Back to School House Style

from Design Sponge

Remember that unmistakable smell of new crayons? And the tiny thrill of sharpening a brand new pencil and watching that yellow curl of wood slowly unravel? Even if you can’t go back to first grade, you can capture the nostalgia of your early school days through a few “learned” pieces of furniture, lighting and decorative found objects.

Many such items can be picked up at thrift stores, on e-bay or at used office supply stores like TOPS in Austin. Places like TOPS warehouse furniture and equipment from former businesses, offices and schools. On one of my recent scouting expeditions, I found a wood flat file set of drawers, 1950′s pull down school maps and a framed chalkboard for just $5.

School House Finds on Etsy

Are you wondering how you work institutional items into your space? Look how a collection of vintage school globes was displayed in a wire French laundry basket . . . now, that’s smart! For more smart tips on using globes in decorating, see  Decorate Like a Globe Trotter on AT (yep, it’s written by me).

Globe Gathering from Apartment Therapy

Organize like a fourth grader. Metal school lockers can be found used (leave them chipped or repaint them), as well as new from industrial supply websites like Global Industrial. Tall lockers would be a great additional to an entry hall or busy mudroom to help manage the chaos of backpacks and sports equipment. The shelves with locker baskets would provide more than enough storage for toys in a kids room or materials in a craft room.

Metal School Lockers from Global Industries

A school room just wouldn’t be the same without a chalkboard, but you can update the blackboard by making it a  “pinkboard” instead. Hudson Chalkboard Paint comes in a rainbow of colors that would make the art teacher smile. Create an accent chalkboard wall anywhere you’d like to write notes or sketch up a masterpiece in chalk. Recently on an episode of Home by Novogratz, they painted a bedroom ceiling with chalkboard paint and had an artist create a drawing. It was stunning . . . and achievable.

Another way to reference school house style is to use light fixtures, like school house globe shades from School House Electric Lighting (pretty obvious, right?) These light fixtures are handmade by craftsman to resemble period pendants, chandeliers, and sconces.

Finally, look for old educational posters, signs or maps (like in the first image) to add graphic charm to any room, as well as a conversation starter. Class, who can explain photosynthesis? Anyone?

Blend details like these into your modern or traditional interior and you’ll head to the top of the class. A+

Signs from Three Potato Four

Q & A: Wide Open Spaces Above Cabinets

Q & A: Wide Open Spaces Above Cabinets

How do I address that empty space above my kitchen cabinets? Can I just leave it empty? Dear reader, the short answer is a simple YES. But do you know what’s nice? Place some rope lights along the top edge of the cabinets behind the crown molding (or against the wall edge if no molding) [...]