Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Tree Top Loft ~ Where Botanic Bleu Creates

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Looking out at a spreading oak tree 
from the second-floor loft window 
allows my mind to wander and 
allows my thoughts to drift away 
from everyday life. 

This is my creative space, 
where Botanic Bleu is created. 

Join me on a tour of my tree-top loft 
as part of  

Sitting in my office loft is like 
being in a tree house that 
looks down into the living room 
and looks beyond to other big oaks in the east yard.

The tree top loft is 
an office space for working, writing, and 
dreaming in my dream house 
that we built by doing much of the work ourselves.  
And, twenty-seven years later, we are 
still updating and maintaining by doing work ourselves. 

For years, this is where I 
wrote lesson plans, typed tests, 
printed six-week assignment sheets, and 
graded tens of thousands of mathematics papers.
(No exaggeration; I taught math for 29 years, 
then became a school administrator.)

visions of new ideas, 
of rearranging spaces, 
of creating vignettes and tablescapes, 
of composing blog articles, and 
of finishing old projects 
take hold here. 

The space has transformed from a teacher's at-home office. . .

. . . to a blogger's creative loft. 

The little loft is only 8' wide by 14' long, 
open to the living room below, 
open to the stairs leading up to the top floor bonus space, 
and ends with a small closet at the enclosed end.

The tall mauve-colored cabinet is made from
old recycled doors and
holds reams of paper, computer manuals,
and office supplies.
It is on the list for a make-over inside
to transform it into a more creative space.

The small three-shelf wire basket on wheels
stores the paper cutter on its top and
holds left-over teaching materials.
It, too, is on the make-over list to reorganize
the drawers to hold supplies that I now use.

The work space is two pieces,
an old communion table and a folding wooden table,
positioned to form an L-shape.

The wooden folding table is easy to move around,
is large enough to spread out projects, and
is convenient for using the paper cutter
that is stored beneath it.

The old oak communion table came from the
church I attended in Alexandria, Virginia
while I was a young single working in
Washington, D.C.

Years of neglect had left it in sad shape.
The finish was marred and had a big black spot
that looked like an ink stain.
One of its legs had been broken and repaired.
It was in such sad shape that the elders
of the church would not accept any money,
just gave it to me.

After stripping it with a chemical stripper,
sanding it, and refinishing it with a fruitwood stain,
the little table regained most of its former beauty
and became my office desk.

A few years ago we removed the drawer
and installed a slide-out shelf to hold a computer keyboard.

Desk supplies and files fill the white file cabinet
that was a sale item from Pottery Barn about five years ago.

Wouldn't you know I didn't like the industrial-looking 
drawer pulls that were on the cabinet. 
No problem. 
Buy new iron pulls from Lowes, spray paint them white, 
and replace the industrial pulls. 

Behind the door is a small walk-in closet not ready for its close up. 
The antique pine armoire came from Forney, Texas 
and holds wrapping paper, ribbons, tissue paper, 
bags, and craft supplies. 
Some of the bags have escaped to the top 
where I can see them every day. 

Look closely behind the lit lamp. 
See the rolls of fabric? 
How about the old wrought iron floor lamp? 
Projects in the making. . . 

France has long been a love. 
The framed pastel printed French map 
shows the locations of gardens 
all over France.

The old chair once had cane inserts in the arms, 
had a fruitwood finish, and had green damask upholstery. 
Long before I knew about blogging, 
saw all the remade old furniture, and 
joined the current "love white" trend, 
I transformed this old chair using white paint 
and the rose/trellis print fabric. 

You know, I think I've been a blogger for years. 
Just didn't know about blogs. 
But, within a week of discovering my 
first blog to follow, 
I began blogging. 

Blue and white fabric sits in a clear container
awaiting some inspiration.

The tree top loft is a great place for pondering,
planning, and creating. 
At least some of the time...  
When I switched to a laptop computer, 
I began creating everywhere.

Don't miss out on all the other 
fabulous spaces where bloggers create. 
 Where Bloggers Create 2014
Please join me at these inspiring sites...