just looking at your Spring refresh post the other day!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Holly

      We have another Spring refresh coming up but I think I am going to use my son’s home. We are in packing mode once again.

  12. cherie says

    Everything you say is just spot on. Great neutral pieces with a mix of old and new, plus collections and items from travels. They all make a home warm, inviting and timeless. Your homes speak of your ability to blend so many styles together to make a harmonious living space.
    Loved all of your glimpses of terrific interiors. I do have to admit, if given a chance, I’d change (and it’s really bugging me) Steven Gambrel’s basket shelf on the right of the fireplace — I really want to go in there and add more baskets or add additional items!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Cherie

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I love your Steven Gambrel comment. That’s what we decor enthusiasts do!

  13. Kathysue says

    Great post, loved this post Cyndi. I need to take a page out of your book when it comes to textures. I love baskets for texture and try to incorporate those, but I love your layered look.

  14. designchic says

    So many great tips, Cindy. I love using neutrals and then mixing transitional design with an antique here and there…and pieces from your travels adds such interest. Happy Wednesday ~

    • Jane says

      Safe advice Cindy. I want my home to reflect my taste but also be timeless because I don’t want to have to make major changes should I need or want to move on. Neutrals always work and adding antiques and art are always wonderful personal touches. ♥️


  15. Mary Ann Pickett says

    I learn so much from you everyday, Cindy!!! Buy what you love….texture…antiques. I have a client right now that we are recovering an antique settee in her master bedroom…it may cost more than buying new with the gorgeous fabric we are using…but it's so nice with the mix. Going to do a lot of pinning here.

  16. La Contessa says

    YOU have to SEE MY HOME as it doesNOT FALL into any of these………………
    TO some I may be a HOARDER………TO ME……… is a FEAST FOR THE EYES and SOUL.
    Imagine old COUNTRY Home lost in ENGLAND…………….I"m still working on it's BEAUTY!!!
    When are YOU coming for LUNCH HERE?

    • Gray says

      I just LOVE your style Cindy! Mine is not dissimilar, just a little more color! I am wondering if you have always gravitated toward southwestern/spanish colonial or if you sort of adopted it upon your move to CA? Always so good!!!

      • Cindy Hattersley says

        Hi Gray

        I love color too. You know we have spent most of our married life in the Spanish colonial that we sold. I thought it was probably the last I would ever live in. Who knew we would end up in this rental, and now moving on to another combination. I would say the new house has hints of the Southwest and California in it’s design. So it will be different.

  17. Karen says

    I love this series. As a an over 55-er, I sometimes worry I will get too "old lady house" so I'm forever editing and tweaking. I am very comfortable with my furniture which is what you suggest in this piece, largely a combination of antiques, traditional lines and neutral colorways. Your examples through images always inspires me.

    • Cindy says

      Karen your home is lovely but yes we always worry that we might get that granny look!! That is why updating our accessories keeps it fresh!

  18. Jeanne Henriques says

    Great post Cindy, I am with you all the way on each and every one of them. We picked neutrals for Tahilla Farm. I love that we can add bits and pieces from our travels and let the story continue. Feels like home…every time. Always inspired by your posts Cindy, thank you! xx

    • Cindy says

      Jeanne I love everything that I have seen of Tahilla Farm. It has your signature style which is everything I mentioned in this article!!

    • Cindy says

      Ha! I totally agree about the art. It has taken me awhile to appreciate the importance of art. You are dead on!

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