We found a beautiful desk at Father Time Antiques. The desk is from the 1930s and had a green leather top that was in good, but not perfect condition. The desk fit our room perfectly, has a great classic look with history and was on budget at $195.
After doing some research, I decided to replace the leather top myself with a new black leather top with gold tooling. I had a great experience doing this, it was easy, and the results speak for themselves.
My first step was to vacuum and sand out the interior of the desk and drawers. I waxed and polished the wood and lined the drawers with cork. It initially had a musty smell but that completely dissipated after these steps were complete. I am sure it also helped to have the drawers on the floor for a week airing out.
When I removed the leather top, I noticed there was water damage on one area of the desk where the wood felt “soft”. I cut this area out with a utility knife and replaced the veneer with a piece I found on Amazon.
I measured the space with a piece of magazine, and cut the veneer with a pair of kitchen scissors.
I glued the new piece of veneer with wood glue and placed heavy books on top. Then, I filled the edges with wood putty and sanded it down when dry.
I ordered the beautiful new leather top from Dave at DCT Leathers. They are based in Canada and did an amazing job!
All I had to do was follow his instructions: brush a layer of wallpaper glue, roll out leather and smooth with cloth. Done!
This desk will live in the den, which is painted dark navy / black Railings by Farrow & Ball.
The den has been painted Railings by Farrow & Ball. It is a sophisticated color and makes for a cozy room! A flashback to where we started:
And, where we are today. A completely refreshed base for what will be a den.
The choice of color was an easy one, working with the fireplace surround, but I was in suspense leading up to the big reveal and wasn’t disappointed. Walter and his team from Tapia’s Works did an impeccable job.
You may recall that a prior owner had painted around the mirror, leaving the space beneath a surprising shade of pink! We cleaned that up this time around.
A sprayed finish is the way to go for smooth surfaces like doors, and detailed surfaces like molding, with a brush sprinkled in as needed for more detailed trim. I must say that I am a true Farrow & Ball subscriber after seeing the finish compared to the prior paint.
We still need to identify a good spot to hang a television and make a decision on drapes.
Now that the base is complete I am considering furniture ideas and searching for the perfect plaid rug. Let me know if you have any ideas!
Many of the windows in this home are drafty because they are old! The den is a great example with curved glass windows from 1897 and the bedrooms all have wooden framed windows that raise and lower on chains. In addition to being energy inefficient, the draft does blow in some dust and debris – yuck – which is not great for the new paint job! I searched solutions and found only a couple that I would consider myself. Now, these are NOT the most energy efficient solutions, but they are the prettiest, so keep that in mind.
First, there is window putty that can be inserted in the gaps. It is pretty discreet, but I couldn’t find it in white, so I gave up.
Second, there is Etsy! Etsy solves so many problems in a chic way. I am loving these Grain Sack Linen-Canvas door and window draft stoppers from Woods & Shore and ordered the beautiful yellow and cream version for the guest.
The den is draped in a lovely shade of Wimborne White paint. Walter and his team from Tapia’s Works carefully painted the detailed mantle, trim and ceiling. The den is now ready for a coat of Railings which will be a dramatic update for this space and make it a super cozy place to hang out.
I’m excited about this room because it will be painted Railings, a softer alternative to black. You may remember what the room looked like before we got started. The brick on the fireplace was the inspiration for the wall color.
It is funny to me that the previous owner painted around the mirror, but not underneath it. The mirror was purchased from the prior owner for $500 and will be re-hung once the painting is finished.
I am excited to move into an era of paint that is NOT gray. I am tired of the gray paint that I have been enjoying for the last 10 years (aren’t you?!).
The finish of Wimborne White on the trim is Estate Eggshell and the walls will be painted Estate Emulsion, a chalky finish.
One of the neighboring units did restore their mantle to original wood and it was gorgeous, but out of budget (and time!) for us to restore, so we have kept with white paint and will enjoy the character with fireside drinks with family and friends!
I haven’t written much about the den, but it is a room I am really excited about. The den is one of many rooms in this home that are circular, but is unique because all of the window panes are original and curved as well. The windows face Astor Street with great eastern exposure and the room has a wood burning fireplace and a beautiful original wood mantle.
The den is in the back of the house, clustered together with the master bedroom and bathroom, the entirety of which can be separated from the rest of the house by closing a door. Originally, this room was a bedroom but it was less functional without a closet and seemed better suited as a space to relax. The vision for this den is to be cozy and dark, while also warm and inviting. Here is the den today:
The mirror above the fireplace was purchased from the original homeowner for $500. I think it is a great mirror for the space, is beveled and is the perfect size.
The walls will be painted Farrow & Ball Railings, a softer alternative to black that complements the fireplace brick.
Similar to the other rooms, the window boxes will be kept Farrow & Ball Wimborne White.