I think every new space needs a little old.

There’s something about all the things that have gone before that adds a little authenticity to any space.

So even though I decorated this office with a little before and after.

Even though I made it over from top to bottom.

Even though there are new curtains and new artwork and new organizing ideas and a new rug and new accessories.

Even though there is a whole lot of new?

One of my favorite things in this entire office is old. It was tucked away in a tiny corner of my husband’s grandfather’s workshop with boxes of old guitar strings and cases of fishing line and jars and bottles and tools and hardware.

It sat there for years and years and years—forgotten and overlooked.


Until my husband found it and brought it home because he knows the way to my heart. He knew that he knew that he knew…..

….that I would love this.

No office makeover is complete without a few vintage office supplies.

It’s a vintage clipboard calendar from the 1950s.

Someone from 1949 was brilliant and created a rotating calendar at the top of a clipboard that would take you all the way from 1950 to 1955.

Here’s how it works.

See the little white clip underneath the calendar?

It slides across the bottom of the dates and the dates slide across from side to side. There are different dates in different orders for different months.

And the bottom of the clipboard has a code.

So if you start in January of 1950, you push the little white clip so that January starts on a Sunday.

And February starts on a Wednesday.

And March starts on a Wednesday.

And April starts on a Monday. And so on for the entire year of 1950.

Then in January of 1951, you push the clip so that January starts on a Monday.

And February starts on a Thursday.

And March starts on a Thursday.

And April starts on a Sunday.

And so on for the entire year of 1951.

The calendar clipboard was an advertising piece for Ideal Dispenser Co in Illinois. I think they were a dispenser of sodas and milk. I tried to find out if the company was still in business, but I couldn’t find any current listings.

And look at that phone number. It’s only FOUR DIGITS.

But here’s the most amazing thing about this calendar. It just so happens that 1950 and 2023 have the EXACT SAME days of the week.

In other words, January starts on a Sunday.

And February starts on a Wednesday.

And March starts on a Wednesday.

And April starts on a Monday.

And so on for the entire year of 2023. Just like 1950.

But the best thing about this clipboard calendar? The brass and the patina and the age and typography fit perfectly in this space.

Along with a few other things. 🙂 For everyone asking about the sources for this space. Here are a few of the new things from the office makeover:

On both sides of the room, I added these bookcase sets from IKEA.

You can see the white cabinet with glass front doors here.

And you can see this larger white cabinet with glass front doors here.

There was an original built-in on this side of the room, but it was off-center. So I designed these bookcases to just go in front of it.

The bookcases take up so much visual space, but the actual room feels bigger because they are so narrow (about 11” deep). There is SO MUCH storage behind the doors at the bottom. Here are just a few things I’m storing in there:

  • File folders
  • Hole punch
  • Computer paper
  • Magazines
  • Paperwork
  • Records
  • Office supplies

There’s also additional storage in this cabinet in the mini bay window.

You can see the cabinet here.

Inside the cabinet are vases, other styling props, photography equipment, and ring lights and stands.

The blue and white curtains are black-out curtains and they come in different lengths and they are SO MUCH more high-end looking than the price.

You can see the curtains here along with these gold curtain rings and these gold curtain rods.

The rug helps ground the room with a basic pattern in blue and white.

It’s an 8’ x 10’ rug with shades of blue. It fits perfectly in the space with the bookcases, chairs and desks. 

You can see the rug here.

The desk is my father’s (Thank you for saving it).

It goes perfectly with these spindle chairs.

You can see the chairs here.

So here’s the finished space.

The perfect combination for a new office with a vintage calendar to inspire an entire year of decorating projects and design posts.

A little bit of old mixed with a little bit of new.

Just like me. 🙂

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  1. Image for Kim Domingue Kim Domingue

    I got tickled over how happy it made me to see your father’s desk (left in it’s original state) in your office…an item that isn’t mine that belonged to a father who isn’t mine in an office in a house that isn’t mine…and it made me so happy that you’d think that I had a personal, vested interest in all of those things, lol! I just knew that leaving the desk in its original state would make the rest of the room sing…and it does! Just perfect!

  2. Image for Karen B. Karen B.

    I love old things. They are treasures that can easily fit into any updated room anytime. It's especially nice that it was your father-in-law's calendar. The office you've created is so pretty Karen B.

  3. Image for Diana Diana

    What is amazing is that the calendar works for 2023.Older things are the best and I'm glad you are keeping it.

  4. Image for Renae Renae

    Can we talk about the bag?! So adorable! When I was in 7th grade we moved to the lake where my parents had a cabin. The town adjacent was so small we only used four digits to dial people. That was only 30 years ago. It was amazing. now you have to dial 10. I'm showing my age!! ;)

  5. Image for Barbara Barbara

    I was born in 1952:) So I bet my Dad had something similar. I have rulers from that "era" -yikes!! Guess I'm old:) But I love old stuff!!

  6. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    Don’t you love it when you find that random object that was obviously meant for you to find at just the right time? Kathie Lee calls them “God winks,” but me? I just say it’s God. 🥰

  7. Image for Kris Kris

    Love the clipboard calendar. How fun that it works for 2023. And .... I remember only having 4 digits in a phone number. We lived in the country so I think that was common in the 1970s.

  8. Image for Linda Pinion Linda Pinion

    I collect vintage office supplies - looking at this clipboard made me curious about the company - Ideal Dispenser. You may be too young to remember these types of soda coolers - however, I grew up with them. here's the description - I remember going to the Coney Island - in Tulsa OK my hometown and pulling Grapette Sode and Orange and Root Beer from a cooler that was more than likely an Ideal slider. Love the old stuff. Produced throughout the 1950s, Ideal Sliders were a common fixture in everyday life, operating by means of a rack in which bottles hang by their necks. When a coin is inserted into the cash box, the patron would slide a bottle to the end of the cooler and lift it through the vending mechanism. The compact size and relatively low cost made the Ideal Sliders a great alternative to the larger and more elaborate Vendo models. This one is the model 55 (vends 55 bottles) and was made for Coca-Cola, it has been fully restored to NRMT condition. Red and white with "Drink Coca-Cola In Bottles" in red lettering and "Ideal Dispenser Co." plaque on the front.

  9. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Ka, that is just too cool! What a nifty gadget - never heard of anything like that before. Very cool, indeed! When I was very young growing up in a very small village community our phone was only 4 digits too! But when I was still young it went to 7. That was just such a big deal I remember it being. Still remember that number, always will I bet. Anyway - I haven't thought of that in a very very long time.

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