Treasure Box Wednesday: The Thrifty Office

While inclement weather meant thrifting was a bust this week, that doesn't mean "Treasure Box Wednesday" has to be. So today I'm taking you all to work with me. Virtually. Because:

1.) So much of my office decor has been thrifted and

2.) Good help is hard to find-- Hand me that Jell-O mold so we can submerge this coworker's stapler in fruity gelatin goodness, won't you?

Now with our office prank complete--

(
Heh-heh, remind me to tell you someday about when I kidnapped my colleague's glass cat collection from her desk and left ransom notes telling her where to recover them... Good times... good times)...

--On to the decorating!

The building I work in dates from the mid-1800s and has been many things over the years, the last of which was a series of apartments. This means that our offices-- while professional, functional and nicely-renovated-- also have some fun, unexpected features like exposed brick, fireplaces, and an atmosphere of creativity. As a result, most of us have personalized our spaces. And you know, when I get the opportunity to decorate, it's no surprise that the thrift creeps in.

It's been a great place to showcase a few thrifted lamps and some thrift store art. Here's one thrift store painting you might recall from my Gallery of Foundling Art page-- now looking quite at home here on the chimney brick.


I placed a second painting on a floating shelf, along with a thrifted vase and brass candlestick...



Lastly, here's the one juxtaposed with a print I'd bought years ago when I was in New Orleans. I like the colors and how the peacock in the art is echoed by the stained glass lampshade.


Now on top of my filing cabinet, you'll find my "African Queen" corner-- inspired by my yearly trips to the Florida Keys where you can actually see the real African Queen boat used in the movie...




The movie poster in French (apologies, it's a little blurry) was a Goodwill find, while the photo below it was one I'd taken of the real boat, and the small giclee at right was done by a Florida artist...


The wooden container with the peacock feathers in it was a Salvation Army purchase. And the photo of Stonehenge was actually one I took when I was on vacation. (Claire, you were asking to see one of my pics, so this one's for you!)


And just so you don't think no work could possibly get done here, I thought I'd show you some of my favorite office supply containers, all thrifted and all reappropriated to the task...


The turquoise Depression glass candy dish holds binder clips, while the stained glass bowl makes paper clips easy to reach. Post-Its live in my vintage elephant, which I believe was probably used for cigarettes many moons ago. The little deco pewter dish means I always have a pen handy.

And before we go today, I wanted to introduce you to my mascot-- Bobblehead Jane Austen.


Yes, what writer under stressful deadlines doesn't benefit from a little literary levity? And actually, given Ms. Austen's quirky social satire, a bobblehead just seems to make sense. Plus, she agrees with all my ideas when some added self-esteem is needed! (I'm fairly certain that the real Miss Austen would not have been so compliant.)

So that's our office tour today-- don't forget to have your parking passes validated on the way out. If you happened to miss Sunday's post of spring decorating whimsy-- "The Big Easter Lambie Whammy," click here. As always, I'm delighted you chose to spend a bit of your time here; I know for most of us, time is truly at a premium. So thanks!

16 comments:

Kathy said...

This has some great ideas for repurposing objects. I do love art deco, and have some things with that theme. I will try to make my office a bit more stylish!

Jamie said...

All these things are beautiful, but I absolutely adore that vase on the floating shelf. Gorgeous!

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Kathy- the art deco can work really well for offices. It has such a timeless look to it, in many ways it's already what we think of when we think of streamlined office decor.

Jamie- hey, thanks for stopping! You know, I sort of... um... stalked that vase at the Salvation Army.

I saw it in a cart with items a worker was putting out. And I lingered until she did. I'd never done that before or since. :)

Lidian said...

The African Queen is such a great movie, one of my faves. As is Jane Austen - if she agrees with you, i's got to be good! :)

Vallen said...

While my place of work is old and romantic on the outside, inside it has all the charm of a...well, a high school office. You know surplus crap interspersed wtih kids lunches and tennis shoes that they've forgotten but mom brought by for them.
I love what you've done with your place!!!!

Elena said...

It's amazing what can be found at these thrift stores. Sometimes I wonder how certain items can ever be given away .... all the better for those of us who find them :)

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Lidian- Being a bobblehead, there's a certain amount of, um.. coersion... in Jane's response. But when there are tight deadlines, a gal takes what she gets. :)

Vallen- hey, thanks! And I know what you mean. I'm lucky now, but years ago I worked in a building that was a renovated economy car showroom. And it looked like... a economy renovated car showroom. I never got to see the light of day, there were so few windows. There, I shared my space with the guy who did the shipping, and the coffee pot. Ah, joys of the Grind.

And yes, Elena, I have those curiousities too sometimes... but I hate to question much, or I'd be out of a hobby!... and a blog. :)

Rose Mary said...

Your office is wonderful, Jenn! It is very YOU!!! Your co-workers must love coming in and looking at all your decor. Love all the African Queen info, too. I didn't know the boat was in FL!

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Hi, Rose Mary! It does make it a little more comfortable.

Re: the actual African Queen boat, it's not far from where I stay when I'm in the Keys, so I make sure to make a little pilgrimage each year. You can apparently rent it for tours, etc., too. It just feels so surreal when there, seeing this fairly important movie "prop" out in the open for everyone to enjoy.

Tom Hays said...

Great site. Displays your creativity very well. Keep on!

Jean Tuthill said...

I love reading your blog...so much that I have started my own and I'm really having fun with it. I, too am a thrift shop junkie, I crave thrifted items, the more, the better. I look forward to your Wednesday blogs. Keep up the good work!

Susie said...

Hi, I stumbled across your site accidently but what fun!. I'm a hoarder of vintage stuff and I make reproduction dolls. most of all i enjoyed seeing Stonehenge presented that way.....I drive past the real thing most days!!
Thankyou for sharing,
Sue
www.susie1205.blogspot.com

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Tom- thanks for popping by!

Jean- best of luck to you with your upcoming blog! I hope you find it rewarding. Since you're a thrift addict too, I can tell you, when you thrift, you never run out of things to blog about!

Susie- your dolls are great-- so delicately done. (And your retrievers are cuties, as well!) Cheers to you in the UK!

Greg said...

Loved the chance to see the work environment so many of our emails (ahem, during lunchbreak only, of course...) come from. I worry tho, about you hitting that lovely green candy dish when you're head-desking.

I can't believe there's a Jane Austen bobblehead. If you ever find one of Vita Sackville-West, please keep me in mind!

: )

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Oh, wow, Greg, I wouldn't know Vita Sackville-West if I tripped over her. (Running off to look her up...) Ah, okay. Writer, gardener, poet... got it! :)

And fear not for the candy dish. It's safe and secure. (I notice you're not worried about my HEAD at all there, are you? But is the CANDY DISH all right?... :)

Adriana Zardini said...

Hi Dear! Can I use your image in my blog about jane austen?
I will link to your blog, ok?
Adriana