Monday, February 20, 2012

My French Writing Desk

Years ago, I rescued this couch off the street. It was torn up and nasty, with an ugly Chinese-inspired fabric and godawful Asian-style fretwork between klunky legs. I had it torn down to the frame, reupholstered, and rebuilt with more graceful legs. After it was finished, it graced a sunny alcove in our master bedroom:


But when the Lovely Daughters #1 and #2 moved into the Funny Looking House, they took the couch with them. (They needed it more than we did.) To fill the hole left, I decided I'd love a writing desk. In the ample light filtering in through the alcove's Palladian window, I imagined myself composing an old-fashioned letter or gazing out the window at the waving wall of green ivy beyond.

Yeah, my windows look just like these in a scene from the 1940 movie, "Rebecca." Juuuust like this:


Here's the first Mrs. deWinter's writing desk. Moire-silk matching address books, menu book, and diary. Oooooh!:

 (Have you seen this movie? It's a terrific, spell-binding story! Rent it, please.)

But I digress.

As I was mulling over the idea of a Rebecca-deWinter-style writing desk, this article caught my eye. I tore it out and carried it around in my purse for a while (thus the dog-eared appearance):


Five great desks: Perfect! I especially love the color of this one, from Cost Plus:


But at $200 it's a little pricey for being so very plain. And really, it's just the color that I love.

Then I saw this display through a shop window:


A darling, curvy desk and chair, and a vintage telephone and typewriter. Adorable!



It looks like the desk of a French woman writer. There are a few gorgeous books about women and the Louvre and dogs, a beautiful leather tote, a cup of tea, and even a fuzzy critter sitting on the chair!:


I love everything about this inventive display. I love how it seems to conjure up a certain woman, living in a certain city. But the desk is beyond what I'm willing to pay.


So I kept the French writing desk idea in my head as I poked through some catalogs. I love this twisty-legged beauty from a major interior decorating firm. But it's $1,599 before tax and shipping!:


Umm, no, thank you. So I hit the local charity shops, my go-to place for finding style on a shoestring. Then one day, I saw this desk and blurted out loud, "There's my desk!" It was far less than the $200 Cost Plus desk and had a lot more of the French feel to it:


It has three functioning drawers to hide lots of mess, a generous tabletop, and pretty brass drawer pulls:


And it has all the curvy lines of the white desk in the shop window:


It needs a coat of paint. I haven't decided what yet--glossy white? Chalky French blue? I'm still debating.

But I'm thinking, I can re-create that French writing desk display in the shop window. I already have the books of French museums. I own a vintage typewriter:


And re-creating the cup of tea and fuzzy critter in this house? Pshhht: Piece of cake! Also, I found this adorable map of Paris (actually a sheet of gift-wrap paper) for $5 at a local, French-flavored coffee house/gift shop. I am thinking of applying it, decoupage-style, on the desktop:





Cute, huh? And from the same shop, I nabbed this appealing version of the Eiffel Tower. (I've been wanting an Eiffel Tower sculpture since Lovely Daughter #2 and I spent one glorious week in Paris back in 2007):


Now all that's left is painting the desk. Oh, and the chair, you may ask?


I found it for free on the street.

6 comments:

  1. Oh, you are one creative lady! Can't wait to see the final results. xoxo

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  2. Adorable!!! you might enjoy checking out this website http://www.anniesloan.com/
    They are doing some really cool paints and wax finishes that would fit in well with your French inspired thoughts! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

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  3. Y'know, I just learned about Annie Sloan paints and waxes by reading another blogger's work last week. I am definitely going to search out her (its?) products.

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  4. It's amazing to have your creativity! The first one is expressing your ideas very well and you have done a great job with the above sofa and color is so gorgeous. I would love to present the same above one to my daughter who recently got married and it'd be great looking with her existing white furniture which I already presented her. Anyway, thanks a lot for sharing this.

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    Replies
    1. I love, love, love white-painted furniture and accessories. This summer, I plan to gather up a lot of roadside castoffs (picture frames, gallery shelves, etc.) and paint them all glossy white, to give to my Lovely Daughter #1 for her house. Great minds think alike, Kai?

      Thanks again for your nice comments.

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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