My Desk

Today I want to share a family story with you.
It's the story of my desk.

There is a lot more behind this desk than just function.
  There are memories of my grandfather, the man whom it used to belong to.
There are memories of hanging out in my grandparent's basement with my cousins
during holiday get-togethers.

After my grandfather retired he moved his office to his basement- an early man cave.
He was a practical man, so he took an existing table and used that as his desk.  He kept it meticulous, with neatly arranged pads of paper and a mug full of pens and pencils.  A television was set into the wall above the desk, and he would watch ballgames while simultaneously listening to another on his transistor radio.  We kids would sneak down there after family dinners and watch very vintage MTV (think young Kurt Loder), doodle on the endless pads of paper
or play the piano that was right next to the desk.

When my grandparents passed away,  I asked for their basement furniture.  
It was an entire matching set that had a retro flair I adored, and it was full of childhood memories.  
In our last house I used it on our sunporch...

 Upon moving to our current house I set it up in our basement,
but I brought the table upstairs to use as my desk.
My office has undergone many incarnations, but I keep going back to this table.
It has a ton of surface area to spread out on and is the perfect height.

I know several people would choose to keep an object exactly as it was,
but as a serial 'repurposer'  I decided to make it my own.
I began by spraying the legs gold and painting the wood top white.
I embellished the top with a simple zigzag stripe using painter's tape.

 I had a "happy accident" when I applied a coat of polyurethane before my stripes were fully dried, causing the stripe to crack and pull.  
I really like the result.  
It feels weathered, and the fact is this desk is about 60 years old.

  I don't think my grandfather would mind that I painted his desk,
 instead I think he would be glad to know it is getting well used.

And that it constantly reminds me of where I came from...
and of the man that taught me not to be afraid of hard work...
and that anything is possible because he was proof of that.  

My grandfather left his family's farm in Rhode Island at the young age of 15 
because he saw his future was sealed with a job at the local mill.   
He had a natural inclination for fixing things and he moved to Passaic, NJ where he got a job working as a mechanic.  He saved his money and in a few years bought his own shop.  A true workaholic, he would sleep in the bathtub of his shop after putting in a long day. 

He loved airplanes.  
He was very determined and he got his pilot's license 
and then eventually his own plane.  
He met my grandmother and they started a family.  
They instilled strong values in us and you knew you were loved.  
I have so many good stories and traditions that I will to pass on to my own children, 
this desk being part of it.

As part of  True Value's DIY Squad I am so pleased to share a video
that really resonates the importance of heirlooms.
  It had me tearing up a bit, thinking of how special the family pieces I own are, and how glad I am that I can incorporate them into my family's life.
Please watch this video and let me know about your own favorite heirloom.
What is it?
How have you kept it in the family?  
I would love to know if you made any DIY changes to it or left it just as it was.  

Please leave me a comment below telling me your story.  I'm looking forward to hearing them! 

 I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

For more DIY inspiration, take a look at True Value’s Pinterest boards and Facebook page.


Ashley said...

Such a great history to your desk. And "the happy accident" you describe in the stripes really mimics the look of an airplane, if you ask me. Perhaps it was your grandfather's influence coming through!

LindsB said...

I love that you have part of him with you as you work- family pieces like these are totally what make a house a home- its the stories that make everything about it one of a kind!

Brandi@ Flights of Whimsy said...

I don't have any family heirlooms other than glassware at this point. I would definitely paint or change something if I did though. I agree with you about making it your own instead of forcing it to fit.

therelishedroost said...

Great transformation, nice chic desk!

Jessie | The Design Daredevil said...

So sweet! And I love anything painted gold!

dev smith said...

good maintain of your desk.but if your keep chair around this desk than this looks to good.
mechanic Oakey


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