Monday, November 28, 2011

An Early Christmas Present

I don't know about you, but I'm happy to wrap up this dreary and rainy Monday.
I'd much rather have snow on the ground instead of puddles, but wearing my cute new rain boots helps.
(Red glossies, if you are wondering. I took a accidental departure and ordered them in cranberry, but they were too pink for me. So back they went. I think I counted about 10 mom's sporting Hunters at pick up today.  hmmmm. I'm not so crazy about the trendiness.)  

Anyway....This Saturday,  Jimmy and Andrew went on a little adventure out in the country in Papa's pick up to check out a Craig's list find for me. (ok, not really "the country", only a 45 minute drive away)  I've had my hopes on finding a tall secretary to put in our upstairs office for some time now.  
Ever since I saw this one in Southern Living I've been on a mission...
I was kind of striking out. But on a whim I checked in last week on Craig's list and spotted a new listing for an antique Governor Winthrop secretary.  I did a little research.  The style was created by Thomas Chippendale in the 1920's and named after the first Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  
Seems like they go for a pretty penny on ebay and at antique stores.
I also realized I'd pinned quite a few...
(super traditional styling)
(so pretty with a fabric or wallpaper back)
(painted blue from elle decor)
 When I saw the price I hopped on it with my pulse racing.
I was sure someone would of snatched that baby up.
It was my lucky day.
Jimmy asked before he left if I was sure I hadn't missed a zero on the price.
Nope.  A rare steal.  Hard to come by.
Now this is my kind of Christmas present...
(Sorry for the awful picture. This room is unfinished. Needs fresh paint + carpet in a bad way)
Isn't the fretwork fabulous!!
Originally, I planned to paint the whole thing a glossy black and line the back with grasscloth,
Now I'm not so sure.
It's in really good shape, just needs a little elbow grease and a couple coats of dark wax.
You'll have to stay tuned to see what happens.
For now I'm just thrilled to get the ikea bookcase eyesore outta there.
While we use this room as an office it is supposed to be a sitting room and adjoins to ours. 
When you walk in our bedroom you can see straight into this room and now
this secretary is the view.  
There is something so pretty about a secretary in a bedroom space, no?
(the above is identical to ours!!)
Now off for evening prayers + bedtime kiss for my eldest!


  1. Lucky you! What a great find!! I inherited a secretary from my grandparents. It's missing the top, but I never missed it until now. Love all these gorgeous pictures you've shown :)

    By the way, I've been totally stalking your blog! Love your style!!

  2. It is gorgeous! I especially love the styling with the Christmas wreath on it. (Seriously!) My parents have an identical one that my dad uses daily for his desk in their living room. I will have to show all your pretty photos to my mom.
    What a wonderful Christmas present!

  3. gorgeous! I love it when you post photos of your beautiful home! xoxo, Melaine

  4. What a lucky lady ... fabulous early Christmas gift! I'm thinking I like the color as is ~ can't wait to see what you decide.

    Looks like you all enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving. Love your skirt!


  5. How exciting! What a fabulous find!!! I like it as it is too. Classic and Classy.

  6. Tessa, it is just beautiful! What a wonderful find!!!

  7. Great find! I can't wait to see it in place; I know you will do a beautiful job finishing and styling such a handsome piece.

  8. Fantastic! I'm sure it's just perfect.

  9. I love it! Please don't paint it... It's gorgeous as is!!!!! I had my eye on one a little while back. You are one lucky lady!!!! Merry Christmas! xoxo

  10. love it! i agree with alex. don't paint it! your home seriously needs to be published!

  11. Ack! Don't paint it! It looks like it's either cherry wood or Mahogany. Mahogany is now a rare and super expensive wood. I loved painted furniture but only stuff that's not the best quality materials in the first place. Just kills me to see people destroy a quality antique with a coat of whatever colored paint. It's so warm and lovely the way it is. Woah! Guess I'm more opinionated on that than I thought! It will still be lovely if you paint it but you can't UNPAINT it, so take your time deciding.

  12. great piece wow love it . I wouldnt paint it either I would keep it orginal but what ever you decide will look perfect !! take care

  13. ha! you are all so right! it's stayin', no paintin'!! i too don't have the heart to cover a pretty antique in paint either. just can't do it, no matter what price i paid for it! thanks for helping me remember that!! :)

  14. It's beautiful! Great find. Isn't Craigs List the best?

  15. What a beautiful find! Merry Christmas!


  16. I guess your heart was racing. Mine was just reading this post. I am thrilled for you!

  17. congratulations! I can't wait to see how it turns out. My in laws have one that looks identical to yours... I'm hoping it will be ours one day!


  18. Don't you love snagging something like that from Craigslist!

    Do you know what issue of Southern Living that picture came from? - Rachel

  19. Tessa, that is gorgeous! Great find.....don't ya just love Craigslist. I think it looks great natural and I usually love painted furniture. Can't wait to see another one of your rooms transform! thanks for stopping by my blog the other day ;)

  20. Hi Rachel ~ Yes, the first image is from the Southern Living Feb 2011.

  21. I am so tickled to see your post. I bought an identical secretary on Craigslist, also with the intention of painting it. After I got it home, I loved it so much, I didn't have the heart to paint. You can still line the back with pretty paper and display your treasures on the shelves. I like to leave the doors open and hang a small wreath on the inside of one of the doors. (PS I did see one painted black with a chinese red interior that made me swoon!)

  22. Awesome Tessa! You lucky dog, this is such a great gift. I am jealous:)

    Amy R.

  23. Love this piece! I have had a lingering thought for months now that a piece like this would work great in a certain spot in our my search has just started to find one. Is it bad etiquette to ask how much you paid? I'm not really sure what is a "good deal" on a piece like this.

  24. LOVE the glad you decided not to paint'll look gorgeous in your beautiful home.

  25. I have always wanted an antique secretary like yours. Really pretty.

  26. I found your home through Pinterest, it is just lovely. and how fun to see that I have the same secretary in my living room. Mine used to be belong to my parents and is missing the drop-down desk portion but the hardware is still in there. I've added fabric behind the glass doors on mine since I needed hidden storage more than open right now. Can't wait to see your new office when it's done. I'm following your blog now. :)

  27. Beautiful post dahhling...particularly loved the blue painted piece!

  28. I bought this same secretary about 5 years ago when we moved into our farmhouse. I love the idea of hanging the wreath from the center. Adorable. Wish I could fit it into my bedroom - mine is in the living room. Looks nice there, though. Love all these other pictures you've posted. Wonderful taste and lots of inspiration!