new year = new desk

Each January, every store, shelter magazine, and now blogs talk about organization and show home office and closet organization tips and goals…This year I am actually ready, which is a good thing because i need to be more organized with receipts, bookkeeping and just about everything else.

This little space between the dining and kitchen was originally intended for a banquet which i would love but my husband wisely says it would be a tough spot to keep clean and really what I need is a desk and a place for samples, etc..i have the little office upstairs but it was all piling up on the counters and rarely making it upstairs between client appointments.  SO this idea was born. 

See the thing is, this space is DIRECTLY in front of..well the FRONT DOOR.  This photo shows the context..the rooms are all open now which i love but it was a new challenge..i didn’t want fabric on the desk and on all of the windows so i added the wood blind to the one window above the desk and the another over the sink…love them. So bam you walk in and this is what you see…So I decided knew the mdf desk counter needed  to extend the entire span otherwise a mere desk would just have piles on each eyesore from the front door.

My friend Camille had tackled this project in one of her homes so she cheered me on with instructions…honestly, the husband and I are not really DIYers at ALL..but with shelf brackets, MDF and a support post, voila…we have a desk.  The MDF top is painted SW PEPPERCORN..and of course the linen skirt covers it all (no in fact it has NOT been hemmed but one day). The lamps were $10 from the mission thrift store…they had hideous shades..even with new shades and ribbon and spray paint the lamps were a huge bargain. I feel like they add a bit of needed drama to the front door view.  I love my ivory boxes from Wal-Mart and my framed scrap of this fabric. Blogs & coffee print from Made by Girl.

For more context, the view from the new dining room area. Notice the Christmas card frame, i hope to frame two of the original blueprints from 1941 and hang them here one above the other. But until then I am still enjoying all of the wonderful holiday cards. 

So basically, what was once our breakfast nook is now an open walkway..i keep stools here that can be used when i sit to feed Henry at the highchair or pulled to the desk or to the table for extra seating..i love the stools. And i am thinking if we have a gathering  I can clear everything off of the desktop and use it as a buffet! The desk won’t be there forever..we may have a piano there within the next year or two but for now it works. (can’t you just see a black spinet there with white ironstone acorss the top…oh imagine the fun and CHAOS that will add to our home!)

But for now, I love all of the black together..the chalkboard paint, black back door and floors…i am really pleased with how it FINALLY came together. Our stairs are behind that chalkboard door…

Can you spot Scout the kitty…he loves it when i take photos and open the doors. And  yes that is a pile of dishes in the sink!

I am a tad self conscious showing you all of these changes but we have worked so hard this past year and it is great to finally enjoy it.. It’s not fancy or perfect but it feels like home and functions so much better for my family. For the first time in a long time,  I don’t want to move. I am thankful.

Thanks for looking.

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  1. Holly, Holly, Holly! I just LOVE this! I would not want to move either! Don’t you just love it when everything comes together? What a feeling! Just love it sweet girl!


  2. Holly,

    Your home is beautiful and best of all it functions for you and your family. It looks so warm, hip, just wonderful! I am so glad that you shared your projects with us. It’s got me thinking!!


  3. It all looks so beautiful, Holly – I love every single bit of what you’ve done!

  4. just stumbled upon your blog and I just love your wall color……….Any chance of getting the name ?? Thanks so much and I just love how this room just flows—

  5. This is just beautiful!! It’s a very cozy scene as you walk in the front door and hopefully it will be functional for you as well. I love your fresh perspective – I wouldn’t have seen the same possibility with those lamps, but they are perfect and give the space a bit of polish. Thanks for sharing!!

  6. somebody call BHG because they need to do an update in their magazine on your house! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! two ??, where did you get the bamboo shades and what’s the wall color in the desk area? is it the same new gray as in the DR? its lovely either way.

  7. Oh Holly! There is absolutely no reason to feel self conscious… it’s PERFECTION!! I LOVE everything you’ve done!

  8. This is a lovely transformation! So practical and attractive.
    I really thought your desktop material was slate. I’m glad you mentioned the color but could you tell us the process you used as a finish? Thanks for sharing this with us!

  9. the walls are Martha Stewart (her new paint line at Home depot) MS Sharkey Grey in the kitchen/desk area, Restoration Hardware’s GRAPHITE in the entry…and Behr all in one’s GRACEFUL GRAY in the dining room.

    for the desktop i just rolled on 2 or so coats of SW peppercorn paint..then i did a coat or two of water based poly..that is it!

  10. absolutely love it!! love that dining room table too. especially love the view from the dining room through to the kitchen. Beauty and functional – that’s perfection!

  11. It looks so beautiful and inviting! Thanks for sharing.

  12. I. love. your. home. 🙂

  13. Love this! Your home is just so delightful to look at!

  14. Fab.U.lous!!! Having your desk visible from the front door will give you just the incentive you need to keep it clean and organized! And to only keep what you like. The more desk space I have, the more clutter I keep. Sigh.

