House to Home: Help our Den

A post by Indiana . . . 

We have lived in our house for eight months now, and we have decorated exactly zero rooms. Are you one of those people who need to get settled and get your house set up right away when you've moved to new digs? Huh. Not us. I remember a friend coming over to our apartment in Texas once and surveying our moving boxes and furniture in disarray and asked, "Did you guys just move in?" Chris and I sheepishly admitted we had been there a year. A YEAR! 

Thankfully *most* of our moving boxes are unpacked at this point, but we moved to a house with a few extra rooms: for the first time we have a full finished basement, a den AND a living room, and a dining room AND a breakfast nook. You'd think this would be fun, but it's a herculean task. 

The problem is this: we're bad at this. And a little apathetic. And a lot different from each other. We don't know our decor style, but we think we're pretty opposite of each other, and often the things one of us does not like at all are the exact things the other just adores. 

Since the den is a room that we'd likely use more often if it were properly furnished, we wanted to start there. I have no shame in admitting that we are clueless, so I post this post for your input! 

Here is our current den, and it's the room I want to tackle first. It's narrow and the majority of the left wall is access to the sunporch, which makes figuring out furniture placement a little funny. 

Despite what is reflected in the photos, the room doesn't get a lot of light, so we'll be keeping it white. The red loveseat will go down to the basement and the brown recliner will be going up to our bedroom. The blue rug is too small for the space, so it will likely be moved to Chris' office upstairs. The black console table thing will go up to my office / guest room. 

Chris is vehemently opposed to painting the brick fireplace (but I'm still trying to sell him on a whitewash). He also is staunchly against painting the wood shelves inside the bookcases, the mantle, and the wood door and frame to the sunroom.

CHRIS: I wish the room were still in its original, unpainted, wood judges paneling glory.
INDIANA: Oh, no! No, no no. Why?
C: Nothing says luxury like wood grain, leather furniture, and shelves of old leather bound books. 
I: No way. I'm glad it's already painted! I wish all the wood trim were painted white, too.
C: The building materials were meant to be shown, not covered up.

Do y'all see what I'm working against here? Heaven help us. 

I tried to strike a compromise, so here's the direction I'm going, but I could use your input. I've already ordered the couch and chair, and I really want the Heidi Landau horse print and the leather handles for the cabinets. The tables are within our budget, and I like that they're bronze and not shiny, bright brass. 

1. Uprooted by Heidi Landau | 2. Equestrian Handle | 3. Coffee and end table set | 4. Chesterfield sofa and chair 

Is a glass coffee table just asking for trouble? What color rug should we get to break up the wood floor from the brown furniture? Do you have any book shelf styling tips for me? I dig Emily Henderson (don't we all?) however our house is very traditional (did you peep that dentil molding?) so it can't be too, too California Casual, MCM, or Industrial (the styles we are typically drawn to). 

I'd welcome your suggestions! I bet there are folks reading this who just live for this kind of stuff. Chris and I feel like we're bumbling through this whole process of decorating and furnishing our home. Help?

Side note: The little house in the top credit photo was made by my very talented and kind friend Jena as a going away present for us. I want her to start making these tiny custom homes for others! I love having this handcrafted replica of a place that was so important to our family!