Clash of Styles–My Daughter’s New Desk

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 bright green painted vintage desk


My friend Megan and I went to the awesome Cameron Antique Fair in Cameron, NC, a few months ago , and I scored a beautiful little desk for $75.  I’ve been looking for one for awhile, but nothing was exactly right so I continued to bide my time.  I had visions of painting it white, or even pale green, and putting it in her very girly pink and green room, where everything matches perfectly because I worked hard to make it match perfectly.   It didn’t quite work out that way, and I have to admit that I’m still grinding my teeth over it.

My sweet little seven-year-old has developed an amazing sense of personal style over the last few months, and I’m struggling with the fact that her personal style is pretty much the opposite of mine.  Did I make her this way by imposing my taste on her during her formative years?  I happen to think that I have awesome taste, but maybe everyone thinks that, even the people who have hideous taste!  She informed me a few months ago that upon our next move, she wants her room to be green, yellow, and robin’s egg blue, with stripes, polka dots, and ELEPHANTS on the wall.  Thank God that she changed her mind last week and now wants chocolate brown walls with all white furniture and bedding (I see lots of spray paint and bleach in my future!).  My husband tells me that unless I let her express her individuality now, she will come home with pink hair when she’s a teenager, and if things continue the way they’ve been going, he will probably be correct.

My first strategic mistake on the desk was that I allowed her to pick out paint colors with me.  Everyone knows that seven-year-olds should be allowed to select from two or three PRE-APPROVED choices (this works with everything from outfits to hairstyles to paint colors), but I forgot to heed that time-honored advice and took her to the store.  You must know that I am essentially lazy and into immediate gratification when it comes to fixing up furniture, and so I usually spray paint it (I know, this shows a lack of character on my part, but I am working on it).  My favorite color of spray paint green is “Celery” by Krylon, and I have used many cans of it in Annabelle’s room.

Krylon Celery spray paint


I painted this darling stepstool with celery spray paint...

I painted this darling stepstool with celery spray paint…


..and this cool wood initial is also celery.

..and this cool wood initial is also celery.

But did my sweet girl want her new desk to be Celery?  No, she did not.  She wanted Pistachio, Celery’s slightly tacky older sister, and there was no arguing with her.  I suggested the old standby White, or the ever-popular Ballet Slipper, or please, please, please how about Celery?  We left the store with four cans of Pistachio, and a can of Watermelon for an accent color (yes, Watermelon is essentially hot pink).  I had a bad feeling about the whole thing, right from the beginning.


Pistachio and Watermelon.  Uh-oh!

Pistachio and Watermelon. Uh-oh!


I do think that I was a good mother that afternoon because I allowed her to shoot some of the spray paint on her very own desk, and I also let her use most of the can of Watermelon to spray paint a limb that had fallen from our oak tree.  That was a good strategic move, too,  since we didn’t have as much left to paint the trim and the hardware and so the desk remains more green than pink.  I even painted Watermelon polka dots on the top of the desk at her request (but no stripes or elephants).  FYI, a wasabi can makes perfectly-sized polka dots should you ever cave in to your daughter’s decorating vision.

So here’s the final version of Annabelle’s new desk.  She adores it even though it is so bright that it clashes violently with everything else in her room.  I placed it on the same wall as the door to her room, so it’s not a focal point (you get the best light here for reading, honey).  As you can see, the desk itself is darling with lots of sweet details, and I comfort myself with the fact that in about a year, it will get a white coat of paint in her new room, and Pistachio will be a distant, although bilious memory.


bright green painted vintage desk


Thanks for stopping by!



  1. I think it is adorable. I love those colors together. Very bright and cheery and perfect for a girl. thanks for joining the party.

  2. Awesome! I’ll bet she does love it!!! I think it’s very cool you let her decide! 🙂

  3. I think it’s adorable!! I bet it is pretty bright in person, but kids love bright, huh? 😉 Maybe she’ll be more inclined to use the piece since you let her have a hand in making it over!

    Thanks so much for joining my party. Have fun finding some new reads! Hope you’ll stop by Serenity Now again soon! 🙂

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