An Organized Life

Let me be completely honest… organization is NOT my strong suit… and that is stating things mildly.  Ask Mike… he’ll back that statement up 110%!  An organized life… I don’t know about you but that seems like an unattainable dream for me! The people, especially the moms, that can achieve organization in their lives have my complete admiration!

I have visions of having a spot to put all my important papers and a drop zone for everthing on my “to-do” list… from bills to pay to school papers to sign.  My reality is a pile of unorganized mess and a constant search for where I last put my keys – usually when I’m five minutes late getting out the door.  My piles of stuff to keep up with seemed to grow exponentially when my oldest started school and there were days when I literally felt like I was drowning under a sea of paperwork.  So, when  a client came to me with a request to help her find a “mommy desk”, I could completely relate.  Her eldest is starting kindergarten this fall, so having just been-there-done-that, I understood exactly where she was coming from.

What better desk for a mom with 2 adorable kids, a busy and active household and tons of activities to handle than the desk of a former teacher?  Lots of drawers for organzing papers, files and supplies and a large work surface to boot!  I found this amazing old teacher’s desk that obviously had a lot of history and had been well loved.  There were drawings on the sides of the drawers and doodles and dings on the desk top.  But the drawers were all dovetailed and structurally, the desk was in great shape.  It had a classic and vintage vibe and with a new paint job, would be the perfect organization hub for my client’s home.

(Seriously, y’all… be proud of me that there are even before pics.  The fact that I started stripping the desk top  before it ever occurred to me that I hadn’t taken before pics speaks volumes to my organization skills!)

The desk top was stripped down to bare wood and lightly sanded.  We wanted the top to look distressed and didn’t want to sand out all its history.  It was restained a darker color and waxed for protection.

The interior of the drawers were painted Annie Sloan’s Duck Egg Blue and waxed clear.

The desk’s base and drawer exteriors were painted a custom mix of Annie Sloan’s Country Grey and Pure White and waxed with clear wax and dark wax to hightlight the wood’s character.  My client already owned some Anthropologie knobs that we reused on the desk’s 3 side drawers.  They gave the piece a unique look and helped tie it in to other design elements in the room its going to be residing in.

I hope that my client’s refurbished teacher’s desk helps her get organized and ready for the start of a new school year.  I hope that every piece of paper that enters her home finds its place in one of the desk drawers.  I hope that she achieves an organized life so that I can live vicariously through her!  In the meantime, I’m off to find my car keys so that I can head to Charlotte tomorrow morning and see my sister and my niece!

Linking up to:

Primitive and Proper’s POWW 95


  1. I.LOVE.THIS!!!! Beautiful transformation!
    I’m your newest follower – would love to have you
    follow back:)))

  2. Love this! You took this desk to a whole new level and I love the pulls you used on the drawers. Super cute!

    • Thanks Rachel! It was fun to redo and I give full credit to my client for the awesome pulls – she knocked that out of the park!

  3. Kate Parke says:

    I am the very proud owner of this beauty!!!! I could not be happier. I need to send some in the room pics! Thank you Holly! You are beyond talented! My organizational dreams and I thank you xoxox

    • Can’t wait to see it all decorated and in the room! Thanks for your sweet comment! You are more organized than I will ever be. 😉

  4. I have a desk at school that looks almost EXACTLY like this one (the “before” version). Thanks for the inspiration. I can’t wait to do something cool like this with the one I have!

  5. Have this exact desk and am wondering how you removed the wooden draw pulls. Have tried to saw them off but the rest of the drawer seems to be getting scratched up too. Not a huge deal since I will be chalk painting but just wondered if there was an easier way. :-)

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