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Collecting Over Time – The Advantages Of Getting Older

Living room mantle arrangement

Growing older has it’s decorating advantages. You know how designers say a room/home should look like the possessions were collected over time? Well, years of shopping just naturally make that happen. However it can seem impossible when you’re young and first starting out. But it’s not! The best way to achieve that look is to buy vintage. And if you have the time, search out every yard and estate sale, junk shop, antique shop, thrift store and auction you possibly can. Every weekend. You’ll be amazed how fast the decor accumulates and how cheaply you can do this. 

There’s certainly nothing wrong with buying all new things. But to achieve that time collected look, someone has to have collected it over time. When we buy all new, we run the risk of looking like every other home out there. Have you taken blog home tours where every single room in every single house was white walls, white furniture, white accessories and you are seeing the same things in more than one home? Don’t get me wrong, they are beautiful! (And I think I’m about to paint my rooms white, too.) I’m just saying it’s harder to be an individual when you’re buying your decor at the same place your neighbors are.

Here are some of my favorite collected areas in my home. I’ve had most of these things a long, long time and they are all still favorites. 


Dining room buffet. Collected treasures.

The items on this buffet were collected over the years. I fell in love with the lamp way back in 1967 when my mother had an interior decorator come and “do” the whole house. This lamp was in their bedroom. It became mine after she passed away in 1999. If I had to guess, I’d say the total cost of everything on the buffet plus the morning glory painting cost me approximately $20.00. 

Vignette of collected items on top of primitive cabinet.

I can safely say that every one of these things and the primitive cabinet are particular favorites. The painting cost $5.00. The velvet roses under the cloches were only a dollar or so. The bottles, next to nothing. The mid century (who in their right mind would mix mid century modern with primitives? Me! That’s who!) bottle with the flame tip stopper was a couple of bucks at a neighbor’s moving/estate sale. The gold, fancy thing on the wall to the right was, if I remember correctly, $10 at an estate sale. It’s actually about 5′ tall. I never tire of looking at this vignette.

Living room mantle arrangement

The most expensive thing in this picture is the print – the print you can’t really see. I actually paid $40 for it at an antique mall simply because it was the colors I needed for that room and I did actually love the print. And frame. The little blue cabinet was $10 at a church yard sale. I think the blue scenic vase sitting on top was $5 at an auction. More than I’d typically pay for something like that, but I’ve had it at least 15 years and what started out being something I intended to sell, turned into a beloved item. The busts were $10 for the pair at a yard sale. I remember someone else had them and asked how much. When the seller said $10 she said she wasn’t going to pay that much for them. I practically snatched them out of her hands. The Mr. has since had his head broken off and glued back on, which endears him even more to me. All these things have been around here at least 15 years. Oh, except the crown looking thing. It’s a gutter guard cloche I made a few years ago.

Goddess statue

I bought this goddess statue 10-15 years ago as well. You can read her story here. She didn’t always look like this. She was under $5. The pedestal she’s on was $5 or $10 and hea-vy! The sofa belonged to my parents. When Daddy moved, it was a bit too formal for his great room, so it came to my house. But that’s a whole, ‘nuther blog post.

Collection of wooden dough bowls

One last collection that started a long time ago. Wooden dough bowls. The largest one, I bought at an antique store way back in the early 1980’s, for $30-40 with money I made from having a yard sale. The others came from yard sales through the years, none over $5. The latest one was bought a couple of years ago for a dollar. It’s the second best one I have. And I have a note telling who it belonged to originally. Now that’s special!

I’m participating in an over fifty blog hop party today. We’re all over 50 years old. It will surprise you when you see who is in this group. 

31 thoughts on “Collecting Over Time – The Advantages Of Getting Older

  1. Nothing beats the look of a home with treasures that have been collected over time. Love all your fabulous goodies!

    1. Thanks Betsy. That’s so sweet of you to say!

  2. Oh wow, Wanda! You have some really beautiful pieces and I love the way you display them in gorgeous vignettes. I have collected some things over the years but now you have me thinking about gathering them together and showing them off. Thanks.

