secretary shelf styling

Monday, April 18, 2016

My husband has had his grandmother's secretary desk for years, long before we were married.  It's always been with us, but in six houses (good grief we've moved a lot) this is the first home where it has been in a main room and visible.  I've never spent any time styling it, mostly because I never knew what to do with it, but finally decided it was time. 

I'm sure there is a formula that would make this a no-brainer, but I don't know what it is.  I kind of created one on the fly.  I also didn't want to buy anything new, so I worked only with what I had.  

Best way to start is with a clean slate.  Take everything out.  Even if you plan on reusing some of the items already in there.

I started at the top with my taller pieces.

Added books to the center shelf.  I didn't want things too similar, so I laid some of the books flat on one side.

Added smaller pieces in with the books.  Instead of placing the turtle below the candlesticks, I flipped it to the other side so the white and metallic pieces on the two shelves are diagonal from each other.  

The bottom shelf is a little tricky.  Once the doors are shut, things get visually lost since our living room window reflects on the glass doors.  I used a grouping of white pieces on the left that would stand out from the dark wood and a photo with a lot of white space on the right.  The butterfly was a free image I downloaded from The Graphic's Fairy.  I can't find the exact one I used, but there are so many good ones!  I then added a cup with my grandmother's collection of silver spoons for another layer.

And that's it!

Wasn't quite as scary as I thought it was.  The hardest part is always getting started.

SOURCES:  Ethan Allen secretary - family piece (similar here) // zebra chair - thrifted (reupholstered in this fabric) // sheepskin // perforated ginger jar - Homegoods (similar here) // brass turtle // coral (similar here) // milk glass (thrifted) // free butterfly downloads // silver cup (Pottery Barn, no longer avail)



  1. It's a beautiful piece of furniture. I'm diggin' the brass turtle.

    1. Thank you :) The turtle might be my favorite thing right now. I just love him!

  2. Furniture are really great i really love these.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, you guys totally make my day!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Proudly designed by | mlekoshiPlayground |
Blogging tips