The Learner Observer

Hey, remember me?

I’m that girl, with this blog, who hasn’t written in what feels like weeks?

Yep… that’s me! Apparently going on vacation takes a lot out of a girl, you know? That reminds me – thank you all for the sweet feedback on my obscene and excessive pictures of the trip, which was AAAAAAMAZING, BTW. Posts will be coming to  blog near you soon.

Let’s get to the matter at hand today. I have been thinking a lot  about what to do with my office and the spare bedroom and I recently cleared some of the clutter and moved a few things around, so the rooms are starting to take shape… but there’s just one problem: every single piece needs a makeover! With the warm weather coming, I’ll soon be able to take these outside and throw some paint on them, which is super exciting!! Here are the pieces and some ideas of what I want to do with them.

In the office

 Follow The Learner Observer | Thalita Murray’s board Office on Pinterest.

There is no shortage of inspiration on Pinterest, and my “Office” board is by far one of my faves! I’m specifically interested in making this space girly because it’s the only room in the house where I’ll be able to unleash pink and gold and white… and I can’t wait! 

I found this desk on the side of the road once while out for a walk around our neighbourhood and naturally I asked Alex if we could have it. He loves free stuff as much as I do, so we got into/onto our car and drove home…. very slowly! It’s solid, huge, and I love it! But it can’t stay this brown and nasty forever!

office deskI’ve debated painting it white (duh… my instinct is to do that to EVERYTHING). I’ve also debated painting it a fun colour, but now that I have actually been sitting at it for a while and put some pretties on it, I do sort of like the idea of a wood top for it, so here is where I’m currently at:

Office desk inpiration1234

The first photo was one of the originals to inspire me to go for white, and I love the gold-dipped legs! It would certainly make sense for a girly space. Number two is totally on the opposite side of the spectrum, but what I love here isn’t so much the styling (though it is beautiful, it wouldn’t be the right look for my office). I do love the drawers in a different colour as a pop of colour, so that might be an option for my own desk. The third photo is definitely light and airy, and yet the wooden desk grounds the space. I love the natural wood tone and that other pieces are white around it. The last one is a recent pick and I am obsessed with that white top! I could see this mix working well for me because I like the thought of the wood to warm up the space, and the clean white top is ideal for me since I am so keen on white surfaces.

A filing cabinet was always a must for us because as many of you know, homeownership comes with a boat load of paperwork that you just have to keep, and then silly things like filing taxes and blah blah blah… Anyway, there’s a lot of paper to organize! I was on the lookout for a second-hand filing cabinet for a while – preferably not just a flimsy metal one – when I saw this one at Value Village! I knew it was a keeper, and for $20, I couldn’t leave it behind!

filing cabinetSorry about the super grainy iPhone photo! You can see that this thing could use a little sprucing up, right? They grey is a little warmer and darker than it looks in the photo, and I think I’d prefer it not to be 3 separate colours. Off to find inspiration again…

filing cabinet inspiration1234

Can you tell I’m going for white? I love the mix of white and gold in the first two images, and the added details as well. The third option is not a DIY, but it makes me think that adding some trim around the drawers could make this filing cabinet a little prettier! The stenciled look is gorgeous! I’m not sure it would work with my cabinet, but it’s definitely on my mind. One thing I know for sure: I need to add either legs or wheels to the cabinet. The added lift and not having a solid piece directly on the ground makes it feel lighter, plus the wheels would make it super easy to move around. 

Spare bedroom

This dresser was another free find! Alex found this one all on his own and brought it home for me as a surprise. Isn’t he just the best? I know, right? This piece is currently in the office, but I think it will go in the spare bedroom once it’s done.

dresserI do like it white and gold (I know, shocker), but I might make a few small changes to it since it definitely NEEDS some love. It’s either colour, or keep it white. I really have no idea where to go with this one, to be honest! Here’s what’s catching my eye:

dresser makeover inspiration12345

Stair landing

As we’re finishing our stairs, I can’t help but think of the details, like lighting. II have had this chandelier for months now, but I can’t decide what to do with it! It was a $15 purchase at our local ReStore and I luuuuuuuuuurrrrve it!!!

