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October 14, 2015

Mike's Library Design Board & Inspiration

We are finally furnishing the last empty room in our house.  With so many house decisions to be made, we decided to wait a while to do Mike's Library/Office.  For the last couple of months the wood paneled room has been completely empty, collecting dust (and random toys, junk, etc.).  Mid-October is here and I'm swimming in swatches of tartan plaids and wool; the timing couldn't be more perfect to outfit this warm and cozy room.  It would've been hard to furnish a handsome library properly in the middle of May : )

Above : The photo above is not Mike's Library.  It is Ralph Lauren's... so, not even close to Mike's.  Each time we've been into a Ralph Lauren flagship store (New York, Aspen, Chicago & East Hampton), we both love the design and feeling of warm spaces.  He always walks away saying, that is exactly what I want someday.  

This is his dream : a warm wood-paneled room full of collected books, sports mementoes (golf flags), Mizzou paraphernalia and tufted leather chairs.  However, his room will not feature an over-sized oil painting, but a flatscreen TV instead ; )  

With Mike's vision taking the lead, here is what I've come up with : 
On the design board :  Ralph Lauren's Study, Restoration Hardware Churchill Chairs (we ordered them in Antique Whiskey), Red Tartan Plaid Throw, Camel & Grey Throws from my store, Antique Rug (we purchased last weekend!), Green & Navy Tartan Plaid Pillow, Brass Picture Lamps, Herringbone and Nailhead Ottoman (debating...).

This colorful and rich world is all new to me - and fun.  I've always been a very neutral appreciating person, but have also loved Mike's vision and feeling of those masculine spaces.   

We have most of the pieces in place, except :

Ottoman : While Ralph layers lots of different patterns, my neutral loving instincts would like to ground the room with this camel and brown herringbone ottoman to help it fit in with the rest of the house.  Thoughts?  Another option is this Kilim Ottoman from local shop, Nell Hills.  It would create more of a gathered and eclectic feel.  Hard to tell in the photo, but has browns, ivory and red.

Window Treatments : I've ordered some linen Roman Shades that will mimic grasscloth.  I would like to also do drapes, but again not sure how neutral I should go.

I'll set you up for how the room fits in our house : 

In this photo, the front door is on the left - this is the front foyer.  Behind me is our natural linen filled living room.

The chairs arrived yesterday - I'm so relieved that they fit nicely.  I was terrified that they would be scrunched in here.  As always, stained wood is hard to photograph; it appears yellowish here, but doesn't read that way in person.

The rug is about 5'x7'.  We found it at Art & Antiques in Rocheport, Mo. over the weekend.

We were drawn to this rug because it has navy and a rusty red with caramel and browns - hard to find.

My spode woodland dishes have found a home here.  I've updated the bookcases from this photo to add some actual books, too.

This is where the TV will go.

This desk was a find of all finds.  It is called a Shipmen's desk.  It has a leather top and was a Bargain and a half, thank goodness.  It is one of my favorite pieces in our entire house.

I'm also planning to reupholster the desk chair - a vintage walnut and leather desk chair from the 70's... another decision to be made.   I'm happy to have it sort of disappear for the moment with a throw draped over until I can decide.

Now, I'm off to file through this Pinterest Board I created on my ipad to hunt for more inspiration while I have lunch on the back porch.  I love October.  And I love furnishing warm and cozy rooms with lots of colors.  Who knew?! 


  1. Beautiful - so masculine and warm.

  2. Anonymous2:24 PM

    What a handsome room! Love all your choices, especially the rug. Question on the desk - aren't you concerned about the leather top cracking because of all the sunlight?

  3. Jenny,
    The room is looking so RL like, I love it. I would definitely vote for the Kilim ottoman over the other mainly because it has so much more interest to it. The room really is looking so much like your inspiration room, I bet Mike is so happy. Great job.

  4. Jenny- Are you based in Kansas City? I saw your reference to Nell Hills. I have been following your blog for quite some time now, and didn't realize you are a local!

  5. Gorgeous. I would go with the herringbone ottoman vs the kilim as the neutrality will tie it in with the rest of your main floor. Have you considered a masculine wide Romo stripe from drapery?

  6. HI Jenny--I'd go with the plain ottoman over the kilim so there is no competition with the great new rug. Also, it will tie your nice colorful & warm room in with the neutral living room across the hall. Room looks great. Is the TV across from the chairs? It was hard to tell from the description above. Lucky Mike!

  7. Love this room! I'm super jealous you are close to Nell Hills. I don't think you can go wrong with either ottoman; you might tire of the kilim a little faster, but it adds more character than the neutral.
    I once read that every home, no matter how light or neutral, should have one dark, cozy room. You've done a great job!!

  8. I think the herringbone ottoman for certain. It will really compliment the rest of the house and I think the masculine herringbone pattern and nailheads need to be in a man's room! One of your plaid throws draped across it will really make it cozy.


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