I have been rescuing old secretary desks of late from their drab existence in thrift stores. With a few repairs and a splash of paint they have come alive, ready to debut in their own Act II. Each is ready to tell a story—little reminders of yesterday scattered on their shelves. Happy to display books, china, family photos, collections aplenty…anxious to hear the stories their memorabilia evoke. The storytellers are many, their stories vary, but the constant remains—the word ‘remember’…
In the Nursery…
I framed the kids’ newborn hospital hats in shadow boxes backed with wallpaper. The birth announcement was cross stitched by my sister. I cast my daughter’s foot with a plaster-of-paris kit. I love that foot.
We added the book ledge. Just a piece of narrow wood trim from Home Depot attached with some small wire brads and wood glue was all it took. Books give the face of a fall front writing desk some character.
In the Music Room…
A music room—we should be so fortunate. I actually practiced my high school band clarinet in the furthest room from the main living area because I had no musical aptitude whatsoever. Yep, a hamper was my music stand. You know you stink (yes, that word is appropriate here) when the band director asks you to just carry a pair of cymbals in the marching band. Good times.
A great place for family photos and keepsakes. I love the secret compartments. Any space suddenly becomes charming when you add an old secretary with tons of personality.
In the Kitchen…
This book ledge is a handy spot to hold a recipe book.
In the Dining Room…
My favorite secretary. The perfect french blue backdrop for my collection of Mackenzie Childs. I ragged the focal wall years ago with Valspar paint from Lowes to cover up some floral wallpaper. The color glows when the sun shines through the window.
Yes, you have spotted one secretary doing double-duty. Which just shows how versatile they are—something you can move from room to room, depending on where life takes you. People change, needs change, and your secretary is always willing to change with you.
Some before photos…
4 Secretary Desks – Thrift Shops and Craigslist
Enamelware- Mackenzie Childs
Small Chair – Auction
Doll and Pillow – HomeGoods
Curtain Fabric – IKEA
Most Everything Else – Estate sales, Thrift shops, Auctions