Shannon Taylor Vannatter – Real Life Romance – Part 2 of 3

Monday, I gave a tour of my new office. Previously my husband and I had turned our den into a joint office. But once he became a full time pastor, we realized he didn’t need a home office, he needed a place he could visit or counsel with church members. So, in a sweeping romantic gesture, I moved my office and let him do the decorating. The den turned joint office quickly became a man cave.

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Rodeo Hero by Shannon Taylor VannatterArkansas Weddings by Shannon Taylor Vannatter

My decorating style is white and pastels, rich fabrics, seashells, elegance. But I let my husband pick the decor for his man cave. It soon turned into a mix of rustic and flea market finds. I call it eclectic Grant style. He has lots of items he bought from flea markets simply because they were old–tools, crates, jars–decorating the walls.

Like my office, some of his decor has sentimental value. The toy cars and trucks were our son’s when he was little. The Coca Cola has the Arkansas Razorback logo on the bottles from when our Hogs won the 1994 National Basketball Championship. I made the leather look/vinyl curtain toppers for him. He added the beams on the ceiling and painted them white to brighten it up. He’s as much a coffee fiend as I am, so I put coffee wallpaper border up.

We found the secretary desk and the flag chair at a flea market. He’s very patriotic, so he has a copy of the Declaration of Independence above his desk. The bust is George Washington–a gift from our church to commemorate his run for Justice of the Peace last year. He didn’t win, but made a great showing. There’s also a picture of our favorite president, Ronald Regan–a gift from one our deacons.

Grant's office wallGrant's desk

I bought him the rustic table and chair set we found on clearance for Christmas and the Chess set for his birthday. In the picture there are checkers on the board for our son. He got the old window from his mom’s shed and built a rustic divider wall with porch railing and tin at the bottom. The lantern was a flea market find. The Texas Lone Star is significant because he was born in Texas and did part of his growing up years there.

He came home telling me about a mirror he’d seen with cowhide on the frame. But it was way too expensive, so we went to a fabric store and got some fake cowhide, a mirror, and fabric glue. This is the new color of the walls. I totally hate this color. This is the true meaning of romance–I let him pick it anyway and then painted the walls for him.

Grant's chess setGrant's cow mirror

The cow chair was another flea market find. He painted it and I recovered it. The cement/brick table came from a used furniture store. His patriotic hats and license plates became decor. The old door came from his mom’s shed and became wall art he created. I made the curtains to flank it out of coffee themed fabric. He put fake snow in the windows and snowflakes along with Trans-Siberian Orchestra themed art from their album covers. The gospel records on the wall were recorded by his mom, aunt, and grandmother.

The wall shelf holds his collection of Trans-Siberian Orchestra plates and Christmas ornaments we’ve bought over the years. For nine years straight, we’ve attended the Christmas concert as a family. My parents bought him the hour glass. Unbeknownst to them, an hour glass is prominently featured in our favorite TSO video.

Grant's cow chairTransiberian Orchestra plates


He made the bench out of an old bed frame and I made cushions covered in manly, camo fabric he chose. He painted the top of the patriotic table and added pictures of various U.S. presidents around the edges. The chair was a yard sale find and I recovered it in patriotic fabric. He picked the cowhide themed rug.

One wall in the room is lined in windows, so you can’t really put furniture there. It’s always been dead space and he needed shelves somewhere. After he built our son a rustic bed frame out of cedar posts and tin, I suggested he build a long, rustic, low shelf and he came up with this. It doesn’t block any of the windows but it holds a lot of books.

Grant's patriotic tableGrant's shelf

I’m including a picture of the empty shelf so you can see more detail. He lined the back of the shelf with flea market finds – old looking, metal signs advertising various products and white wainscott. He made the corner shelf out of an old upright piano that didn’t work. As a shelf, he glued the keys in place so they wouldn’t jiggle around. All the shelves, spindles, and wood involved came from the piano.

Grant's empty shelfPiano shelfPiano shelf in office

The room was a fun project we enjoyed doing together. Every once in a while he mentions re-doing the rest of the house in his eclectic man cave style. I nip it in the bud. I think his room is cool. But one room like that is enough. I try to convince him it wouldn’t be as interesting if the whole house was like his man cave.

About the book – Arkansas Weddings:

Love’s never easy in three Arkansas romances.

Pastor Grayson loves his wife. The problem is, Sara was killed by a hit-and-run driver two years ago. He knows he needs to move on, but it’s not until florist Adrea Welch arrives at his church that the seeds of healing are planted in his heart.

Laken left home eight years ago and never looked back. Who knew when she applied for the promotion to postmaster that she’d end up in Romance, Arkansas, and much too close to her past—and Hayden Winters?

Shell doesn’t have a good reputation. But no matter what everyone in Rose Bud, Arkansas, thinks of her, she’s back in town with a job to do. Ryler also has reasons for being in Rose Bud, and they don’t include Shell.

But God’s love can soften the hardest heart and overcome the darkest past. These hearts may not know it, but they’re about to change.

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Come back Sept 20th for an excerpt from Arkansas Weddings!

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