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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...




  1. Hi Judith,

    What a lovely and bright space to create! Your view from your loft is inspiration in itself!


  2. A Tree Top Loft is a Wonderful Space to Ponder, Create and just languish!!! Thanks for taking us on the Grand Tour and Sharing such an Intimate Space that is your Creative Outlet!

    Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

  3. I loved reading about your tree top loft, Judith, and in this one post, I've learned so much more about you! It's a lovely space ~ a place to dream and create in your beautiful home.

    Wishing you and yours a beautiful weekend!

  4. What a wonderful and very creative space :)
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  5. What a beautiful space! Just lovely! Enjoy your weekend. Maria

  6. What a peaceful aerie from which to create your blog posts! My sister and brother in law built a log house 30 years ago, and she has a loft very similar in size to yours. Of course, my kids love it! Thanks for sharing at Fridays Unfolded!


  7. My favorite so far today. Simple...uncluttered...welcoming...warm. Now, there's a place I can create.
    Thank you for sharing.

  8. Wonderful space to get the creative juices flowing. My own little office is up in the tree tops too. It's one of my favorite spaces for just that reason. Oh, and I have one of those closets too. It's not ever appropriate for public viewing. Ha!

  9. A beautiful space to create! My studio space also overlooks tree tops and it's very peaceful that way! Although, I do see the street beyond if I look past the leaves and branches, it's a good place to dream! Thank you for sharing your space!

  10. Love your loft!! You've crafted a lovely space for yourself.......wonderful view from the windows!!!

  11. Do I detect some Marjolein Bastin's items atop the chiffonrobe?
    Very nice to see where the creative juices flows!

  12. Judith, creating there must be a lofty experience, sorry I couldn't help myself. My husband and I have remodeled 6 houses and we do everything ourselves too. Thanks for inviting us in. I am Janet from Graceful Rose.

  13. Oh Judith I have always wanted a loft space!! Yours is truly lovely!!! What a great a view you have!!! Thank you so much for joining the party and sharing it with all of us!!

  14. Your loft space is very beautiful I don't have one!!!!
    merci beaucoup for sharing it with us
    Excuse me for my english Judith

  15. What a wonderful space! So beautiful, and so well organized. I love working perched up here!

  16. I am so jealous of all your windows! Your space is gorgeous!

  17. What a lovely space to create. My little creating space has no windows! Your space is wonderful.
    Thanks for sharing. I linked my little space too. Come see me.

  18. Hi again. Thanks for coming by my closet space! I think I forgot to mention I love your header photo. Have a wonderful weekend. Happy linky!

  19. Beautiful! What an awesome loft - so cool to look down on everything. It must be very inspiring.

    Thank you for the tour of your lovely room!

  20. Hello Judith!
    Your space is just lovely! I love those windows and views! How could you grade papers when there is so much to see outside!! Congratulations on making the huge step from teacher to administrator!! I hope you enjoy your space more and more. It is so pretty! Y'all did a great job!

  21. What a wonderful place to be inspired!!

  22. What a nice room for blogging and creating. I love treehouses, so this view certainly is appealing. Thanks for sharing your space.

  23. Wonderful space to create in. Love the view from your window too. Karen.x

  24. Oh my gooooodness! Your space is a little bit of heaven. LOVE it... All of the vintage pieces, your view and the colors. PERFECT.

    Thanks for coming and your sweet comment. I'm so sorry to hear your kitties liked your fabric so much.


  25. SWEET perfection, a adore lofts! A very calm and inviting studio. Thank you for sharing with us, I truly enjoyed my visit.

  26. It's gorgeous and probably every blogger's dream place to create. And yes, I love it. But the thing I love most is that I see a Mac and if you're smart enough to use a Mac, then you're very smart, sweetpea. ;-) But you're also very creative and have made a stunning work place.

  27. Your creative space is so open....light and bright! I love it! And it's fun to hear about the furniture and beauty you surround yourself with. I think that's so important! Enjoy your afternoon! Happy creating! Hugs, Diane

  28. I love your creative space - I like the Roman blinds.

  29. Hi Judith, your space is so cozy and inviting! Love the huge window and the beautiful view, no wonder you feel like you are in a treehouse.
    Thanks for sharing!

  30. Oh my, that view! I think I'd find it very easy to gaze out at that lovely view and daydream the day away. What a perfect spot for your wonderful creative space. Thank you for the tour!

  31. What a beautiful loft area! I'm always amazed what people can do with small spaces.

  32. Love this loft space.. I can see who one bay be inspired there!!

  33. Love, love your loft space! It is so warm & welcoming! Having a window view and a view into your home is just perfect.

  34. Charming space, it is almost like being in your own little tree house with that beautiful view of the tree tops. Thank you for sharing.

  35. Hello from another Judith..Your character-filled space is inspiring.I'd love being up in the treetops.
    Judith X

  36. What cozy, wonderful space! I love it! Love the curtains too! I'm so glad I discovered your blog. :)

    Cathy ♥

  37. Very unique and different space, and all decorated very lovely and with sweet country style.
    Thank you for sharing your work space!

  38. Hello Judith, I'm back to answer the question you left on my blog which was.....Oh, my, where did you get those beautiful blue 'applicators'? I would love to have all of the blue ones!
    Well they are actually small tags that you can purchase from the newsagency and I have just colored each one with the applicator and popped some velcro on the back to hold the Tim Holtz applicator. Hope that answers your question. Thanks so much for stopping by, I really appreciate it. Happy Crafting Karen.x

  39. What a fabulous view you have not only of the tree but of the rest of the house. I love loft areas. Thanks for sharing your creative space!

  40. You have a lovely space with an amazing view. It's very inviting. Thank you for sharing!

  41. Thank you Judith for the tour of your beautiful office space - love the view from the windows.

  42. love your space & the stories behind it. tfs! MJ

  43. Gorgeous loft space to create in! How great is that? So glad I stopped by...Simple amazing!
    ❤ Helena

    ─ƤєтαƖ & Lαcє Ƈσттαgє ─

  44. I enjoyed this look at your creative space, Judith. It's a very lovely spot in your gorgeous home. I love your furnishings and the mix of wood and painted pieces. It's truly a wonderful creative loft. Thanks for sharing with us. ~ Nancy @ A Joyful Cottage


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