apps, tech + online

10 Can’t-Miss Instagrammers Over 40

by Garrett Fleming

Instagram is full of beautifully-curated feeds, the majority of which are run by 20-somethings wielding a camera and a point of view. I always find it refreshing, however, when I stumble upon a page published by someone a bit more seasoned. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not knocking my younger generation. Plenty of inspiring, up-and-coming creatives are doing wonders with the platform. But after taking a peek at some of the feeds we’ve rounded up for you today, I think you’ll agree that this older generation’s experience and years of craft have resulted in some truly motivating work. The narrative of their pages, the photos they publish, the places they’ve been — I strive to be just like them.

Ranging from interiors, cooking, styling and photography, each one shows off just how fabulous being over 40 can be. Their Instagram accounts have inspired me, and are sure to inspire others to keep creating. Enjoy! —Garrett

10 Can't-Miss Instagrammers Over 40, Design*Sponge
Decorator and blogger Judy Aldridge's feed is a crash-course in layered styling. Mismatched textiles and some of the most beautiful gallery walls I've ever seen often pop up on her page. Judy's network of friends and colleagues is pretty fabulous as well, and it's not uncommon for these other bloggers' and designers' homes to make an appearance on her Instagram, too. Good luck getting anything done once you start following this feed.
10 Can't-Miss Instagrammers Over 40, Design*Sponge
Kim France launched Lucky Magazine in 2000, but nowadays, the 50-year-old is focused on other ventures. After her time at Lucky came to a close, she had planned on writing a memoir, but has instead chosen to tell her story through the blog Girls of a Certain Age and her accompanying Instagram feed. Her snapshots are colorful and design centric, yet off-the-cuff. There's no over-styling here. She snapped this beautiful photo while in Nicaragua last fall.
10 Can't-Miss Instagrammers Over 40, Design*Sponge
Kim Mitchell Stokes' job as an Art Director for Banana Republic's Factory Store takes her to beautiful locations all over the place. Not only does her feed track these treks, it also gives followers a peek into her fashion blog, J'Adore Couture.
10 Can't-Miss Instagrammers Over 40, Design*Sponge
Sheila Bridges' resume reads like a list of dream jobs. She has hosted her own TV show, designed the Harlem offices of former President Bill Clinton, and she even wrote two best-selling books. Naturally, her feed is full of beautiful interiors designed by her talented team. Those pretty shots, however, are not what drew me to her page. It was her photography style that got my attention. Her strategic use of cropping helps each shot's colors, patterns and textures sing.
10 Can't-Miss Instagrammers Over 40, Design*Sponge
Artist and designer Jenny Kee embodies being bold at any age. Her eccentric, personal style and brightly-colored line of textiles are a welcome change from the pared-down, washed-out photos that seem to have overtaken Instagram. For me, I want a jolt of color to start my day, and Jenny never disappoints. Close-ups of her textiles, travel snapshots and an intimate look into the life of a designer make her feed truly unique.
10 Can't-Miss Instagrammers Over 40, Design*Sponge
Originally from Sierra Leone and now living in Australia, Elsie Davies, founder of "The Cooking Wardrobe," uses her feed to highlight recipes she's tried from around the world. Peppered throughout are inspiring peeks at her wardrobe's eye-catching colors and patterns.
10 Can't-Miss Instagrammers Over 40, Design*Sponge
Interior architect Joy Moyler's Instagram is full of celebrities, but they're often overshadowed by the stunning interior work she features. From initial sketches to fun finds - like these tiles she uncovered in her personal collection - the page is a great peek inside every stage of her design process.
10 Can't-Miss Instagrammers Over 40, Design*Sponge
It comes as no surprise that the page of writer and actor Christopher Mason is full of opulence and grandeur. After all, he does write for Architectural Digest and hosts the mystery series "Behind Mansion Walls." Over-the-top styling and a refreshing nod to the past makes his feed a must-see.
10 Can't-Miss Instagrammers Over 40, Design*Sponge
Food Photographer Penny De Los Santos explores different cultures, lifestyles and communities through the food she captures. Her photos are more organic and much less staged than the majority of food photography that dominates Instagram nowadays.
10 Can't-Miss Instagrammers Over 40
Photographers Andria Lo and Valerie Luu's recent project Chinatown Pretty took them to the streets of the San Francisco neighborhood to capture its older residents' inspiring outfits. Their unpredictable assortment of accessories and happy grins keep me coming back to this page time and time again. The unaffected styling is a great starting point for some out-of-the-box home decorating as well. Why not take the subjects' off-the-wall color combinations and apply those to throw pillows and textiles throughout your home?

