my studio desk

Last fall I picked up an old metal desk to become my new desk in the studio. I needed something strong (5 kids) and big. Here is what it looked like when I found it. I sent Chris to the shop to pick it up in his truck for me. He texted me a picture to make sure it was the right one….

Nothing a little spray paint can’t fix. I wanted my most used supplies readily available. The yellow shelf I found at a flea market. It was army green and being used as a display. Spray paint again. I was going to make the desk look picture ready, but there always seems to be someone using it.

A peek at the shelves.

When my 6 year old isn’t working on his garden plans, his sister is painting peg people. I try not to let it bother me that the people are all just globs of paint. I think I’m going to have to at least take a sharpie to them and draw on some faces. She won’t mind.

And then there is the littlest girl who has learned to open and dump drawers.

Not the least bit related to the desk, but they moved over to my old rocking horse and I still had the camera out. Seeesters.

“Okay mom, please intervene with the hugging now.”

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  • Tracy Rizzo - I have that exact shelf! On my art table too. Mine is still green. I found mine next to dumpster on the military base we are stationed at. Bowie want to paint mine a bright color too!

  • Jennifer - Love this! Especially those two little ones at the end. 🙂 Where is the headband from? We just entered girl world and I have no idea where to buy this stuff. 🙂

  • Cate O'Malley - Such a happy space to create!

  • natalie - THAT DESK. no words! so cute! 🙂

  • Sherry - Your studio just keeps getting better and better! I am loving your peeks on Instagram! So much vintage and colors…swoon!

    On a side note, did you get the frame that your Katie Daisy print is in, at Ikea? Or did you luck out at finding it somewhere else? I live in Oklahoma and hate that we have no Ikea to just run to and grab the perfect white frames!

  • Tonya - The glitter, the paint, the kids playing in both….I love it!

  • Leila - It’s all so inspiring, colorful, and homey, and the kids are so cute — but I have to admit that I am blown away by the idea of storing the paints bottoms out so you can see the color!! So much better than tops up and reading the stupid label. You are a genius.

  • Jacci - It all looks so awesome, Ashley. What a happy and bright space
    For dull gray winter days 🙂

    I’m chuckling that you didn’t include your spray paint
    colors. You know 127 people (including me!) are going
    to ask for the names 🙂 I’d love to know the color & brand
    of your white, too. Looks like a standard “bright white”, but
    that may be all the light coming in, too, making it even whiter (?).
    At any rate, it’s perfect. We have a back room that has been
    our woodshop for the last four years. One wall is chalkboard (green)
    But I’m hoping to have the walls & floor bright white within the year.
    It’s just so gorgeous. Your studio is really perfect. So happy for you!!!!

  • Angie Webb - Your girls are stunning! [PS – wish I had a craft space like that!)

  • Lennie - You have beautiful children. Such a blessing. Love the desk!

  • seriously sasssy mama - This inspires me to get working on my cabinet. It is an old one from Ikea, that I have wanted to doctor up to hold all sorts of things. Crafts, paperwork, kids stuff etc. We moved into a smaller home, and lost some space. I love all the paints and washi tape!

  • jenna - So pretty!! i can’t wait to see the pottery section of the studio!

  • Amanda Torres - I had a desk identical to that when I was teaching. I LOVED the pullout tabletops that slid in and out. They made my life so much easier. Your desk makes me happy!

  • Kelli - What a fun workspace! I love it, and I LOVE that you let your kids use it too.

  • Debbie C - Ah, my little one is almost two and dumps every. container. she. sees. Sigh…

  • jenny - love your desk and the shelf. I love all of the happy colors together.
    and I REALLY LOVE this last photo-SO cute! 🙂

  • Alicia Millis - love your space so much! wish I could see it in person. so inspiring the things you turn into beauties!

  • mandi@herbanhomestead - Love it all. That yellow shelf is killer! I like how you placed it up on the desk too. So…the part where you said “seeesters” made me think of “easters” from Nacho Libre (as if I needed to say where it’s from!) and that always makes my day!

  • Mary Beth - I just have to comment that your little girls are adorable. I’ve really enjoyed watching your journey through adoption and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE seeing the big sister/little sister relationship grow. I have a daughter and a son, and while the brother-sister relationship is amazing, there is something so special about the bond of sisterhood. Much love to you and your family!

  • Julia Moore - So, when you spray paint something like this, do you have to sand it first? Do you just wash it really good? I’ve never spray painted furniture before but it’s so inspiring! Thanks.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - seesters 🙂

  • Rebecca Alexis - LOVE this. I love people who have such a good eye for finding just what they need at a thrift store or yard sale. I am not always so lucky. But this is a gorgeous desk & I love that your children use it as well. What a mama you are! so great! xo

  • Noelle - If one day you get bored because you already re-did everything in your house, I will gladly switch houses with you and you can start all over on mine. 🙂

  • Tiah - Do you have any tips for finding such great items? Every time I go to Goodwill or a flea market I have no luck finding anything.

  • danielle - Love the last pic!

  • miryam - gorgeous!! the girls and the table! what did you use as the desk top? are you able to do a spray paint tutorial? thanks for all the ispiration. i’m so glad that you are back to posting daily – thanks for taking the time to do so!

  • jennykauffmanJ - you are just crazy-awesome! you know that?
    i get breathless when i see hideousness like that 1st picture and….
    …then BAM! you nailed it. 🙂 🙂 i thought that was really sweet how your husband pitches in with your projects like picking up that desk. a lot of men probably would not have done that. 🙂
    loved the seesters pictures- so different, so the same, so lovely.

