through the seasons – an antique secretary desk

Thru the seasons - secretary desk

Today I am sharing how I style my parent’s antique secretary desk throughout the year during the different seasons.  I have not done an installment in the {through the seasons} series in awhile and I was inspired while transitioning my decor to some patriotic and summertime feels.  You can find the previous {through the seasons} posts at the end if you are curious or interested.
Patriotic decor6
My process to get ready for a certain season or event often involves reviewing what we have done in the past.   While reviewing summer decorating posts I went down the rabbit hole and found myself again and again finding this old secretary as the center of attention. 
Patriotic decor5
Currently I am in a patriotic styling mood as we gear up for Independence Day and I am highlighting different ways I styled this beautiful desk in years past.   The American flag and “God Bless America” immediately fill my American soul.  During the summertime I also inject seashells, coral and the like throughout the house to provide a beachy vibe.  
Secretary seashells 5
Nothing screams summertime more than the beach for me since that’s how we spent our summers back in New Jersey while I was growing up.  This vintage typewriter sat on this desk for many years.  It was an item I coveted for a long time and finally found at an estate sale but eventually I passed it on to another happy collector at our vintage market.    
Typerwriter seashells 4
Many of the seashells, star fish and corals you see here we actually harvested ourselves as a family when I was very young and we briefly lived in the Bahamas.  This was in the early 70s and sea life preservation regulations were very different then.  We would never even consider touching many of these life forms nowadays, let alone remove them from their natural habitat.  But those were different times and these carry fond memories of my family.  
Secretary seashells 6an old secretary desk & seashell decor
You can see more detailed pictures if you follow the link to the original post.   As quickly as the summertime seashells hit the scene, we transition into fall vibes.
Fall decor 9-2
Some of the fall muses include pumpkins, gourds, acorns, feathers and more.
Fall decor 7-2
I love using brown transferware during the fall even though it’s a classic look that can be used anytime of year.
Fall decor 8-2
I love the book print pumpkins I crafted years ago.  
Fall decor 22
Last fall the secretary desk had a moody vibe with feathers and mushrooms.
Secretary desk dressed up for fall 2secretary desk dressed up for fall
It’s always fun to mix up and change seasonal decor from year to year.
Secretary desk dressed up for fall 8
Remember that by following the original links you can preview more pictures.  Of course the Fall season is always eclipsed by some Halloween spookiness.
I love eerie Halloween.  Anybody else hearing Vincent Price’s voice narrating or is it just me?
Nevermore 2016 5nevermore 2016
Of course the year ends with a big bang always with so much Holiday goodness. Just like the paper pumpkins I have created book print Christmas trees through the years.
Bookprint1book print Christmas
One of my favorite ways to decorate the antique secretary desk during Christmas is using the Putz houses.  
Happy epiphany6
I feel like it creates a magical village within the shelves of the secretary desk.
Hustle & bustle 5
After all the craziness of the Holiday season and decorations galore it’s always nice to clear the decks and declutter our homes with some late winter decor.
Winter decor 4
Simple, crisp, clean surfaces and decor helps us declutter our minds and energy to tackle the new year.
Winter decor 6
Some green touches with vintage French canning jars, transfer ware, jasper ware and ironstone set a serene setting.  The green quickly transforms into some St. Patricks day decor.
Lucky1lucky banner for st. patrick’s day 2016
I created this banner a few years ago.  And although the decor changes throughout the seasons some of the constants on the secretary desk are the framed pictures of the masterpiece littles and some books.  Plus I always inject some type of organic items like flowers, pinecones, feathers, moss, etc.  
This is how the desk looked recently before I started morphing the decor towards a more summertime feel. 
Spring decor on secretary desk 8late spring decor ideas in an antique secretary desk
Although the birds, nests and natural elements I used for spring time could still work for summer, I am ready for a little bit of an update.
Spring decor on secretary desk 4
Not only do I enjoy decorating in general but styling this particular piece gives me special pleasure and peace since it reminds me of my mother.  Here’s a picture of the piece when it got to me from Uruguay and before I reupholstered the panels with the French script fabric.
Thru the seasons - secretary desk1
I hope this has provided some seasonal inspiration.
Book pages1

“Embrace the seasons and cycles of your life.  There is magic in change.”

~Bronnie Ware~

Other Through the Season Series:

Thru the seasons - ornamental birdcagethrough the seasons – an ornamental birdcage
Through the seasons - a goat cartthrough the seasons – a goat cart
Thru the seasons-clochesthrough the seasons – cloches
Throughtheseasons cast iron urnsthrough the seasons – cast iron trio
Green bottlesthrough the seasons – green bottle collection
Thru the seasons-a wreaththrough the seasons – a wreath
Garden orbsgarden orbs


  1. mhhwarmcozy says:

    Mary Jo, I tried clicking through from my blog on both your entries but they didn’t go through.

    Your parent’s antique secretary desk is a real treasure. It must be a joy to decorate it throughout the year. I especially like the Oct setting 🙂
    Thanks for sharing at the FWF party.

    1. Hi Rachelle- Thanks so much for stopping by. Yes, I just migrated my blog from Typepad to WP last week and unfortunately some links are broken. I can’t fix them since they are on your link party. Everything going forward should work though. Yes- love that secretary desk, especially since it reminds me of my mom. Have a great day. XO- MJ

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