Will headed back to work yesterday after three weeks of paternity leave and Teddy and I miss him so much! We are starting to get Teddy on a little more of a schedule (some days with more success than others!) and I’ve been spending a couple of his naps starting to slowly catch up on work from the chesterfield sofa in the home office off our foyer. It’s labeled as a library on the floor plans for the house thanks to the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and it gets the best light of any room in the house, so it’s quite a happy place to sift through month-old emails (eeek!). We managed to put up wallpaper, unpack Will’s slightly excessive book collection, and move in the desk and sofa before Teddy’s arrival, but I’m excited to do a little more decorating in here as it’s surprisingly become a place we both want to spend time (definitely more so than any of our previous home office spaces, which were practical but not quite as comfy!). 

I’m determined to give this space a more masculine feel than other spaces in our home and it’s definitely proving more of a challenge than I had anticipated. I’m obsessed with the grasscloth wallpaper we used in here and am hoping to stick with a neutral color palette, but it’s taking me a good amount of time to find fabrics in the brown / tan family that complement one another without reading too similar to the color of the walls. Here’s what I’m thinking so far:

design darling library progress annie selke grasscloth wallpaper

*original post

1. Have new cushions made for the chesterfield sofa. We’ve had this sofa since I redecorated Will’s living room in New York when we first started dating and it’s seriously the comfiest spot to cozy up and catch up on work. I love the blackwatch plaid cushions and will keep them to use during the holidays, but I wanted something a little lighter for the rest of the year and fell in love with this Ralph Lauren windowpane fabric that feels very menswear-inspired. I think this one little change will make a big difference!

design darling library progress wingback chair

2. Reupholster the wingback chair. Will has two of these green leather wingback chairs and there’s a perfect spot for one of them between the windows on the front wall of the house. The chair has seen better days and needs to be restuffed and reupholstered, but I love its masculine vibe and just need to find a fabric that complements the grasscloth walls, leather sofa, and camel cushions. I’m leaning towards a solid color with a little texture (the tufted back makes it hard to choose a pattern) but haven’t found anything I love yet so I’m all ears if you have any ideas!

design darling home office progress

3. Hang Will’s art. Will (with lots of help from his mom!) has amassed a great collection of antique art pieces that haven’t had a proper home until now and it’s been fun to unpack everything and brainstorm what will look best where. We’ve already hung four vintage Vanity Fair prints (you can find similar ones on Etsy here) and are planning to reframe and hang an oil painting of Texas bluebonnets above the desk.

4. Order window treatments. I think roman shades in this fabric could be pretty, but that will probably be the one of the last projects I tackle in here! 

design darling library home office inspiration

one  //  two  //  three  //  four  //  five  //  six (lots of similar prints here)

seven  //  eight  //  nine  //  ten  //  eleven  //  twelve

We’ve already swapped out the navy desk chair for a tan leather version and we’re planning to keep the existing brass sconces for now (though these would be to die for in here!). We had these lamps in the guest bedroom in our last house and I think they get the job done, but I’m wondering if something darker (these or these would be my dream) on the desk would make that wall feel more in keeping with the rest of the room.

The wood floors we uncovered and refinished in this room are particularly beautiful so we’re thinking we’d like to keep them exposed, or else I’d be looking for an oriental rug to complete the library feel in here. And we each already have a full set of the Harry Potter series (and are listening to the sixth audio book right now) but one of these book sets would make an incredible holiday gift if you have a Harry Potter lover in your life! 

What do you think so far? Any pieces you’ve spotted that would be a good addition here? Like I said this is a bit of a departure from my usual blue-and-white-everything aesthetic so I’d love your two cents!

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  1. For the tufted chair, does it *have* to stay tufted? Like if you reupholster it, can you get rid of the tufting and then use a patterned fabric? Not sure if it works that way for chairs like this!

  2. I do love the idea of incorporating some navy in here to tie it into the rest of the house without compromising any of the masculinity! Gray & brown leather are beautiful together too. I love all the neutrals and how they play off one another (and keep from going TOO brown-toned with the whole room). I like the idea of keeping the floors mostly exposed (maybe with a small rug to protect from the wheels, as a previous commenter mentioned) and perhaps switching hardware to brass on the desk. I do love the RL fabric for your cushions! I feel like I would go either gray or navy for the chair reupholstery. Excited to see it all pulled together!!! And what a delight to have such beautiful natural light!

  3. Hiya, you need to pick out either the green leather or another colour to add some lift to the scheme. Your beloved navy, racing green, fuschia and gold go well.

  4. Agree with the earlier comment about two fabrics for the wingback chair- my mom and I did this on a similar shaped chair for our formal living room to make it a little more fun and we loved the way it came out. Maybe something with a subtle print on the outside and a tweed l ike material on the inside in a solid cream sort of color? We did the welting different too (solid velvet that ties in both colors), and then had some of the leftover printed fabric and the velvet from the welting made into a pillow to put on the nearby couch.

  5. My favorite has always been a combination of leather, linen and velvet. You have a nice leather sofa and grass cloth on the walls which reads as linen so I suggest reupholstering the chairs in a gray wool flannel and adding some solid velvet accent pillows and a chunky knit throw.

  6. It’s really hard to say without seeing a more pulled back shot of the room! I can’t figure out how the bookshelves and desk wall relate to one another. That said, I’d consider floating the desk in the room with the bookshelves behind it, have the sofa on one side and the chairs to the other. I’m thinking a navy for the chairs would still read masculine but have the room connect to the rest of your house slightly too – otherwise it will seem like a room on an island with a completely separate vibe/color scheme. Love the grasscloth and the fact that you are working with some existing pieces here! Loving all the house content so far.

  7. Hi!

    Congrats on the little one!

    Any idea where one can find wingback chairs like the ones you have? I’ve been looking for some like that everywhere but can’t find anything truly traditional.


  8. I definitely recommend getting a rug to go under the desk and chair – I had a chair on wheels in my last house and while I couldn’t tell it was happening at the time, the wheels had slowly worn a circular pattern in my hardwood floors. When I moved and refinished my floors in my new house, I made sure a rug went under the desk and chair area to protect it. A small circular rug may work so you can still see the great pattern on the rest of the hard wood floors (I despise those clear floor protectors so refused to go that route)!

    1. Hi Mackenzie, Forgot to include this in the email I sent about adding grey accents. I think the wing
      chairs would then look great in grey, Maybe a charcoal, whatever shade looks best with the grey’s you choose for the sofa cushions and throw pillows. Denise