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  • I love Chinatown Pretty! It has had me looking at the way older people put fashion together in a whole new light.

  • Excellent post. I skim over the beige of youth waiting for the color of middle age. Thanks for these.

  • As a 41 year old I am so happy to see 40+ IG accounts featured here. Like you said, the world is dominated by the young/pretty/curated feeds so it’s very important that the older generation also shows their faces and work, because not everything is dewy skin, rumpled sheets and weekend brunches.
    I do admire young artists and creatives and the work ethic that is showcased throughout IG, but it’s great to get a bigger idea of what’s out there. Thank you.

  • Thanks for highlighting us “more seasoned” instagrammers, although I have to say that I never thought of myself as an “out of the norm” user until just now! :-) I resisted getting a smart phone for years, but finally gave in, got one, and started using Instagram about a year ago. I have become completely addicted, love the daily visual feast (I only allow myself to go on it once a day, or I won’t get anything else done). :-)

  • I wish this category didn’t have to exist and that artsy instagrammers are just that. And, I’m happy to see that in the online world I inhabit there are hundreds of extremely creative middle aged women and beyond. Thanks for highlighting a few.

    • Carin

      I agree. And I don’t think any of us here at DS think of creatives exclusively in categories like this (based on age or any other factor), but I think it’s important to call attention to under-represented (or discussed) groups. If it helps someone find one of these people for the first time and learn more about them and their work, it’s a great first step.

      Grace :)

      • Thanks, Grace! I know you feel the same way and have been a champion for those under-represented groups for years now, and it’s appreciated. I apologize if my frustration seems aimed at this blog. Ageism in the art and design world (let alone our entire culture) is a great thing to address. Looking forward to the book!

        • Carin

          Oh no problem at all! I totally agree with you. I’m all for putting more effort into representing (and celebrating) all people who are underrepresented in media (and especially in the art/design world). That was the idea that inspired the book- I’m so excited to share it with everyone- the women inside are so incredible.

          Grace :)

  • Thank you for enjoying my IG feed! It’s a great opportunity to find people enjoying my craziness and divine stumblings from living in New York, my travels, inspiration and work. These passions are exhilarating.
    Of course meeting new people is the best part.

    Joy Moyler

  • Nice post filled with lots of inspiration. I would love to see more articles/posts of 40+ creatives. I love Lisa Congdons story. It is very inspiring to read about late bloomers as well as the young talented. And what about 50+ and 60+, where are they? I am sure they still create but one never see or read about them anywhere. Except from the very famous artists/designers. Just a thought but it makes me wonder …

    • Omg….we are here…I’m 63 and certainly don’t feel like a dinosaur…when you are an artist or designer of course you “still create”…creativity doesn’t disappear just because we grow older…instead we get better….maybe if you are really interested you should do some research…look up Ann Wood, Jennifer Orkin Lewis, Charlotte Lyons, Pam Garrison, Wendy Addison.. And this oldie is even on Instagram….cheryllombardo701…remember Grandma Moses started painting when she was 90!

      • Cheryl

        No one here is calling people dinosaurs or saying that creativity stops as you get older. Quite the opposite. We cover people over 40 regularly on DS and agree they everyone deserves to be celebrated, we are interested in all creative people regardless of age.