    1. Oh, do! Creating vignettes with our collections is so fun.

  3. I love your collection that you have obtained through your beautiful years and its so true. I have a hard time getting rid of anything that has memories. So I have a special place in my attic that I go up and switch things out so I can remember them always. Great post

    1. I have my grandmother’s bedroom suit. She died nearly 10 years before I was born, so I do cherish the furniture. But I do not like it. It’s ugly, depression era furniture. Yet, I’ll keep it and pass it on to my daughter who also does not like it, but who will pass it on to her daughter – or it might go straight to her and bypass my daughter. LOL We’re a sentimental bunch. Well, I don’t know about Dani yet, but suspect she will be as well.

  4. You’ve got some beautiful pieces, Wanda! You are so right about achieving a time-worn look – it is what injects the personality into our spaces.

    1. Absolutely! I sometimes think my stuff shows a weird personality, but hey. What’cha gonna do? LOL

  5. I love all of your collectibles. I enjoy looking at how people decorate and the items they collect. It is so interesting to look at the character vintage things add to a house. You have some lovely objects.

    1. Thanks Debra! I love seeing other people’s collections and vignettes, too. Always find something inspiring.

  6. I’ve enjoyed all your little vignettes Wanda! I know you must have a beautiful home from all the glimpses I’m seeing.
    I love that little blue cabinet! Love your paintings too. Makes me wish I didn’t live in an open floor plan house. Downside of that is not enough walls!

    1. Aw, thanks Florence. I don’t think I would know what to do with an open floor plan. Although, long, narrow rooms present their own challenge.

  7. what a wonderful group of fab fifty women – I’ve had a lovely time popping around and seeing such creativeness (I feel like I’ve slipped in under the radar) I hope you all do it again soon x

    1. Aren’t they, though? I hope we do it again, too!

  8. Such beautiful pieces you’ve collected over time! Like you, I treasure old things rich in history, well loved over years of use. Loved your useful advice on creating a personal style.

    1. Thank you Wendi. Sometimes the history of an item is almost tangible, especially jewelry. Like you can almost feel the aura. We conducted an estate sale recently that was like that. So many things had a good, sweet, but sad feeling. That one was tough on me emotionally.

  9. Wanda, I so agree about using vintage to make a home unique! Your vignettes are lovely and the individual pieces are just stunning!! I’m a huge fan of collecting and I agree about the home tours where many of the homes look the same. A nice mix of old and new is just the right balance for me… 🙂

    1. You said it, Lory. A mix of old and new. I tend not to get much new, but not because I don’t like it. It’s just that old budget habits die hard. Oh, who am I kidding? I’m still on that small decorating budget! 😀

  10. Wanda, what a great blog post! Love the gold framed floral picture in your first grouping and the little blue cabinet.

    I will make a run through the attached blogs over the next few days. Several titles caught my eye.

    1. Thanks! Those are two of my favs as well. The painting has pieces chipped off the canvas, but I absolutely love it. I think it cost a couple of dollars.

  11. Those dough bowls are my favorite – what great finds you have!

    1. Thanks Jeanie. There’s something about the warm wood of a dough bowl, isn’t there?

  12. Love all of your beautiful treasures!

    1. Thanks Anne. You’re sweet to say that.

  13. I agree with you, Wanda, being older has advantage when decorating. We know vintage because we still own it and my mother still has some of our midcentury modern furniture.

    1. I wish I had the MCM things my mother had when I was growing up and hated it so! But sadly, most of it went the way of a yard sale way back in the early 1970’s. Like that 6′, silver, pom-pom, Christmas tree I said would never come back in style. Arghhhhhh!!!!!

  14. You’ve done a great job of showcasing pieces that might otherwise go un-appreciated. And that furniture in your attic? If you don’t change your mind about it, maybe your daughter will. Our tastes change over the years, so who knows?

    1. Oh, I don’t have furniture in the attic. Everything is out and being used. Wish I did have a place to hide it so I could get and use what *I* want. 🙂

  15. Fabulous post, Wanda! First, what a gorgeous home you must have, and secondly everything is breathtaking. I love the mix-and-match design style ~ i do that, too. Fabulous! Sharing 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Betty! I find my home comes up way short of my expectations, but then I see it Every. Single. Day. It helps me to appreciate it more when I focus on certain areas and show them in the blog. 😉

  16. Wanda – Thank you very much for sharing your collections. They really are all fabulous finds and I love how you have them displayed. I also agree with you – finding vintage items to decorate your home makes it even more special.

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