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With NaNoWriMo just around the corner, I realised that I would need a writing area where I could sit and feel inspired at while I write the first manuscript of my novel. Sitting on the settee in front of the tv was not going to cut it. I was sat writing a post for my blog with my partner sat next to me, chatting away and the tv blaring white noise into my ears and flickering out the corner of my eye, I needed a space where there would be no noise and distraction pulling me out of the writing bubble I envelope myself in when I write. This is where the inspiration of having a writing bureau to sit at came from.

Right there and then, I started the internet search on Facebook looking for a shabby chic style bureau that was readily up-cycled to match my decor in the space I had available. After hours of searching, I just couldn’t find what I wanted so I thought I would up-cycle one myself!

I went to our local furniture reclaim store in our village to browse all the furniture just sat there waiting for someone to come along and breathe some new life into them and to be loved once again. I walked from one room to another looking at the sizes but only saw bed side tables and drawer units, settles and dining chairs. I walked into the last room and there it was staring back at me from the middle of the room surrounded by hoovers and electrical goods.I had found just what I was looking for. A beautiful wooden bureau with a drop-down lid and a nice roomy cupboard at the bottom to store my craft supplies. The only downside was it wasn’t bare wood but varnished to an inch of its life! Dark brown, a lighter shade of mahogany. Not ideal as I knew it would need rubbing down and a lot of tender loving care to make it what I needed. But I took the gamble and decided a major up-cycle was needed.


I set about the mammoth task of undercoating and painting. I started by stripping down the many layers of varnish using a little hand held Black and Decker sander I started the rub down process, switching the pad as needed. After 3 hours of meticulous sanding, it was ready for its undercoat.

this was the only easy part of the whole project as I didn’t need to be too careful and praise as it was an undercoat that wouldn’t be seen. It was finished in under an hour.

Once it was ready I took the next 3 days painting it in stages of three cream top coats and two coats of blue until I was happy it was complete. I then changed the door knobs to something a little more appealing to look at rather than painted wood, with a nice crystal knob and antique knobs for the bottom cupboards. Phil then repositioned the shelf in the bottom cupboard and it was finished in just 5 days!

Here is my beautifully finished writing bureau!



It fit perfectly and looked lovely in its new home in the hallway.



Next was the wonderful and most satisfying part of the whole process and that was to fill it with all my writing items.

I have a little space to put all my bullet journals, a cubby hole for handwritten letters and stationery, inks for my fountain pens and even a spare one once I decide what is missing. On the far left is where I keep all my writing paper and envelopes.

The bottom cupboard holds all of my creative items like embellishments, stickers and washi tapes for my creative crafts and spare paper for the printer etc

I love it! My very own space to become inspired! This is where I will be sitting writing away at my desk about a girl with no memory of her past for the big part of November!











4 thoughts on “Refurbishing the Writing Bureau!

  1. WOW! A dedicated space for writing. NO TV in sight. What a smart [forward-moving] idea. Refinishing your desk proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that YOU HAVE AN EYE FOR THE CREATIVE. Plus, you are smart enough to know that you need a space all your own in which to create. Whenever you approach this space, I suspect you think about writing. How could you not? It looks stocked and ready to go. I don’t see a chair, but any will do in a pinch. Or you can pop back over to the antique store and find one to suit. Something just right for a nice pillow for your back and seat. My beloved mother had a mahogany writing desk. She keep all of her correspondence in it. It didn’t catch dust, she used it. Many of the great writers of old had just the same. Must be something to it. Enjoy!

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