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Restoration Hardware Inspiration

Little Girl's Desk Makeover project Cheltenham RoadThis may not be the best way to follow up my “I stole from the Salvation Army” post because now I seem to have done a similar thing at Goodwill and you’re going to start wondering about my moral center.  But I swear (again) it wasn’t intentional!

A friend tipped me off that there was a Goodwill outlet nearby.  I had no idea that Goodwill had “outlet stores” and I must confess the idea of a place filled with items that are so bad that they didn’t sell in a regular Goodwill didn’t sound all that promising but I had to check it out.

It turned out to be a warehouse  filled with unsorted piles of clothes with  a small area of housewares and random furniture.  And I saw this:

Bad paint job, lots of dings and scratches and whoever had owned it was a big fan of chewing gum (previously chewed and “saved” portions were in every drawer and under the top edge).  They were also waaaaay into the Little Mermaid with stickers of Ariel and friends everywhere.

But there was lots of potential!  It was solid wood with dovetailed drawer joints.

However, there was no price on it or, in fact, on anything in the store.

It turns out that, at the outlet, the check-out people call the price based on some secret rubric that only they know.

A woman ahead of me in line held up a chair and was told “three dollars!”  The next woman’s basket of mis-matched glassware went for “two dollars!”

It was my turn and I pointed at the desk and the cashier said “twenty five dollars!”

It seemed like a good deal to me but I’m a little math-challenged and I had to take a second to calculate if, in the end, that price plus the work it needed would work for me.

But the cashier confused my “math-challenged” face for my “that’s too expensive” face” (totally understandable as both involve brow-furrowing and a general appearance of unhappiness) and she immediately countered her own offer by saying “ten dollars!”

Startled, I tried to explain that I wasn’t actually trying to haggle with Goodwill (which seemed like it would be another bad-karma move) but she just repeated “ten dollars”  in a kind of adamant way so I paid and hightailed home.

I had first imagined the desk covered with maps or maybe Hardy Boys book covers but the more I worked on it the more I came to feel it was more of a little girl’s desk.  And after seeing this in a Restoration Hardware catalogue

I decided to go with a classic pink, white and brown scheme.

I thought the drawers needed a little more dimension so I added some wooden plaques from Michaels to the fronts along with some pink crystal knobs.

And it came out like this: 

I thought it would look good in some little girls room but, surprisingly, I sold it to a grown (albeit tiny) woman whose only real concern was if her computer monitor would fit.  You just never know….

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About cheltenhamroad

I’ve been surrounded by amazingly creative people my whole life. My mom can, and does, make anything. The family has on occasion speculated that she just whipped up my dad one day when she discovered some left over fabric and stuffing. My three sisters have mad skills ranging from needlework to cooking to out and out ART. My father’s desk when I was growing up had a model train set going around it, oh, and he made that desk-from scratch. I’m the youngest and, as you can imagine, it’s a hard series of acts to follow. Truth be told, I’ve spent many, many years suppressing the creative instincts I learned at home. But I realized (rather late in life) that few things bring me more joy than making and creating. For the longest time when I went to stores I didn’t think, “I want that” I thought, “I can make that.” And, with a deep breath and a leap, I’ve started on a very new, kinda scary path. I’ve given up my steady, dependable (dull!) corporate life to spend my days happily humming away in my garage designing, creating, painting, decoupaging and sawing and, since this blog will be an honest take on things, there is also a fair amount of tripping, spilling and swearing. Through this blog I hope to share with you the struggles and (hopefully) triumphs of a very non-businessy business person. I also hope to make this blog a resource for people who like to work with their hands and who are, like me, always looking at things and thinking “I could make that!” I’ve lived many places since I left Cheltenham Road; I currently live in Los Angeles California. So, with this preamble- Welcome to Cheltenham Road! Please come on over and make yourself comfortable – the place is always open.

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