Test of Time

by Laura Casey Interiors on June 8, 2009

There are a few key pieces when furnishing a home that you can count on to last a very long time if you pick the right ones. Often people say that their styles have changed or that they have grown tired of their furnishings. Here are a few key pieces that I feel will stand the test of time. 

A tight back sofa. Clean lines with not too oversized arms.

A durable fabric and some throw pillows and you are set for a long time.


A beautiful lightly tufted Jansen sofa with just the right proportions.

picture-3Chinoiseriehas never gone out of style and it never will. I can’t resist papers by de Gournay


Even with contemporary furnishings and accessories the wallpaper still looks great.


A wing chair is also a good investment. There are many updated versions of the wing chair so it doesn’t have to look like your great-grandmothers. Williams Sonoma Home makes a nice looking with great looking nickel or brass nail heads.



A few good table lamps are key investments. A Bouillette Lamp has a more traditional look but when paired with some eclectic accessories or a more muted palette it doesn’t look too dated. Daryl Carter did this nicely, though I am not into the Georgia O’Keefe style accessories…


Beautiful Venetian glass lamps from John Salibello Antiques. 


A great four-poster bed from Ralph Lauren. I love the caning at the headboard.


A great kitchen table is essential to family meals. Whether your style is a little more traditional or transitional you can’t go wrong with a basic farmhouse table that will only get better with age. I would be especially happy if the farmhouse table was made with reclaimed wood.

picture-161Iconic fabrics should get their own post because there are too many to pick from. What I will say though is there are some trendy ones today and there are some classics. Many of the ones today are based on those from the master himself. If you know the history of a fabric it will never be dated. Thank you Mr. Hicks


When choosing coffee table books pick ones that you are genuinely interested in. They can make for great conversation topics. When working with a client I try to remember things that they like as we go through the process. A client might mention that he or she  loves Cy Twombly artwork or the style  of Bunny Williams. What never goes out of style is books that you are interested in and enjoy discussing.



A simple arrangement of peonies or hydrangea from your local farmers market is always classic.


The list could go on….A Billy Baldwin  étagère, a hand-knotted rug in beautiful colors, a klismos chair.  I think soon I will do a post on what I think is trendy today and what I doubt we will see in 25 years from now. 

In your eyes, what will stand the test of time?


Photo Credits: Baker Furniture (1), Jansen Sofa (2,Pigtown Design), de Gournay (3,4), Williams-Sonoma Home (5,6), Daryl Carter, John Salibello, RL Home, David Hicks, Ursus Books, Bunny Williams, Google images

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The power of purple «
January 31, 2010 at 11:56 pm

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1 Annie London Tcherepnin June 8, 2009 at 6:56 am

Bright pink peonies are my absolute favorite flower! There is something so perfectly disorganized about them – they are a juxtaposition of modern and traditional, aren’t they? I’m glad you say wingback chairs are timeless…I’m trying to figure out where mine will go in a new house!

2 Jennifer French June 8, 2009 at 7:53 am

What a lovely collection. I agree, good quality classical pieces stand the test of time and look great in any surroundings and company. Love the wallpaper!

3 Tricia - Avolli June 8, 2009 at 8:49 am

These are some really great suggestions and you are right that a few key pieces should stand the test of time. I would also suggest an antique farmhouse table could be even better than a table made out of reclaimed wood…why not go for the real thing and have something that has already stood the test of time. It will hold its value over time as well.

I’m sure I could make a few suggestions :-)

Tricia – Avolli

4 Things That Inspire June 8, 2009 at 12:22 pm

I recently read somewhere that anything old has already stood the test of time, so will usually be classic and timeless. But, given the cyclical nature of what is considered ‘timeless’, often when people decorate their homes with the idea of being timeless, they are influenced by the trends of today (and maybe even the trends of 30 years ago given the cyclical nature of design). The bottom line – buy what you love!

My husband’s grandmother build a grand home 45 years ago, and decorated it with the very best of antiques and things she loved. She collected the antique over a number of years, so every piece has a story. 45 years later, and her home is still classic and timeless. There are a few things that look dated – mainly the sofas – but everything else is gorgeous.

5 karlene June 8, 2009 at 10:52 pm

I LOVE that fabric, I want it for roman shades!

6 pve June 9, 2009 at 8:07 am

One of the things that always has intrigue – are going on home tours or historic tours and seeing how Art always stands the test of time. My favorite tour here is “Kykuit” and I love seeing all the artwork. I also love antiques mixed with modern pieces.

7 Kristen June 9, 2009 at 3:30 pm

The peonies in my garden are about to bloom! Can’t wait to bring them inside. A beautiful collection… I love the shape of the first sofa. I’ll tab that for when I’m ready to change up our living room.

8 meg June 9, 2009 at 7:59 pm

This is a great list and love your advice on the coffee table books because I think that staying true to your style is what really stands the test of time.

9 Eileen January 5, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Ohhh, I can’t resist de Gournay either! Luscious! I want to cover all my walls with de Gournay! :)

10 The power of purple « January 31, 2010 at 11:56 pm

[…] More lilac and gray, this time combined with a sophisticated chinoiserie. If you’re going to indulge in a fanciful wallpaper like this, you may as well go the whole hog and choose an other-worldly purple for your colors. Via Simplified Bee, via Laura Casey Interiors. […]

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