The Reading Room - Ideas and Inspiration

April 10, 2013

Despite not living there yet, and the fact that I've only ever been inside the new house once (true story)...I've already given most of the rooms names. I think that's pretty normal.

The space that I've been thinking about lately is what I've been calling the reading room. It's on the first floor, and is the first room off of the kitchen when going into the rest of the house. It's a bit of a fancy room, with an original to the house tin ceiling as well as a corner fireplace that was added by the old owners.

Being a Queen Anne, the new house sort of asks for a more traditional and formal decorating style than our current house, especially in rooms like the reading room. Traditional and formal don't have to be boring, though, right? Traditional Home happens to be one of my favourite shelter magazines, so I don't think so!

My main source of inspiration for the room comes from these two images...

horse in wintercoco plates
Please click on the image for the source.

I'm picturing dark walls, dark wood, white trim, and classic furniture.

Which lead to me making this haphazard moodboard...

The Reading Room Moodboard

1. Since the room is going to have a lot of white sort of "built in" with the ceiling, fireplace, trim and doors, Benjamin Moore's Temptation would give it the cozy feel I'm looking for.
2. I can't remember what sort of light is currently in the room, but if it's not something original to the house I plan on putting up an antique pan light that my parent's brought us from their house when they came to visit this summer. It's similar to this one (restored by JC of My 1923 Four Square), except it has just three lights instead of four.
3. With all the heaviness going on with the dark walls, I thought a bit of floral would be a happy juxtaposition. It would also inject a bit of colour into an otherwise fairly monotone room. This mint green pillow from Etsy is really cute, although I'd probably try my hand at making my own pillow cover.
4. This fabric (Hyde Park from Tonic Living) is another choice for pillows.
5. I have a wingback chair that was Mike's grandparent's and I plan to use it in this room. It's currently pink, and in desperate need of being reupholstered since the cat may or may not have had an accident or several on it (gross). I like the idea of getting it done in something classic like a grey herringbone. This is an oversized herringbone from Colefax & Fowler and while I looooove it, it's unbelievably out of my price range.
6. This is the Amy Hamilton print I bought for the gallery wall I'm envisioning for this room. I'd like to find frames in antique bronze or gold to tie in with the antique light.
7. Awhile back, Mike's aunt gave us an old Victorian settee and I think it would go great in this room. I want to take off the red velvet that it's sporting right now and replace it with this gunmetal velvet from Tonic Living.
8. The table pictured is just to represent the dark wood that I'd like to have in the room. In reality, that element will come from a side table, the wood of the settee, the legs of the wingback chair, and the vintage secretary desk that another one of Mike's aunts gave us. While I do like this coffee table (found here), I don't think the room is wide enough to accommodate one.
9. Like I mentioned above, this room has a fireplace that was added by the old owners. It's a white corner unit, and I can't remember whether it's electric or propane. Either way, it's awesome.

Update: I didn't include any mention of the floors because they are currently carpeted. I'm remembering pink, but that could be something I dreamt (nightmared?) about. Anyway, I'm hoping the house's original hardwood is underneath it, but we won't be looking into revealing that for a long time to come.

The reading room could easily become one of my favourite rooms in the new house. In addition to the tin ceiling, it has a stained glass window, huge baseboards, and two antique doors - complete with hardware - leading from it. Hooray for architectural character!

So there you have it. Are you planning any rooms that you might not be tackling for an indeterminate length of time?

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