Pottery Barn Inspired Message Center

One thing (out of many!) that I love about Pottery Barn’s designs is how they combine historic charm with everyday practicality.  As I was dreaming up ideas for the kitchen office area, that’s the “feel” I wanted to go for.

After the dresser was painted from black to white, I needed to find something to hang above it.  I’ve always loved old windows, so I thought I’d start with one of those.  This one came from my friend (Thanks, Melissa!), and was just perfect!  It was already the right color and distressed to perfection…

My husband cut out old pieces of plywood to fit each opening.  I then started dreaming up what to put in each space.  This is what we came up with:

message center numbered

  1. The lower middle one was painted with black acrylic paint.  The purpose was to try to disguise the telephone – it’s not very “vintage” looking!  (I think this would have worked great with chalkboard paint, too.)
  2. I tore apart an old, cheap cork board I’d gotten from Ikea.  I cut it to fit with a ruler and x-acto knife.  It was just a tad too short, so I patched the bottom together and then hid the seam with vintage letters (see number 5).
  3. The largest opening I covered with some painter’s drop cloth.  I just stapled it on the backside of the plywood piece.
  4. I covered a big cardboard “H” with black scrapbook paper.
  5. These vintage letters was given to me by a dear 93-year-old gentleman.  He learned to read with them!  I was happy to be able to incorporate them into this project. (If you don’t have any vintage letters kicking around, scrabble tiles would also work…or an old wooden ruler.)
  6. I pounded in two as-rusty-as-I-could-find nails and strung a piece of jute up to them.  Then I dug out my oldest, grayest clothespins and attached some old recipe cards (from Grandma’s recipe box) on them.  It’s my favourite part!

Here’s what it looked before (sort of “during the reno” process):

message center

And here’s what it looks like now:  (Pardon the pictures.  If someone could tell me why they are slightly blurry looking, I’d love to know why!)

message center keeper


finished message center

Yippee!  One more thing finished on the“Kitchen Makeover To Do List”!

Linking up to:  a beach cottage


pink postcard


my repurposed life


freckled laundry


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  1. Lovely message center. Glad you added your link and thanks for joining the party at Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays!

  2. That looks so neat … I'd love to have that in my house. {and the pictures don't look blurry to me but I think it's a blogger issue … I've noticed it on my blog as well.}

  3. I can honestly say I love this more than PB's version. I can definitely see the inspiration, but you made it your own, and it looks original! totally cute. thanks for sharing this at Transformations and Treasures!

  4. This is fantastic–what a great way to use an old window! I love the line and clothespins for hanging notes and pictures.

    (visiting from Air Your Laundry Friday)

  5. I love old windows, and you really turned this one into something so practical. It looks great over that dresser!
    thanks for linking up and linking back to catch as catch can
    ps I'll be "catching" this project on May 5

  6. What a great command center! Thanks so much for leaving the comment and sharing the link.


  7. Beautiful! Found you on Facebook – Donna from Funky Junk – I am now following you!

  8. It looks great! Definitely something I need to make.

    I've read that the blurry pictures (yours don't look blurry to me) are because Blogger basically posts really big thumbnails of your pictures if you use the upload feature in the compose a blog post section. I think the fix was to upload them somewhere else and use the "upload from web" button. I always forget about that when I'm posting, though.

  9. Rita, You are so super amazing at what you do. I love your blog and all the photos and all your home finishing projects! I could use your help !! It was great to spend time at Homewood for the retreat last weekend. Nice to see you again!

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