Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

The Desk

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Remember this old desk I found at the charity shop for 180 SEK (USD 25)? I desperately needed some sort of desk to blog at right after we moved in back in May so this was a lucky find.



For a long time this was the situation. It was sitting there along the 1954 wallpaper and looking kind of sad and for a long time I wasn’t sure if it was really “me”. That brown wood and the petrol blue feet and back.



I considered getting rid of it but decided to give painting the legs and back a go to see whether it grew on me.



It did. So much lighter and fresher. But I still wasn’t sure. After getting the sofa and having to rearrange the furniture to accommodate it I thought maybe of getting a simpler white desk that could be free standing in the room instead of having to use valuable wall space for this piece.



In the end I shuffled stuff around. I moved the Expedit further to the right and moved the TV over to this side of the room.



And it feels right!  I’m still not 100% sure about the brown wood but with the TV stand next to it I like how the white in both work together and I’m more and more used to the brown every day. You know what, this is starting to look like a proper room now!


  • Monica B says:

    Jo, men det är klart att skrivbordet/hyllan blir kvar! Snygg form, skön färg och så ger den lite liv till allt det vita. Jättesnyggt!

  • Hi Benita, I really like this piece but I preferred the darker legs because they just disappeared whereas the white feet scream “look at me”.

  • Godmorgon! I like the white legs. What a charming desk.
    I also love your combination of frames and art over the TV. Have a good Tuesday!

  • Robyn says:

    While I think you have done a good job freshening it up, and though you may be getting more used to the brown, I still don’t think it’s “you”. Just keeping it real and being honest.

  • jend'isère says:

    Great idea to boost the desk a half century. I inherited my mother’s mid cetry furniture. A desiger herself, she shipped $15 teak chairs (1963)from NK in Stockholm to the US and now I have it in France. Though the white is clear and refreshing cololur, I cannot bear to see the beautiful richness and texture of teakwood painted over.

  • I totally agree :). I think I’m trying hard to liking it but as soon as I find something else (white…) I’ll probably replace it.

  • Anne says:

    What if yout took off the hight along with the third shelf from the top and painted it white? (yes you may :)) It’s a very clever furniture. Spacewise.

  • Malin says:

    Snyggt och praktiskt i en fin kombination.

  • i says:

    Maybe a color… like a very special turquoise or greenish blue… or wallpaper…
    You’ll find out, take time. Insperation will come.
    Have nice day, Benita!

  • Hxx says:

    I love it – there are so many designers re-vamping these units, painting the doors etc – you could get busy with the white!

  • Pauline says:

    Personally I like the “woodness” of it, I find a great contrast to all the white. But if you’re not loving it you know it’s not going to happen and seeing as it wasn’t expensive Anne has a good point you should give it a Benita make over.
    Go on I’d be thrilled to see what you can come up with 🙂

  • Carolina says:

    I’m with Anne on the makeover bit. I must admit that it doesn’t feel “Benita” in it’s current state……

  • Jill says:

    The desk is beautiful. It might be interesting to add a few wooden objects on the white shelve to unify things. The yellow mirror does not work for me. But, to tell for sure, I would need to see a picture from farther away. I could be mistaken.

  • nicolezh says:

    I like the desk with its new white socks, but I would prefer another chair in front of it. The one you use right now looks too big and cubby, I think a white vintage Saarinen tulip chair would blend in much nicer (and you sit so well on them, they are really comfy). A white Bertoia chair would be very Anna Dorfman but I heard they are hard to sit on for a longer time.
    Anyway, I love this little mirror with the cat´s ears!

  • Jenny says:

    Could you paint it white? It’s a neat piece of furniture but I think it looks odd in the room with the wood….
    I’m sure you’ll come up with something fantastic!

  • Jenny says:

    Oh I like the idea of shortening it and painting it white…:)

  • elisa says:

    i like how it picks up the shade of the floor, and the contrast, but if it doesn’t work for you, that wouldn’t matter! i think painting a wooden piece isn’t a shame at all – the history of painting wood furniture is hundreds of years old! much better than getting rid of things which is mostly what folks seem to do. interested to see what works out x

  • I’m on the hunt for a great chair. This is only temporary and is one of the stools from around the dining table. I just don’t want to spend a huge amount so I’m waiting to find something great at the charity shop :).
    The orange kitty is actually a frame which I got from a sweet reader, Valeria.

  • Anne says:

    Oh wallpaper! That would be cool. 🙂

  • Elisabeth says:

    I agree about the chair. The wood is kind of groovy :)The white tulip chair just might complete it.

  • celia says:

    If it doesn’t feel right to you, I think you should replace it. Especially with something like a desk, where you want to be able to sit and do creative work.
    But, I’m in the don’t-paint group. It’s such a great piece for people who do like this style.

