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Madame Secretary

Secretary Desk | Making it Lovely

I mentioned a couple of months ago that I wanted to add a secretary desk to the library because the room needed a piece with height and a desk would be a useful addition. I chose this 19th Century French Iron Secretary. The rooms of our Victorian are all fairly open to one another, so I’ve been keeping that in mind as I decorate each space. The black iron secretary plays nicely off of the black walls in the back parlor and I like its mix of masculine details and feminine curves.

Black Wall, Black Secretary Desk |Making it Lovely

Incoming mail is always one of our biggest sources of clutter, and the secretary is the perfect solution to the problem! In the old house, mail and other paperwork would end up all over the dining room table, and here it usually piled up on the entryway sideboard. I would sort through it, recycling what I could, but the rest stayed put. Magazines and catalogs mixed with bills, invitations, and other correspondence. The kids’ schoolwork was getting mixed up in it too, but now everything has a place within the shelving of the secretary and it can be kept neatly organized behind closed doors.

Inside the Secretary Desk | Making it Lovely

We have four antique Thonet chairs in the house, passed down to us from Brandon’s mom. Two are in the entryway, one is in the bathroom on the main floor (holding a stack of towels), and the last is here at the desk. I hung a 50¢ tassel on the key in the door, but I wish I had brought one of the beautiful ones I’d seen in Morocco home as a souvenir. I’m kicking myself for passing on them!

Secretary Desk | Making it Lovely

I love the secretary though. I wanted it specifically for that spot in the library, but I can see it working in several spots in our house if I ever want to rearrange things a bit. It’s always good to have options, right?

Secretary Desk | Making it Lovely

The Library, Rearranged

I’ve been getting the “oh, you’re nesting!” comments from friends and family a lot lately, and maybe it’s true. I’m organizing closets. I’m arranging and rearranging and then rearranging some more. I think I’ve kind of hit on a good arrangement in the library though (and identified a key missing piece!), so I thought I’d snap a few photos today.

Making it Lovely's LIbrary

I don’t know if the rug is going to stay. I like it, but I think it’s a little too sweet in the room and the library is either calling for bare floors or something with an entirely different feel. It’s a little too small anyway.

Black and White Vintage Sofa in a Library

Home Library

I like the black and white sofa in front of the bookshelves. There is room for the library ladder to roll behind there, so it’s not blocking any access, but I don’t know if I’m crazy about lining up that sofa with the blue one facing the same way in the next room over.

Double Parlor

And then there’s that missing piece the room needs: a secretary desk! Yes. This side of the room needs something with some height, and a desk would be useful. I’m thinking it should be black, with masculine lines to offset all of the pink and girly going on in there. Something that won’t compete with the bookshelves, but that can hold its own in the space.

Spot for a Secretary Desk

All right, back to nesting! Today’s my birthday, but I don’t think the baby’s interested in making his debut today (though there’s still time, eh?). I’m angling for tomorrow so he can share the date with my grandma, but I’m not due until Friday.

Pink in the Library

The day after I got back from my trip, I figured I may as well paint a room. Then I realized what a dummy I was for pushing myself too hard, and I took a few more days to rest before putting on a second coat of paint and finally finishing up. The library is now the most perfect shade of pale pink (Pink Ground from Farrow & Ball).

I tried to make the boy do most of the work, but he gave up about two minutes in. Thanks a lot, kid. I know three-year-olds are not the most reliable when it comes to manual labor, but can you not see the state your poor mother is in?

Painting Pals

I was eager to see some payoff after all of that painting, so I laid out one of the rugs I brought back from Morocco in an effort to create the illusion of a finished room. (Tricksy bloggers with their vignettes!) Eleanor went ahead and set up the pink stools around the table in preparation for a tea party — appropriate, since I drank mint tea while rug shopping.

Pink in the Library

I like the rug and I love that it would have the memory of picking it out in the Marrakech souk attached to it, but it’s not working in the larger context of the space right now. It’s too near the entryway and its vintage Persian Koliaei runner, and the two clash. The Persian can be used in the hallway upstairs though, which gives me a couple of options. Either I can find a runner to compliment the Moroccan rug, or just move the rug into the entry instead of the library. It’s a funny size (4’6″ x 8’6″), and it would actually fit pretty nicely, but I don’t know how well it would hold up to heavy traffic. Chicago winters are not kind to entryways with all of the salt and snow that gets tracked in, and the dense wool Persian is fairly impervious to all of that. I’ll have to play around with my options a bit more.

I am loving the pink walls though! I’d been missing my favorite color.

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