Gold chandelierIt’s REALLY hard to find a photo of exactly what I want with this chandelier, but basically the just of it is I either want to paint it black or paint it gold and I definitely want some cooler bulbs for it.

chandelier makeover inspiration1234

The initial plan with this bad boy was to paint it black, but the longer it sits in my office, the more I love the brass. Plus, I might as well take advantage of the fact that it’s in right now, right? The mercury glass treatment isn’t something I’ve fully considered, but I like that it would make the light softer in the upstairs landing and the stairs. The globe light bulbs in the third photo are perfection! I have wanted those for this chandelier since day 1!! The last photo is a great example of what this fixture would look like if I did… absolutely nothing to it! I;m also considering adding in the pieces that make it look like the lights are candlesticks. That’s a thing you can do, apparently, and I think it would be awesome!

Alright, I have no more makeovers. That’s it for now. Here’s my request from you – please do weigh in on what you think the best choices are! I’m a little lost with some of this stuff, as you can see!

Hope you’re having a great Monday, lovelies!

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  1. Reply

    Julia at Home on 129 Acres

    April 28, 2014

    Oh, Thalita. You’re totally talking my language. My office and spare room are both floating around in my head, and our ideas are very in sync. For the desk, my vote is #4. I love the wood-white combo. In fact, I’m planning on making over my desk with a dark wood top and white base (and crystal knobs). For the filing cabinet, I’m really curious what you end up doing. I have a huge monster of a metal filing cabinet. Perhaps we keep too much paper, but between our personal files, farm files, and my husband’s business, I’m not sure how we can downsize. I need some inspiration to pretty up the cabinet so it’s not a giant metal monolith. Thanks for sharing your ideas. For the dresser, I love the black or coral. For the light, my vote is #1 or #4. I can’t wait to see what you end up doing.

    • Reply


      May 4, 2014

      Oh my goodness, Julia, #4 is easily the one I am most smitten with! Love your idea to use crystal knobs!
      Filing cabinets never seem to just be nice looking, do they? Hoping that a coat of paint can salvage this one.
      Thanks for all your input!!

  2. Reply

    Lauren @ The Thinking Closet

    April 30, 2014

    Girrrrl, I don’t think that you’re lost at all. I love catching a glimpse into your makeover process and how you thoughtfully and intentionally gather inspiration and really give it some good hard thought before proceeding. I have a feeling most people are a bit more impulsive and probably end up regretting some of their paint or refinishing choices. So, a hefty pat on the back to you!

    At the end of the day, you should trust your gut, but here are my favorite inspiration pieces for each item:

    OFFICE DESK: Love the two-tone look in #2. I, too, am rather fond of clean, white surfaces! So perfect for a desk where you want to feel inspired and motivated to work work work.

    FILING CABINET: #2 on wheels! Oh, that’d be so much fun to paint using painter’s tape and some chalk paint or spray paint…plus I’m still in love with gold! Just can’t get enough.

    DRESSER (great find, Alex!): #2 (I’m noticing a theme here…lol) has really caught my eye…between the fun modern hardware and the coral paint, it’s Gorgeous with a capital G!

    CHANDY: #3 is intriguing to me…maybe with some spray paint action to change up the entire look? Love me a bold transformation.

    Thanks for inviting us into your process with this post, Thalita! Cannot wait to see how you transform each of these pieces…and welcome baaaaack! You were missed!

    • Reply


      May 4, 2014

      I love love love all of your suggestions!!!! And that #2 was a major theme here! haha I’m thinking this cabinet will for sure get some wheels. I mean, you can’t beat the convenience of being able to roll around such a heavy piece of furniture! Oh and that coral dresser… I love it oh so much! The hardware, especially!!! Now the chandelier is still a mystery to me, but those little round bulbs are a must! We’ll see how it all goes!
      Thanks for the lovely welcome! I miss being a more frequent writer on my own blog, you know?!

  3. Reply


    April 30, 2014

    I pretty much LOVE #1 in each picture!!! Looking forward to see how your room turns out!

    • Reply


      May 4, 2014

      HA! Amazing!!! Thanks, girl ;)

  4. Reply


    April 30, 2014

    So much inspiration! Knowing you, you’ll figure it out just fine, and the end result will be fabulous! I’m especially excited for the dressing drawer.. what a fabulous find, good job Alex!

    • Reply


      May 4, 2014

      Thank you, Johanna!!! I’m excited to get these projects going once Spring weather ACTUALLY arrives in this corner of the world!!!!

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