  • Layla - There is just so much sweetness in this pretty post! 😀

  • Eva - Ashley, your workspace rocks!!!! And you motivate me to get mine organized and put together. I’m not a crafter like you, just a sewer (mostly). But now that I have a designated space in our office to sew in (instead of the dining room), I can actually make it a cozy space to work in! Now to get that done before going to China this summer…that might be dreaming too big! lol

  • Jedi Mama - Oh, my goodness! I found your blog, quite by accident, because there was a snapshot on Pinterest of this AMAZING boys’ bedroom with bright orange, and I thought, “Why can’t I decorate bedrooms like that?” Because decorating isn’t my spiritual gift, that’s why! I love your boys’ room — love it, love it, LOVE IT! And I have been stalking your various blog posts this morning, because the words “Our Adoption Journey” caught my eye. We have two boys — our biological 12 year old and our adopted 11 month old baby, who God blessed us with through a breath-taking miracle. I love adoption stories, so I had to peek at yours.

    Your children are adorable… your photography makes me drool (my Canon Rebel T2i is a lot more camera than I can manage to figure out, although I do hope to some day!)… and your skills at decorating are incredible. I hope you don’t mind if I pop in here once in a while for decorating inspiration. And if you’d like to load up your troop and drive them to Small Town, USA, I’ll provide everyone with coffee and Goldfish crackers while you decorate MY house!

  • maggie may - how is it that when you make your desk practical and ready to use, it is lovely, and when i make my desk practical and ready to use, it looks practical and ugly?
    –good question, eh?
    firecracker’s paint job is marvelous. you’re going to have a peg village before long 🙂

  • Syndi - I know you are growing Little One’s hair out–but those bows and flowers in her pixie style are SO adorable. She is quite fashionable!

  • Monica - Hi Ashley. I was not sure if comment something this time, because I always comment the same. :). I love your kids. They are adorable even I don’t know them I just do. Maybe because the way you describe everything seems like I know every memeber of yoru family. I love your decorations and the colors that are around your house. That I already told my husband that this spring-summer I want to do some painting in teh house to change colors and have more bright our space. More happy colors to keep us that way. I like all your crafts and your style. I already start buying a lot of frames to do soem wall decor like yours. LOL. I hole looks like yours! I love your pictures. You really take a simple pictrue but is so perfect. I love your girls. I have 2 and I can see the love between them. I just wonder how is going to be one they grow up. Mine are 3 years old and 6 monts. I love them. ANd thanks to your I want to have at least one more baby. LOL. I love your big family. I still don’t know how you do it but keep me motivated. 🙂 . I love your adoption Journey and Iam so happy for Little One to have you has your mom for sure she will have all the love need it. I believe in the phrase everything happen for a reason. SO Iam still wander way I found you but I think just to keep me growing has a person, keep learning the way to loved and keep me motivated to do the things that I enjoy. Thanks again for everything. Maybe I will not comment avery single post but for sure I am present everyday to see what is new :). Sorry for my long comment but I was inspired to tell you this things. If you want to come to Chicago I am here! you know my email y you want to send me yours I can send you one pictures of my Family so you know our faces. I don’t have a blog so some how you can see us. Talk to you soon! and keep posting that is something that makes us happy.

  • Sarah - Wow, I wish I had a craft space like that! Awesome job! Also, love the sister photos! Your girls are both absolutely adorable, but there is something about your little one that just draws me in and makes me want to give her a big hug. (I hope that doesn’t come off strange.) I think it’s just that her looks (dark hair and big dark eyes)tug on my momma-heart-strings because they remind me of my youngest daughter who has similar features. Anyway, love your style and your rockin’ new desk space!

  • Kelly - Will you share where little one’s headband is from? Now that I am having a girl I am so excited about getting headbands and girly things! 🙂

    I love this kind of desk and also the big old oak ones. We ended up putting in built in countertops as workspace in our family room so I don’t need a desk but oh how I’m still drawn to them! Kelly

  • Will @ Bright.Bazaar - Your studio is such a knockout – I love it! You can tell that this is a truly happy space to be in! Hugs from London! Will

  • Irma Razak - cute! =)

  • Karen - You did again, I am smiling. What a great way to start my day. Thank you

  • Sadee Schilling - Oh Ashley, reading your blog always makes me happy but seeing all those art supplies, your organized workspace, and those two precious little faces today has tripled the usual happiness quotient! 🙂

  • Nicole M. - This spot inspires creativity! I love how inviting it looks!

  • Ashleigh Bicevskis - Where did you get the “Do you supposed she’s a wildflower” print from? I love it!

  • Samantha Aantjes - Good morning Ashley!! I was over on your Facebook page trying to find a way to contact you, but couldn’t find anything- so a comment is where I will stay 🙂

    I’ve been following your adoption journey for nearly a year now and am so blessed by your honesty and your openness- God has been stirring adoption in my heart for a while now, and at 22, I think that’s the perfect time! Currently I’m out in Hawaii working with a Christian missions organization called YWAM, and wanted to show you something really special that pertains to adoption, and was wondering if you’d be willing to help me promote it? It’s an I-pad book called “Walter’s Flying Bus”, a true story about a boy in Uganda living in a special needs orphanage. 100% of the proceeds go to the orphanage to promote advocacy, care for the children, and also to help the kids get adopted. I know you don’t promote businesses and that’s definitely not my heart here, but please get in contact with me if you’d be interested in checking this out!



  • Anna - Little One looks so beautiful in that pale blue! Absolutely stunning!

  • elizabeth H - lovey, lovey, lovey, lovey, L.O.V.E. your little space!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    {did i say LOVE it?!!}and those sweet sisters ~
    happiness it brings me!

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