An Old Desk Gets a Modern Pink Makeover

          This was a quick project that I needed to tackle for the sake of my own sanity. I've said it before & I'll say it again: making old things new again, and the process of updating unwanted objects is like therapy for me. Free therapy. Lately I've been mentally bogged down by big projects hanging over my head, like prettying up the world's brownest kitchen, and the entire prospect of downsizing our current home. So I decided to take on a small project that could be done in a matter of days.


          I found this little desk and brought it home. Somewhere in its life, it lived with a cat who hated it, and demonstrated this by scratching the hell out of it. Other than the scratches and possible toddler bites on the lower right, it was in great condition. I love how the legs splay, giving it character without looking too fancy. The original hardware was mostly salvageable, except for the two lower knobs on the right, which had also been destroyed by the aforementioned angry animal that hates pretty wooden things.

          Inspired by this romantic month, I opted for pink and a bit of floral, and this may be a first. I can't remember painting anything pink before. My girls aren't fans of the color pink, so I haven't had the opportunity.  And they certainly don't care for flowers.      

          As usual, I am amazed by the magic of General Finishes Gel Stain. I used an old t-shirt to apply a thin coat of gel stain all over the dark lower section, to blend away the hate scratches and revive the overall finish. I sealed my work with a coat of GF High Performance Top Coat in Satin, my personal favorite top coat.

          For hardware, I was down two original knobs, so I used the remaining "good ones" on top, simply painted the same pink, and purchased two simple unfinished wooden knobs (for .79!), and stained those with the same Java Gel Stain. The goal was to make the hardware blend in.


          Here is something exciting and new! I have a place to take my furniture when it's fixed and beautiful and my therapy is complete. As much as I love the process of improving furniture, my house is full, and fixing furniture does not lend itself to my new fledgling minimalist ideals and the whole effort to have less stuff. Enter my friend Amanda. We met and immediately connected at a conference last summer. We have this whole Converse, Birkenstock, ripped jeans, and Jack White thing that sparked the friendship, certainly firmed up by more important things. But every friendship has to start somewhere, right?

         Amanda lives in the next state over. (that would be Kentucky) Not so close that we can have coffee every morning, dang it, but close enough that I can hop in the car for a mind-clearing drive and spend a few hours in her company, which always leaves me feeling energized and glittery. Because she throws glitter at people. Literally and figuratively. A few months ago she opened The Georgetown Makery and an attached store, by and for makers, Magpie at The Makery, with her best friend, Stacey. My girls might not want a two-toned modern pink desk, but perhaps someone who shops at Magpie will. This piece and others will be there soon!

          Care to see what my friends have been up to in the past month?

J Burns Designs- Cass Toy Chest
Thirty Eighth Street- Scandinavian Inspired Nightstands
That Sweet Tea Life- A Fireplace Fabulous,.. With SPiT

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Master Bedroom | Masculine Mid Century Boho

          I have been working on the master bedroom, and I'm finally organized enough to share the plan and the progress! This has been a slow process. I'm taking my time in here, careful to get the ideas straight in my head, to reflect exactly how I want this room to feel - embracing slow design. With so much beauty and inspiration out there, sometimes what I love doesn't work in this house, (thanks to the off-white trim) and I adjust accordingly. So, after more than two years of pinning and thinking (see my inspiration pics here), I pulled the trigger and bought some paint.

master bedroom, decorating, design, boho, mid century

          This room sits on the corner of the house and has windows on two sides, the north and west. With plenty of sunlight throughout the day, I feel good about going dark for a cozy room that doesn't feel like a depressing cave. Here are a few "before" pics. 

          Over the years, we tried the bed on both walls and settled on the wall with two windows. I am a fan of symmetry, and it drove me batty to have a window on one side of the bed, and a blank wall on the other side. But place the bed between two windows, and it feels balanced.

          The lucite ball lamps were retired, and the old Pottery Barn metal bed went into storage. We bought that bed in 2005! I've had my eye on a beautiful headboard at West Elm, but I can't justify $900+ for a headboard. I'm not Warren Buffett for crying out loud, so I made my own simple wooden headboard. I'll show you how I made mine soon. I love the rich, warm woodgrain against the gray walls. It also coordinates nicely with the sweet old dresser I fixed up.

          I went with a medium gray on the walls - this is Benjamin Moore Chelsea Grey. I used the same color in the powder room, and I love it in there. But the lighting is different in the bedroom, and sometimes it takes on an army green tone, so I may repaint at some point. So much for beauty of slow design. On the bright side, Jason loves it, and it's better than builder beige! 

          So that's the plan! The difficult things are done; room is painted, the headboard is in place, and the brass & glass globe pendant lights are hung. Below, Jasper is demonstrating his ability to relax regardless of camera proximity. (in the pic below, the headboard was leaning in place, not yet attached.)

          I am still finding and layering the bedding, and most of the furniture is there. The vintage Bassett dresser is my favorite piece so far. I'm patiently looking for the perfect pair of night stands, and a Persian rug. I have a set of four mid century legs that will be used to build a bench for the foot of the bed. It's coming together, but I have a handful of projects to tackle before it is done.

Vintage Bassett dresser makeover

          It feels great to walk into this room that finally feels like our style. More to come next week!
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Powder Room Redesign | Week Four Final Design

          It's the final week of the $100 Room Challenge! A group of talented bloggers, led by Erin at Lemons, Lavender, and Laundry, came together for a four week challenge to makeover a room with only $100. A challenge to spend a minimal amount of money and use what you have on hand to create something beautiful is my idea of a worthwhile project.

          My room looked like this when we started, just a blank canvas ready for some personality. 

          My design board showed texture from wall baskets, color in the framed art and flowers, and a warm gray wall color. 

          The chair functions only as a small decorative element for that slanted wall, and a place to set your iPhone when you piddle, not that I know from experience. I tried many cabinets in all sizes and shapes, and each one made the room feel cluttered and small. The chair was just a happy mistake. I brought it home from Goodwill at the time I was working on this room. It sat in the mudroom just outside the bathroom, and the wood just looked so pretty against the wall color, and it worked so well with the baskets. So there it stayed. And the Hank Williams print is staying there too; I just like it!

          This room feels so warm and pulled together. My daughter was looking at "before" pictures with me this morning, and she cringed at pictures of the old room. It had no personality. Even when it was clean and perfectly in order, it felt cold and clinical. So we are all happy to have a finished powder room!


          The total spent on this project came in under $100!
  • $30 - light fixture over sink 
  • $5 - old wooden chair 
  • $6 - Hank Williams print
  • $2 - thrifted baskets 
  • the paint was leftover from the master bedroom, another ongoing project 
  • the frames, majority of the baskets, turquoise rug, and the vase & flowers were already owned
  • the mirror came free with this dresser (score!)

          Go visit the other rooms below! There are some real beauties, and so much inspiration for refreshing a room without blasting through your budget. Thank you Erin for organizing this challenge!

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