    Have a great week!

  15. Has me looking at my kitchen desk area craving some changes!

  16. Thank you for sharing, I know it is hard. I just love everything you have done, I even stared it for future refernce in my home.

  17. Hi Holly. This may be my first time posting. I really enjoy your blog and your home is adorable. I am also impressed with all of the projects that you have finished!! I am so bad about starting something in one room and before it is finished moving onto another! Thanks for sharing your lovely home. Happy Monday!

  18. Holly!!! When may I move in? I promise to take really good care of all your hard work and I’ll clean everyday. Beautiful! I’d love to see the underneath of the desk — how it all hooked together. LOVE LOVE LOVE my friend. Well done. You always inspire me.

  19. one more thing … i need those ivory boxes! exactly what i’ve been looking for. did you find them online at walmart?

  20. So so Beautiful. I love it all! I have the blog and coffee print, isn’t it great?!

    I’m going to have to hunt down the walmart boxes too!

  21. Everything looks beautiful and works so well together. I love the feeling of walking into a home that looks great, but lived in. You have achieved that! Very inspiring!

  22. Gorgie, gorge, gorge!

  23. I love this so much I want to copy. Thinking, thinking….I don’t have a desk and deperately need one. Jimmy has a home office (with my old toile skirted desk, poor, poor man). These pics went straight into my inspiration folder. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!

  24. Oh my. Holly…it looks beautiful! It’s got all the perfect elements that make me happy. What a precious home. I love the fact that it is a show-stopper but at the same time…working hard for you and your family. I also love that you keep tweaking things…it’s a process, isn’t it? 🙂

  25. Holly, I’ve been following your blog for a short time & have really enjoying reading along. There is so much inspiration in all your photos and words. This desk area is wonderful and beautifully put together. I also love how you opened the dining room up and all the wall colors are saved for future some-day projects around here…thanks for sharing.
    The greeting cards displayed in that frame is so simple yet absolutely amazing!

    ps…as a mom to 3 boys, the little troop of army guys quietly lined up in the dining room caught my eye & made me smile. 🙂

  26. christi..i found the cream paper boxes on the organization aisle at my smalltown walmart..they had them in several colors…and had magazine holders, etc….i purhcased two drawers and the top thing has a lid that lifts and there are cubbies for paper clips etc..i saw similar in bright white (wood) at PB but i like this creamy color…

    thanks cailin for noticing the soldiers..they are everywhere..constantly marching the stairs too!

    yep sally..its a hardworking space!

  27. Andrea @ Big Creek Cottage says

    Holly……Perfection……I love it…..all of it!!! And yes…someday a black piano w/ white ironstone would be…..heaven.

  28. Holly~
    It is beautiful!! I love everything about each room and space–fantastic job! Now, BHG needs to come back and do another story on your home–seriously!!:)

  29. I love it and am so jealous! I wish we had a nook so I could have one of those. Our house is a true open floor plan. You can see all the public spaces from anywhere and there are very few walls, which is such a challenge for furniture placement and wall decor and wait, nevermind. I’m telling you how much I adore your new desk area. Much! I adore it much much much!!!

  30. Janine Marshall says

    Hi Holly,

    It all looks so beautiful, you must be so pleased! It just goes to show that beauty and function can certainly go together hand in hand. It’s so much fun to see the layout and how it all flows together. I love it all, the colours and how you have used the space. I especially love the green soldiers under the mirror frame in the dining room!! (smile).

    Hope you have a good day today.

    Take care
    Tasmania, Australia

  31. I love what you did with this desk area! You’re so creative….Thanks for sharing!

  32. I love love love your home! Paint colors are fantastic and the desk area is so great. And the stairs..oh the stairs! Someday. Bookmarking this. 🙂

  33. This is a great idea for the space! Everyone needs somewhere to drop their stuff and why not keep it organized from the get go? FYI, I have the same boxes from Wal-Mart in black and love them. Such a cute space and so welcoming. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  34. sigh. perfection. i need your help here. one day!

  35. Shirley Blue Gate Farm says


    I really like what you have done to your home. Everything looks just right. Wishing you and your family a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

  36. Wow, Holly, this looks great! I know I say it all the time … I hope it’s not old! ha … but you totally inspire. You definitely have a gift. BEAUTIFUL work!

  37. Tracey @7294cottageway.blogspot says

    Hi Holly-I do not know if I have ever stopped to tell you how much I love your blog! You are so talented and so classy! I come and look-but rarely leave comments. I am trying to get better at that! Love it and a heartfelt thankyou for all you share with us!

