Arts & Crafts Magazine

a Room with a Vintage Soul: My Office Update

By Laharris1

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Hello friends.

It’s been awhile since I posted on the progress of my office

but actually there’s a good reason

First of all, the big lesson I keep learning with fixer uppers is that everything always takes longer than you think. Always.


And believe me once you accept this little fact it get’s easier.

(Sort of. Yoga helps)

The second reason this room has taken so long is ME.

I’ve realized I can only go so fast because I prefer to decorate with collected items. And although I really admire those of you who can go on a shopping binge and find everything at once, …that doesn’t seem to work for me.


I like to ‘feel’ my way through the process, and unfortunately that means waiting until I stumble on that certain item or idea that will fit my vision for the space.

Can you relate?

Previous Owners: Before

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(the base boards are scheduled for next week)

So here I am, finally with an update on my office.

And I have to say, so far it’s become My Happy Place in our new home, full of sentimental touches that make me feel so grateful.

Black or White? 

Here’s my answer.

As a lot of you already guessed, I went with white all the way.

The walls and the bead board wallpaper are painted with BM’s Simply White.

The bookshelves are painted BM’s Brilliant White left-over from another room—and the floors are painted with white porch paint.


I honestly feel like the bookshelves that Dad made HERE set the tone for this whole space.

When I’m in here I’m surrounded by all my funny-joyful memories of their recent visit. And I love how my beloved books span the entire wall.

Choosing between black and white bookshelves was made easier because I lived with this wall painted black for a while; it confirmed that even though I love the dramatic, chic look of black bookshelves in this little space all that black felt too overpowering to me.

Isn’t color selection a fascinating experience?

I find it so intuitive.

How do you pick a paint color?


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Before: Previous Owner’s Closet



After: My Closet


Can you see my TV?


And ta-daaaaa …

here’s the barn door that I made with my Dad

It’s hung with black iron hardware and I love the rustic vibe it gives to this feminine room.

Look closely. You would never know those are fake planks in the center would you?

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Painting the inside of the closet was a perfect way to get my dose of black in the room plus it’s a cool backdrop for the vintage globes and my TV.



BEFORE: Empty Wall



AFTER: A wall of bookshelves


Practically everything in here has been recycled or found in a thrift store. Remember this desk?  I originally painted it a deep blue for Michael’s college room with his soccer number on it.

You won’t recognize it if you go HERE to see it.


A few collected oils hang next to Michael’s art assignment. A pencil drawing of a pumpkin that he wanted to throw away. Kids.


This precious valentine framed from thirty-three years ago

adds to the feeling of tender memories in here.

I had just broken up with a boyfriend (i.e. no Valentine) when Papa gave me this carefully typed little paper and I was so touched.

“…the heart does not forget such things

I know this especially.

Because my heart is filled with thoughts

of all the things you’ve done for me.”



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  • The clock that sat in my pink and red little-girl-bedroom and served as my night light for years.
  • A photo of my Mom when she was on one of her first ‘dates’ with my Dad,
  • A hook with the Rosary that my Grandfather prayed on hangs with my hubby’s rosary from his childhood.
  • Pressed flowers I found decades ago in a thrift store. Two framed and dated May 19 1938. There’s neat handwriting by someone I find totally mysterious recording their romantic outing on a Spring day

(at least that’s my version, wink)


And I leave you with one last photo.

This one actually made me wince:


Can you guess why?

Because it clearly shows the lack of a baseboard. Then I realized my cell phone’s on the desk too but not in a stylish way. And opps! There’s the remote for the TV.

And even though I liked this picture because the sun was going down and the roses appear lit, I thought about deleting it. Or photo-shopping the bottom out.

But then I remembered a line I’d read HERE about perfection.

How perfection is a synonym for stagnant, how it’s a mirage because it’s not real life.

We bloggers know that better than most because we style and shoot lots of pretty photos.

So this time I decided to leave my ugly base-board missing wall in the picture because I figured that any place or person with a true vintage soul should  be comfortable with lots of flaws.

What do you think?


thank you for visiting today

you’re such a cute little blessing.



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Technorati Tags: room with a vintage soul,office re-do,cottage country,white bookshelves,DIY barn door

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