Old barn doors with etched glass pattern and an old cubby with pottery.

Years ago I owned a little recycled finds shop called Feather Your Nest with three of my best friends. For years we converged for coffee in the wee hours on Saturday morning, then headed out to junkin’ adventures hither and yon. After awhile our collections were taking over our homes so it only seemed natural to open up a shop to sell our overflow treasures. During one of our junkets, Laura and I each purchased one of two matching old barn doors, then joined them together with hinges to make a wonderful display at the shop.

Fast forward a decade, and the doors found themselves together again as a backdrop for my home office desk. You can see that I have chosen two different sides to face outward, mostly because I couldn’t decide. Ages ago during projecting weeks for PaintAndPattern.com I added etching spray using custom Modello patterns. Isn’t the effect the coolest?

The old sorting cabinet is the result of begging a flea market vendor to sell it to me. Yes, I may have batted my eyelashes. Naturally a collection of tiny pots followed. Plus African baskets.

My unusual desk evolved four years ago after my shoulder replacement surgery. Oddly enough, sitting at the regular height desk was really uncomfortable while recuperating. So, my contractor hubby made a box to sit on top so I could work standing up. I added my crazy collection of old books, then a stool. I never looked back.

Apparently, two old doors are simply not enough. After I moved my former decorative painting studio home in 2013, I added this crusty beauty in a corner. The gorgeous peeling teal shutter offered more pretty contrast, especially with the santos in front. Recently in Marrakech, I was taken by the leather and fabric tribal piece. The little box opens and that’s where the talisman for good luck is placed. By contrast, the santos wears my aunt’s silver rosary. She was a mother superior in a Parisian order of nuns, and it is a cherished momento.

The little cabinet below is yet one more cubby-type goodie. It is not old, but I love that it fits more old books, a hand-crafted wooden bowl, and a basket I picked up in East Africa.

To the left is a skinny folksy cabinet my neighbor purchased on a joint junking trip to Hillsville, Virginia. When we remodeled our kitchen afterwards, I gave her all of the old cabinets for her rental house, and she gave me this piece that I coveted all along. A perfect trade.

A few years after acquiring the cabinet I decided to embellish it with a custom Royal Design Studio Modello pattern. After applying the custom design, I brushed on a thin layer of neutral brown stain. When dry, I sanded it lightly with 100-grit sandpaper. Though it is super simple, it is one of my favorite projects.

The top of the skinny cabinet is nice and flat, and I style and re-style it constantly. Just now I must be enamored with round items and more African pieces like the collar and the little South African beaded horse.

Our 1970’s ranch home is not large, but it has lots of bedrooms, and my office is housed in one of the smaller ones. It faces the unusual courtyard entrance. I enjoy the moodiness of the lighting on dreary days like today.

Outside on the courtyard wall hubby and I added old rusty ironwork to frame an urn full of blooms and two old metal chairs that are the perfect spots for heavy pots. It is the shady side of the courtyard, and it took forever to learn that impatiens and hostas are the best choice to grow there. A sweet view, especially on a gloomy day.

Outdoor courtyard with ornate metalwork and large hostas.

Confession. My family has accused me of over-pillowing. I cannot stop. Pillows make the world cozy. For reading, for TV, for kitty snuggling. The combo of kilim pillows with the Moroccan lady on canvas makes me happy.

To me, there’s no better side table than an old trunk. The fact that my find from our local Chartreuse barn was already painted teal made me smile. It is a color I keep gravitating to for pottery and accents like the crusty shutter.

An old Scandinavian corner cupboard, a succulent, favorite styling books, and a snack complete the enveloping warmth of this office. I never tire of working in here every day.

This large cat was made by local potter Steve Cannon in honor of our sweet calico rescue Lacey Jane, now in kitty heaven. She has such catitude! On the barn door are large glass and metal hooks from Anthropologie. So perfect for displaying African mud cloth throws. An enormous pothos is taking over the corner. I swear it grows while I watch.

So, that’s it. Have I given you some ideas for using old doors around your house? I would love to see what you do with them!

Stay tuned for more old doors!

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