  • The white feet look so much fresher. How about taking thr shelves off the top? I like the colour of the wood, but I’m influenced by what’s fashionable, we’ve got a TV unit passed down to us in a similar style and until last year I was desperate to get rid of it, as they’ve become more fashionable it’s grown on me. You seem to have such a clear idea of your own style, trust your own judgement. I love how you’ve mixed the rectangular and oval frames over the TV, the colours although bright look so refreshing.

  • christina says:

    Exactly, the finish on this piece is too good to paint. Benita, please consider selling it to someone else or take it back to the thrift shop if you decide it doesn’t work in the room — painting it would be such a shame for those of us that search for pieces like this.

  • Rose says:

    I really like the desk. I like its efficiency and the way the drawers angle out. I think it is hard to find the right place for it, though. That’s a piece I would REALLY want on wheels because I would be moving it everywhere. 🙂

  • devil says:

    Well, it’s your piece and if you want to paint it white, go ahead. It’s not a priceless antique, it’s supposed to be well-used. The piece has good bones, it’s just not the right color for your place.
    If you do paint it, you could replace those legs with casters or put on different legs. Or, you could remove them entirely if it wouldn’t mess up the height.

  • Dru Peters says:

    I think it looks cool with what you have added to the walls..the colors look great with the wood of the piece. Are all the shelves original to this piece? I think it looks a little top heavy, with the large gap to that top most shelf, and if it ended where the desk flips up it would look balanced opened and closed. I think it is so interesting and different looking, a nice contrast to the slick tv and the white Ikea shelving..and that shorter, with some great piece on the top, would look fantastic. The ability to close up the desk in a public room is a real plus! You keep your space clear from clutter, but the ability to really close off from work on the weekend is a good thing. You will find the right chair and that alone will make this sing!

  • I think it’s great and it both grounds and warms the space a bit with so much white and neutral gray. Its so clean and compact which seems to fit your style. I won’t be surprised if you paint it though 🙂

  • Valeria says:

    Hi Benita,
    Glad you still like it!

  • jja says:

    It looks great! I like everything except the carpet, but the fact is i don’t like carpets at all, only nice bare wood.
    And what an amazing price for that working spot.
    If I would paint it at all then grey (light gray). Or black.

  • Magpie says:

    hej Benita! Gillar ben-make-overn, det vita blev en fin kontrast som framhäver träet på ett tjusigt sätt. Men hallå – den där pallen ser inte så ergonomisk ut… 🙂

  • katie says:

    Paint it white! I can’t wait to read why you haven’t yet…maybe b/c u think u should keep it original? I LOVE painting furniture. Everytime I finally go for it I am ALWAYS glad I did. Like a breath if FRESH air! My whole house is white thx to YOU and I LOVE it. Very BREATHABLE and relaxing! Paint it!! 🙂

  • Ellen S. says:

    I love the desk – it’s a great piece and so functional. I’d love to see you keep the original color for now — see how it grows on you.

  • Peggy says:

    jend’isère, I used to rabidly agree with your opinion of painted wood but I have mellowed through the years. This is furniture that has survived long enough to be adapted to the owner’s taste and if that involves painting over wood then so be it. Future owners are able to strip off the paint to adapt to THEIR preferences. As for Miss Benita’s adaptation, it’s turned the beautiful piece from dowdy to delightful; really lightened it up. And doesn’t it just perfectly reflect the floor ‘color’? The floor has a new friend and they suit one another beautifully!

  • Peggy says:

    Excellent idea, Anne! Removing the base might lower it beyond comfort, though. How about creating a plinth and cant the front board so that it would mimic the design already in place? And THEN paint it all white. And, wonder of wonders, the removed third+ shelf would give you the materials necessary for such a transformation. I LOVE it!

  • All the shelves are original. The top shelf can be moved up though but I’ve tried that and it ends up too hight to be practical so I moved it back down again.

  • Jag letar efter nåt bättre än pallen men riktigt ergonomiskt kommer det nog aldrig att bli. FÖR fult med en kontorsstol. Ja, det skulle vara en Eames Office Chair då men de är så stora…

  • Ah, but the legs are my my favorite part of the whole piece :).

  • Maddelaine says:

    Can’t wait to see some pics of the whole room.

  • Holland says:

    I too am not a fan of this wood tone in context of your home, Benita, but the shape and efficiency of that desk are really nice.
    What about painting it out a shiny pale grey, or even a color that pops (if you dare-!) I’d also try painting the legs and base something softer, like a grey, either matching or contrasting with the color chosen for the wood — maybe in a matte finish.
    Hope you decide to play with it. After all, you only have $25 invested, so experimenting with is fun!

