So I think maybe posting about the desk lit a little fire under my posterior because - voila! - the office is now a happy little room:
The thought was to ignore the walls in terms of matching stuff and base the furnishings color scheme around black, white, gray, and natural (you know, like raw wood). The rug is a chenille-jute mix from West Elm that I have loved for the last year and am so happy about. And look - the little stump table has found its perfect place as a mini coffee table next to the futon. Some of the art above the futon is from our ongoing slow collecting and some is made by friends and family (including one from Lara, which I'll do a separate post about soon).
Just for comparison, this is what it started out looking like:
A cool Asian scythe from my sister-in-law's travels (thanks, Lex!), an old rusty metal document box, ceramic vase from a potter we used to practically buy out at the Lincoln Center craft fair every year in NYC, and a white textured tile Lara made in her ceramics class (have I mentioned that ceramics are a bit of an obsession around here?):
My stencil painting of Lara with her bike adds a pop of yellow on the wall next to the desk: