Where I blog, plus a $3 stool makeover

Well, I guess it's time to fess up. I don't really do most of my blogging in my home office. Not exactly earth-shattering news, I know, but I wanted to come clean since I've shown photos of my home office so often. Though I do spend time in my home office, I do most of my writing on a desk in the kitchen.

There is really nothing special about this kitchen desk. It just makes more sense for me to squeeze in a little bit of blog writing and reading right in the middle of all our family's swirl of activity. Yes, I know it's a little indulgent to have two desks but I feel it's justified since I've always made a living as a writer.

Having spent so many years in newsrooms, I was used to having an ergonomically correct working space. Or rather, my body was. Soon after I began blogging, my elbows and hands ached without the proper equipment on my humble kitchen desk. So hubby obliged and installed a custom keyboard tray. A couple weeks ago, I added to the ergonomics by updating a vintage stool I found at a thrift store for $3. Now, I have a super comfy footstool that also brightens my writing area.

This is what the stool looked like before, complete with a $25 price tag still attached. My guess is that someone tried to sell it at an antique store. But honestly, I would have never bought it for that price. Three dollars was just right. Take a look:

Eeek! Not a pretty sight. I mean, just take a look at that awful little rag rug covering it and all those staples, which took me forever to remove before I sanded down the legs.

Then came time to choose a new cover. These fabrics, pictured below, were the initial contenders: a flowered scrap of fabric, a tea towel from Anthropologie and a burlap-like fabric I thought I would embellish with some sort of drawing in black ink.

But none of those looked right once I decided on bright yellow for the stool legs, so I began hunting around my home for something else. Yes, even a needlepoint horse was a contender at one point.

And a Mexican tapestry placemat that my mom bought in Oaxaca. As lovely as it might have looked, I couldn't bear to cut it up.

Finally, a winner emerged. I chose a lovely mushroom needlepoint that I found at a thrift store for five dollars.

I initially wasn't so sure the olive needlepoint matched the bright yellow legs, but now I think the pairing was meant to be. I just love the bright pop of color it adds to my workspace, where red and dark brown dominate.

I now feel like my workspace is complete. I love sitting down to write, surrounded by so many favorite items: a tiny matryoshka pillow made by a lovely woman from El Salvador living in Australia with whom I swapped magazines and other small gifts last year ( a reminder of just how much the blog world brings like-minded people together); two framed postcards that I bought on my first trip to Paris; a simple but lovely tissue flower given to me by my four-year-old son for Mother's Day this year; and now, my newly remade footstool.

By the way, I don't think I mentioned why I even need a footstool. Well, I'm fairly short and my legs usually dangle in the air whenever I sit in most chairs.

I hope you've enjoyed a peek into my workspace.



brismod said...

What a great spot to write and your little stool makeover is perfect.

Razmataz said...

Minnie, I did so enjoy that peek into your space. I love peeking into your home as they is so much to see besides what you are posting about. ie. the tissue flower, the fabric doll, the giraffe and of course your fabulous art. I like odd color combinations, so I love the yellow and olive on that stool. It looks alike a great spot for you and your family to work.

CACHANILLA73 said...

Lovely corner. I have a little office in the aisle next to the stairs, but I have a corner in the kitchen, too. It's hard with kids, husband, cat and dog to just sit in one place.
LOL I like the idea of the stool, I am very short too so I experience the same 'dangling' in almost every chair or couch I sit on. ;-)



Brenda@Cozy Little House said...

I just inadvertently stumbled upon your blog. And I'm so very glad I did! All the color greeted me and I immediately smiled. Kindred spirit? I do love color.

Tina said...

Hi Minnie:) I LOVE your stool. I think your makeover is perfect and I adore the mushroom needlepoint and the yellow legs...gorgeous:) It is also nice to see where you sit when you blog. Now I can imagine you there:) Hope you have a wonderful weekend ~ Tina xx

Creamy White said...

Minnie, thanks for sharing you work space with us. It's so wonderful to see where people get their inspiration, where they work! your place is so much like you: bright, colorful, fun! I love the makeover on your little stool!
Wishing you a lovely weekend!
Hugs, Li :-)

Minnie said...

Aww, thank you for the compliments.

LOL, Razmataz. I never thought of it as an odd color combination, but then again, a lot of what I do IS odd and I'm often the last to see it!

Cachanilla, you are so right. Something about kids and writing that just doesn't add up. I am always moving, moving, moving. I say go hunt for a stool on your next thrift store outing!

Brenda, Welcome! I love new readers and hope you'll return because I do love color. Don't know what I'd do without so much of it in my life and home. Off to see your blog, too.

TIna and Creamy White, I, too, love to see where people blog because I like to picture them writing when I'm reading their blogs. I'm fascinated with the creative and writing process. A warm hello to both of you.

Torrie said...

I looove kitchen desk areas. If our kitchen was a tad bigger, I would have had my husband incorporate one when he remodeled it! Your space is very nice and it's really inspiring that you've been able to acquire bit and pieces from around the world (as well as in your own 'neighborhood' thrift stores!) to surround your lovely work area. I am seriously considering taking my kids thrift store shopping today!!

Quick question: Did you sand the stool or prime it...or just spray the paint? (a newbie DIYer:))

Minnie said...

Torrie, Go for it! Thrift stores have great books for kids, often in new or near new condition for a small fraction of what it would cost at a bookstore. When refinishing, I usually try to sand at least a little, then prime it completely. Sometimes, I use spray paint, but usually prefer to use a brush to put paint on. I do this because I feel it's more environmentally friendly, it's also a little easier on the pocketbook because I seem to need at least two cans of spray paint for a small piece of furniture, and using a brush is more precise. I like spray paint for smaller items with lots of grooves or detailing but then you just have to be careful to maintain a steady hand, not lingering too long in any one spot to avoid drips or clumps. Feel free to e-mail if you want more tips. I'm happy to help or refer you to other resources. I guarantee you'll get hooked once you transform your first piece!

jacqueline said...

Minnie, i love your workspace and that stool is gorgeous! Such a lovely makeover! Have a lovely merry happy weekend and love to you!

Heather said...

The stool is so cute! It actually looks like something you might have found at Anthropologie!

Kristin said...

thanks for the peek! i do my blogging in the kitchen, too. it's easier to be in the middle of it all than to try to make time to be "away." this makes for much choppier sit down moments, but they do happen, so it works for me!

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