  • Shelly says:

    I too would love to see pics of the whole room…sort of a progress report! 😉 I like the white legs and think it’s a great desk, I also like the other readers suggestion of a white tulip chair, although your galaxy chairs have that feel and it may be too much repitition, a Bertoia chair in white would be cool and I’m sure you could make a comfy seat cushion for it. Can’t wait too see what you do! Also, I love your mirror/art arrangement! The mirror and kitty frame tie the desk in well.

  • Beatrice says:

    That desk looks great and what a bargain. You can’t go too wrong for $25. Does it ever bother you when you sit down? I was thinking of getting something like this from Ikea and put it in the living room, but I figured I should wait and find the exact piece I want in there. Your room looks great. You must be very happy. Enjoy it!

  • Maja says:

    I´m not thrilled with the first look of the desk, the color is just blah, but you somehow ( as always ) incorporated it beautifuly with the rest of the furniture.
    Your house is coming along beautiful.

  • titti says:

    I agree with Christina. If it’s in as good shape as the pictures suggest, you’ll definitely be able to sell it again on Blocket for far more than the SEK 180 you gave. 50s teak furniture is wanted in many quarters! (Provided the teak isn’t painted over, that is…:-)

  • Mertxe says:

    El escritorio es una pieza preciosa, que contrasta muy bien con sus muebles blancos. Si me permite una sugerencia, ha considerado colocarlo entre dos “Expedit” (de 2 cuadros), unidas por arriba con una estante “Lack”? Creo que colocado en el centro de esta composición el escritorio brillará con luz propia! Al mismo tiempo, ayudaría a definir los usos de la habitación: zona despacho, zona estar… De todos modos, estoy segura de que haga lo que haga, estará bien, su gusto y estilo son increibles!. Gracias por compartir, un saludo afectuoso desde España.

  • I’m not very into the wood… but then I though of the whole desk white, and nehh… everything wold look too too white… so what about some color? yellow or orange or green?

  • Nicole says:

    I think it might be nice to place a cool pice of wallpaper behind the shelves in a color scheme that unifies it with other pieces in the room. Or….get a really big piece of cardboard and stencil it ( in a color scheme that unifies blah blah) and attach that to the back. Or…. a cool piece of fabric. And then you could make throw pillows with the leftovers. Or…. just kidding that’s all I have. No wait! One more…put down shelf paper, fabric etc. un the shelves to tone down the brown with some desk blotters.
    It looks gray but is really clear and cut-able.
    Now I’m done.

  • I would not dare to make a suggestion, since whatever you do will be fabulous. However…despite my husband’s teasing that I just want to ‘paint it all white and white’, that desk gave me pause. It’s nice, mid-century modern and *gulp* teak? I might be worried that the wood-gods would smite me. 🙂

  • Messy says:

    Same here… It’s beautiful, but it still seems a guest in your house rather than settled at home with the cat in its lap, if you know what I mean.
    Still, at least you’re typing away and you’ll have something to tweak and blog about later!

  • Haha, I already tried that :). I had the Vivienne Westwood Squiggle stapled back there for almost a month (and tried about ten other wallpapers before that) but decided to remove it just before taking these photos. I prefer it without I decided.

  • Noga says:

    Love it! I hope you are going to get a white nice chair with a green and white pillow…
    I have the same question now, should I paint or leave the wood as it is.
    I think I’m going to paint.
    When I’m done, I’ll invite you to c my blog..
    By the way, it is sometimes 30C in Israel these days..

  • The white legs are great! But I would go with all white and maybe a pop of color like changing the petrol background (with wallpaper for texture?) or painting the legs again (yellow? green?)
    I would love to see it all white

  • Oh boy did I ever search for a beautiful white TV like that back when we were buying one two months ago. No such luck in the UK 🙁 but I compromised by finding one that my hubby liked the ‘specs’ of, which had a clear (transparent) border around the edges, and on top of the IKEA high-gloss white Besta Burs TV cabinet it looks fab! Thank you as always for the inspiration 🙂

  • Céline says:

    My english is very bad but I can say : I LOVE YOUR BLOG !!!
    Kiss from France 🙂

  • Nicole says:

    Ahhhhh and I thought I was soooooo smart!

  • Heidii says:

    Everything you touch turns into gold. Even with a simply paint up of the legs! & in white! Less is really more.

  • says:

    Great change, especially the white legs, made a big difference on the storage desk. Thanks:)

  • becky says:

    i have to say, the wood is a nice contrast. i’m struggling with the white-on-white thing myself and have to work to put natural materials to good used in my rooms. it’s really hard not to spray paint everything in sight. i have this beautiful wood tray and a can of gold spray paint calling my name as i type. but the wood is beautiful and just needs some love and i know it’ll be a nice contrast (i’m so painting it gold, sigh). anyhoo, i love the look of it – though, it is your house. blog stalker here saying hello and goodbye – love your blog, love the house.

  • Antonella says:

    love this suggestion!