  38. It looks amazing! Great idea to help with organization. Really an inspiration!

  39. That is a brilliant use of space and thinking outside the box. Love the print, I have the same myself…and those lamps with the black trim, lovely!

  40. That’s great! I do like the open walk-through. I moved my dining room table for Christmas to make room for another table & chairs. Previously I had it centered underneath the ceiling fan & lights, but when I moved it closer to the wall (baby has a tot-lock chair on the wall end) it made walking around the counter/island so much easier.

  41. Do you know how much I love your house? I could just move right in. So many great details in these photos; I’m going to have to go back and study some more 🙂

  42. It is stunning! I love how you made great use of that space. The window treatment is perfect there. The stairs and the dining room? Also fabulous!!

  43. I am so with you on this Holly. I want to make my house a home so I don’t want to move, too. Thanks for sharing. You’ve done a great job.

  44. I almost sent you pictures today of two chairs with that very fabric (the one you had framed). I thought you would think I was CRAZY!! They were so stinkin’ cute!! Now I want to go back and find out how much they were!

  45. LOVE the new desk area!! You are completely inspiring me to tackle some more projects around the house… thank you for that! Happy Monday!

  46. I love it, Holly! Everything is just beautiful and looks so functional. Really love your dining drapes

  47. It looks just beautiful Holly. What a great job you all have done!

  48. Hi Holly! Everything looks wonderful…I love it!

  49. It looks fabulous! Where did you find your lampshades? I have a similar lamp from a thrift store and can’t find a good shade.

  50. Holly, it’s lovely! When I drive around our small town I see older homes that need some TLC and it makes me wish that my husband and I would have bought one and restored it instead of building a new little home. Your house has so much character and charm. You’ve done such a good job on making it beautiful but still liveable–I know you have two little ones just like I do. You are a great source of inspiration just being you. I can tell by the comments that I’m not the only one who thinks so. Thanks for always sharing with us!

  51. LOVE IT!!! Did you do your own desk skirt? That is adorable. I totally need a tutorial!

  52. Just found your blog and am SO inspired. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing where you purchased your bamboo blinds. Thanks so much! Cammy

  53. the lampshades are plain linen drum shades from pottery barn that i added black ribbon too…the blinds are the decorator series in tortiouse from selectblinds (or select shades).com..i got this source from a client that had used them…they come very quickly, have good sales and will cut them to any dimension! they also have liners if privacy is an issue or you want to see white from the outside and not the blind.

    thanks for all of the kind words..i didnt even see those army men lined on the funnY!

  54. Thanks so much, Holly!!

  55. so beautiful! i am so happy for you and your new space:) xoxo

  56. I love it all. Looks like the pages of a decorating magazine, if decorating magazines were still around. Beautiful. The $10 lamps are fabulous.

    We recently turned our dining room into an office/study area. I clear the stuff off our skirted computer table and use it as a buffet all the time. It works really well. I prop a framed print (taken off my bathroom wall) in front of the computer moniter. No one knows it’s even there.

  57. Your home is gorgeous!! I loved taking in every pretty detail…thanks for sharing.


  58. This is all wonderful. I love how clean and crisp, yet comfy everything looks. The drapes are just right, and I like how the red chair pops where it is. What a dramatic transformation!

  59. So beautiful and simple! I absolutely love the idea of the table skirt. I would love to be able to hide some extra storage below my desk. How, may I ask, did you assemble the skirt to the table? It looks as though it is on a curtain rod? Thanks!

  60. katie it is on a closet rod..and i havent even hemmed it yet…it is lots and lots of yardage to make it very full. unfortunately the toddler loves to push it back and forth and play with it…

  61. fantastic holly! it’s gorgeous! pam

  62. Hi Holly! This room….LOVE IT! Thank you for sharing it here! Please, please tell me, what is your floor? Vinyl? Tile? Thank you!

  63. One more question. Where did you buy the skirt fabric ? It is linen you stated. Great space !!

  64. I love this. But I want to see the underneath, y’know. Because that’s where I would keep Priority Mail boxes for my little art business. 🙂 I love MDF so much. You’re inspiring me to get mine done THIS weekend. 😉


  65. Omg!!!!!!!!!!’!!!!!! This is sooooo cute! I love your kitchen and your desk and this curtains and the stairs. It is all so perfect! So adorable. Omg. I am so jealous!!!!!

  66. You are an amazing woman and your husband must be superman. Your make-overs are spectacular! I really like your choice of floral curtains in the living room. Is it the living room? They are exactly what I would want in my home.


  67. I love how you’ve made the most of this small space. Love, Love, Love it!!

  68. LOVE this!!!

  69. Just absolutely lovely!

  70. Howԁy! Do yοu use Twitter? I’d like to follow you
    if that would be okay. I’m absolutely enjoyіng
    you bloog and look forωard to new updates.


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