The details

Friday, January 18, 2013
Thank you for the kind words of support. I love having such sweet bloggy friends. I had to put this office together on a meager budget.  I needed it to look professional but I did not want to invest a lot of $$ into it since I was taking a chance.  I love when people post all the details about a room on their blog, so I thought I'd do that for the office in case anyone was interested.  I am proud that I re-purposed a lot of things we already owned and bargain shopped for the rest!

Early in our marriage, Dave and I loved spending time walking around antique and art shoppes and we often picked up pieces that were of good quality for a good price.  We have lived in 5 homes in our 17 years of marriage and we move everything with us from home to home.  Some of it lives in attics and garages until the next home because we might want it then:)  I would not say that we are pack rats at all but we are practical and always thinking of the next house.

So, we had a lot in our garage and our attic and I was lucky enough to use some of it for my new office.

Here are some before and after shots of the furniture I painted.

I am such a bad DIY blogger that I actually did not think to take a "before" shot until I had already started painting...

This is a very old small solid wood table that we have had forever.  In fact, I think Dave had it before we were married.

I should have sealed this piece with Zinnser shellac since it had a water mark on the top but I did not.  Lesson learned.

And here is the after. 





{in this last one you can see some of the dark wax and the gilding paste.  It really gives it a nice antique look in person.}

(a close up of the gilding wax)

And an instagram close-up that shows the dark wax and gilding paste too.


For this first table, I mixed a little Annie Sloan Old White in with the Paris Grey but honestly it made no difference AT ALL. I put one coat of clear wax, then some dark wax (which made it look dirty--so I removed most of it with more clear wax).  Then, I distressed it a little and used gold gilding paste I (next time I would use rub and buff, I think).  I LOVE how it turned out.  It took no time at all to do all this.

The next table got a quick spray of the Zinnser shellac because it had a water mark on the top too (from a plant I think).  We used this as a side table in our sunroom in Virginia.  I had forgotten all about it until we looked in our attic.

Here is the "before" (again, I had already painted the bottom a little before the phone snaps)...




And here is the after...






I painted all of it (even the gold metal) with Annie Sloan Paris Gray and then did two coats of clear wax.   The I used steel wool to get some of the paint off the gold plaques. No gilding paste.  No dark wax.  I adore this one. I did distress the edges a tiny bit to reflect normal wear. So happy with it!

And then there was the desk.  I had a desk but it was too deep for the space.  I wanted something really small because mainly I will be listening/coaching clients there.  I will do a little writing and computer work but not much.  I really did NOT want to spend a lot of money.  I took the boys one day over Christmas break to a charity guild shop in town.  The boys LOVED it.  They have everything there from furniture to clothes to artifacts and jewelry.  This is what the desk looked like.  The size was right and I loved the lines but it was in bad shape.




The desk cost $100.  Dave puttied a few of the chips for me and I painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Graphite.

A few days before I found this desk, Kate suggested a black desk for my office.  I had not considered a black desk at all.  I kind of laughed her suggestion off.  Then an hour later I spotted this black desk in the December issue of Lonny and was in LOVE...


I wanted that small black and gold writing desk so badly.  I love it.  My daughter has an uncanny sense of design.  I am not kidding!

  Back to reality though.  I needed a desk quickly and had a budget. SO I bought the desk from the guild and painted it Graphite.  It is a really really dark gray (like pencil lead).  It is a beautiful color.
  So here is my after....




I am happy with it for now.  Although I need to get a desk chair.
I might add some gold to it whenever I get some spare time (I have none now).



Other sources:

Couch and Chair: Ektorp from them!  The price is right and they are comfortable but buy a lint roller as they collect lint:)

Brass desk lamp and glass side table lamps: Homegoods

Wicker Chest: Ikea

Gold Peanut: Pottery Barn (saw it at Christmas time and bought it for myself, wrapped it and put it under the tree!)

Artwork: all stuff that we have collected for years but had no space for in our house. It was still in moving crates in our garage from 4 years ago! We did not know if it would look good together or not but hung it anyway:)

Silver pomegranate: Village Antiques, Houston.

 Pillows:  These are old and were in a closet under our staircase. I use them in our house in the summer so I am looking for more permanent ones in the same colors for the office. One is Pottery Barn and one is from One King's Lane. 

Bowl that holds my business cards: Anthropologie (after Christmas clearance deal)

Rug: Seagrass was there.  We bought this this silk Persian rug when we first got married.  It has been in different spots in different houses but was rolled up in the closet under our stairs in this house.  I tried no less that 4 rugs that we had rolled up in closets and this one looked best.

Plant Stand:  This was Dave's parents and we have used it for a bronze statue in our house but again, it was under the stairs collecting dust.  I think it is perfect here.  And the Christmas cactus on it was a gift a few years ago from my good friend, Lisa.

Diplomas:  Yes, a few of you noticed my MA and PhD are from Ohio University and my BA is from LaSalle University. That diploma is completely in Latin! They are vintage;)

I think that covers it all but let me know if you have any questions. I still have some ideas for things to hang above my desk but that will have to wait.

I read a lot and watched a lot of YOUTUBE videos before I did any of the Annie Sloan paint or wax.  I m not a really crafty painting kinda gal.  Once I helped a friend faux paint her kitchen and her husband called us "Slop job" because we were so sloppy with the paint. (her kitchen did look good though).  So if I can do this, anyone can.  It is so easy to work with but I recommend that you read up about it too. This video is great for the wax procedure.


  1. Great job on the makeovers!! I love Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and wax. I have used it on many things already. It is so easy to use it becomes addicting almost.

    We painted my childhood bedroom furniture for my daughter in college. It is beautiful!


