How to Embrace Collected Style

Earlier this week, The Glam Pad’s Contributing Editor and interior designer, Natalie Aldridge, shared a tour of her chic Upper East Side apartment with Homeworthy. If you missed it, we’ve included the video below… Her style is collected, old world, sophisticated, and whimsical. It is a lovely representation of her personality! Today Natalie is sharing a few of tips for creating your own collected style that showcases the story of your life.

“Home to me is a space where you feel comfortable to express yourself, and be creative, and explore all your fascinations with hobbies and decorating and collecting and anything you want to do,” Natalie told Homeworthy.  “I don’t like things in my own life to be too decorated or too planned or too perfect. I like a little bit of quirkiness and found objects… I just like to collect my space and make it feel like something that was found rather than decorated,” she continued.

Natalie loves incorporating estate sale items and antiques into her home, not only because of the quality and uniqueness of the piece, but for the story behind them. “I really like making up a life or a story for someone who previously owned them,” Natalie explained while pointing to an antique mirror she purchased from the estate of a 100-year-old world traveler who lived in Wisconsin. “Obviousy I didn’t know the woman who owned this mirror, but I have this idea of who she might have been, and I love carrying that with me.”


  1. Collect what makes you smile no matter the provenance or cost. 

I often find that the term “collecting” is daunting to many. The notion of a collection often conjures an idea of high value, rarity, and exclusivity. The sight of rare first-edition books, watches, or cars may come to mind. It’s time to throw that notion out! If something evokes memories, and creativity, and makes you smile or even laugh, it is worth keeping around. 

2. Trust your intuition. 

Items of adoration tend to find their homes quite naturally. Trust your gut when acquiring a new item so that it will find its place.

3. Keep it clutter free! 

Clutter, or at least the impression of it, instantly degrades a space. The best way to avoid this is to group like items. A lone-standing ashtray or matchbook can seem disparate and even messy. Grouping like items brings intention and drama while eliminating a sense of clutter.

4. Take your time.

Interiors do not come together overnight. Not even in a year. As an interior designer, I find the glossy pages of shelter magazines can be deceiving. A spread in a magazine highlighting the glorious interiors created by a skilled designer can give the impression of a space coming together quickly and seamlessly. The reality is quite the opposite.

Complete interior design projects, from gut renovations to decorating, take years. And that does not account for the years before a designer steps in that a client spent collecting and building their aesthetic preferences.

5. Up-cycle.

Nothing brings me more joy than finding a new life for an old piece of furniture. Many pieces in my apartment are estate sales or second-hand finds that I have refinished, recovered, and restored on my own. This is not for everyone though. Many upholstery shops, local furniture makers, and even some Etsy stores can realize your vision for you.

6. Cherish your family heirlooms.

Cyclically, it seems my generation has an appreciation for heirlooms far over the previous generation. Heirlooms are so important in keeping the story of your family alive for decades to come.

7. Forget the labels. 

Labeling the style or period of your home can often stifle the interiors. Items of modernity mix perfectly well with antiquity. 

8. Search high and low. 

You never know where you may find your next acquisition. I scour estate sales, auction websites, antique shops, markets across the globe, and everywhere in between when I am in search of something for my home. You never know where you will come across your next treasure. 

9. Remember your audience. 

At the end of the day, the audience of your home is you! A home is not a stage set for good impressions. Home is a reflection of you and it is a space for expression. 

10. Have fun! 

Do not take yourself or your interiors too seriously. This is supposed to be fun after all. 

Shop some of Natalie’s finds!

Follow TGP on Instagram: @theglampad

Follow Natalie on Instagram: @natalieealdridge


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