        • Sorry Grace… That reply was really not directed to you, as I admire you greatly and know you are all inclusive… It was really directed to Mia, the reply directly above mine, it kind of shocked me for the moment and I impulsively, at 11:18 pm, responded…thank you for your wonderful blog, your beautiful IG feed, and, I, being a passionate dog lover, so enjoy your dogs…

            • Hi Cheryl. I know that there are lots of artists and designers 40+ out there. And that is exactly what I meant. I would love to read about all creative people whatever age they are. I certainly didnt mean or see anyone as dinasaurs. Sorry if my comment upset you. My intention was to highlight that there are so many interesting people that have long experience of a creative life and I wish these people would be interviewed in popular blogs as well as the younger ones. My english isn’t the best but I hope this explain my comment a little better. And Thanx DS for your great work. /Mia 46

  • Yes!

    We are legion.

    Instagram is my preferred photo/video media and I am 50. Thank you for showcasing the 40+ creatives.

  • I should look into this more, but I suspect that most of the people I follow on Instagram are over 40, and it would be surprising if even 20% are under 30. There are some interesting and vibrant communities of IGers where most are older than 20-something. In my mid-30s, I’m at the younger end of IGers in the genres in which I typically post photos.

  • Mia, if you wonder where those of us over 50 are, well we’re here, but just not advertising it, I guess it’s just easier to not call attention to one’s age. In fact, I am personally seeing a huge wave of creative energy in my own generation as jobs and other distractions are left behind and we have time and energy to pick up our creative lives where we left them off decades ago. We have alot more in common with twenty-somethings than most people would guess.

    • Thank you for answering my comment. I can see that I didnt explain myself well enough. Sorry. English isn’t my first language. I don’t think that age is important but what comes with it – experience is. I would love to read, learn and get inspired of other creatives in all ages. Sometimes I feel that it would be nice if artist/designers with a long worklife would be interviewed more often – I kind of miss their story on the design blogs I read. It inspires me to know how people with longer experience then myself manage ups & downs in a creative life. All the best/Mia

  • Fantastic, influential and lovely. I hope this becomes a somewhat regular feature on DS, because curating all categories of beauty and sharing it with the rest of us is such a generous, inspiring broadcast. For those of us over 50, seeing similar social-media-savvy creative peers keeps the fires stoked. It’s encouraging, and now I’ve got 10 new forms of eye candy in my IG feed. Thank you.

  • I think it is really important in a society based on the concept of youth and freshness to remind people that it is never too late to do what you like.
    It is very much like that in fashion, a bit less in the interior world where experience is important.
    I recently watched a documentary based on stories behind the blog Advanced Style and I was very inspired by it.
    Thank you for the post, I will definitely check this post.
    P.S: by the way I am forty, my blog should be included in this category ;)

  • I think I do a fairly good job on Instagram myself…lsbsimagination…and I’m over 70!
    I started just looking at quilt posts…decided my photos were just as good…started sharing my things a few weeks ago

  • There are some great feeds here, thanks for sharing them! I’m 43, and I have to admit it’s a little weird to be included in the group that’s kind of forgotten (over 40). And I just last year quit my job to be a full-time artist (weaver and painter). I don’t feel old or out of touch or obsolete! Thanks for bringing attention to us “olds” and for being so inclusive :)

  • Great post!! Who said people over 40 can’t rock it?

    I’m on IG, over 40, with a focus on art, shopping, and eating!


  • I just came across this- for me it’s not at all a matter of age on IG but finding simpatico souls that share your aesthetic or open you up to discovery. It’s thrilling when you find them . Calling out the over 40’s or any age just seems ridiculous to those of us over it. lol!

  • Loved this!! There is a feed that I am ABSOLUTELY in love with…@iconaccidental. She’s definitely more editorial fashion, but she just WINS in my opinion. I love that this post highlights all the FABULOUS 40+ creatives. They say life begins at 30 and really takes off at 40…..

  • Thank you for this! I think as we focus on inclusivity and diversity, we often overlook age. Looking forward to following all these accounts.

  • I’m over 40 and I love Instagram! It has changed the way I do my photography and promote my work, as well as given me a new platform to reach a wider audience.