  2. Great minds... I painted a dresser and night stand for 17 year old daughter l last week...Graphite:)

  3. Congratulations! Everything looks beautiful. LaSalle? I went to the University of Pennsylvania :)

  4. Thanks for sharing the details! I'm so impressed with your DIY. I really want to try the Chalk Paint and was but am so nervous. I have a good friend who has started a furniture re-sale business using that paint/wax and she swears by it!

    1. Very cool Ideas for decoration furniture Love use granite in New table TOP
      Love it share garden ideas

  5. Great job - wishing you the best on your new endeavor!! Wondering was there a special reason you used chalk paint? Thanks!

    1. Yes, LPI. I have painted some furniture before with other paints and the beauty of Annie Sloan chalk paint is there is no sanding and no priming. You just paint. It gives great covreage. The first coat is dry as you finish the peice and can do the second one right away. I can do two cotas and wax a small piece in 2-3 hours. Also, the colors are exactly what I was looking for and I love the look of it.

      It is not "chalkboard" paint. Although I know you can use some of it that way (minus the wax). Hope that answers your question.


    2. Thanks for the explanation Kim! Sounds like a great product - just wondering though - if something has wood grain and I don't want it to have grain, does this paint fill it in or would I still have to sand/fill in the grain somehow? And is varnish needed to protect it?

      Thanks - again great job! Love your new office and all the details!

    3. Thanks for the explanation Kim! Sounds like a great product - just wondering though - if something has wood grain and I don't want it to have grain, does this paint fill it in or would I still have to sand/fill in the grain somehow? And is varnish needed to protect it?

      Thanks - again great job! Love your new office and all the details!

    4. I am by no means an expert. I have done 4 pieces so far. But each piece painted a little differently. I am also not 100% what you mean about the grain. The wood is textured or uneven or has a grooved, deep grain?? If that is the case, you would see that with any paint I suppose. My desk was chipped and uneven in spots and Dave used a little wood filler before I painted. That might be helpful for you piece.

      You do see brush marks with this paint a bit but that does not bother me. You see them with latex too although I did see something on Pinterest to help with brush marks.

      I used Annie Sloan wax on these to protect them and so far I like that. I like the finish and the look of it. Two friends of mine have used poly sealers that you brush on. I think if it were a table that was going to get tons of daily use ( a kitchen table or kids desk) I would use a satin polyurethane to seal it.

      Oh and you can buy a small pot/jar of Annie SLoan paint for about $10-12 dollars to see if you like it. Honestly, the small jar would have done my small table. Hope that helps.

  6. Your office looks great! Congratulations! I am from Ohio... went to Ohio State but spent many weekends at OU! Our paths may have crossed even before Virgina!

  7. kim- the office is serene and welcoming. the perfect place to feel safe and to be helped! i know you'll be wildly successful- how could anyone walk in the door and not begin to feel better instantly.

    enjoy this time- you CAN do this!!!


  8. I'm no decorator...but I think you did a fantastic job in this space. You pulled it together so quickly and economically. Kuddos to you! My favorite piece is the desk. I love that dark, rich gray! Praying that your clients will be lining up outside your door!

  9. The office is fantastic! I might go so far as to paint the chair to the desk black or even turquoise for a little pop of color!

  10. Your office is gorgeous! I love everything....the table with the gold accents is incredible! What a difference!!! I used to do some much DIY stuff before having 6 kids. In fact, I used to do craft shows and, when I was young, antique shows with my parents (my mom owned an antique shop and they were both dealers for years). Your beautiful work has inspired me. I'd really love to use the gray chalk paint and wax on a small table I have. How do you use the gilding and dark wax? Also what brand of clear, dark and gilding wax did you use...all by Annie Sloan? I have so many questions and just put 4 Annie Sloan books on hold at the library! Thanks so much for sharing!

  11. Kim,
    Your office looks so inviting. You did an amazing job making those old pieces come to life. Love the desk. Fun seeing the OU diplomas. Our Gretchen has been accepted into OU's school of Allied health for fall 2013! Hard to believe the baby that stole our heart in China is already spreading her wings.
    Best of luck with your new business venture.

  12. Stunning! I'm going to email this week about Skype coaching sessions. Wish I was in your neck of the woods, this looks like a lovely office to come to.

  13. I love it! Such a calming and inviting space. Congratulations again--taking leaps is what life is about, especially with 3 little pairs of eyes watching. ;)


  14. Just love you (and Kate's!) sense of design. I am working hard to DIY quite a bit of the pieces that are going in our little guy's nursery. I am going to try to channel you a bit - hope you don't mind!!

    Blessings, Ashley

  15. Everything looks amazing!!! So happy for you!!!!!

  16. Just lovely. A little trick for painting pieces with metal parts in the future. You can carefully wax the metal parts before painting and then the paint will come right off of them after you paint. You just have to be careful to not get the wax on the wood before you paint it.

    1. Yes, Kristi good tip...I know that trick about the wax but I actually wanted paint on the metal. I like that look. Also, the AS wax helps get paint off the metal too.

  17. This is really lovely -- congratulations! And I know you're terribly busy, but hope you have a moment for recipe question...I'm making your chix tortilla soup Sat for a big gathering (19 people - 12 of whom are children). I'm planning to make two pots - one veggie with black beans and one as you've written the recipe. I'm wondering how many your recipe serves? I made it this fall and think I doubled it. Many thanks and happy new year

    1. The recipes states that it serves 6. For us, it goes a bit further because Kate and Harry are not big eaters. It is easy to double though. Hope your gathering is fun. That soup is always a hit!!


  18. Wow Kim!! I think it looks wonderful! I love the paint, the colors and the room itself looks so inviting and soothing. congrats on your new adventure. I know you will be such a blessing in your clients lives!!


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