House updates–The Study

We keep loving our new old house and doing more little by little like getting drapes, things on walls, and shrubs for out front. Here a few more peeks.  I hesitate to show full room shots because well it’s just not fished and perfect but that’s okay. It’s a home and it takes time as I have said and I know y’all understand.


The biggest transformation has been in our little study.


When we bought the house I knew I wanted gray walls and a cozy place for chairs after all it’s only 10 x 10!  All of the elements above are finally really coming together! We really want vintage leather chairs for this space eventually but that will be a big splurge so for now I have done IKEA karlstad chairs and ottoman and they have been slipped in a dark gray by LS Slipcovers (of course) the long skirts and fabric really changed the look of these chairs.  They are actually so comfy, I think the high arm on these chairs makes them especially comfy for Ikea furniture and I may have Laura add down cushions to really add comfort.

Below is the view from the kitchen. And you notice we chose the Schoolhouse Electric light in our lighting debate  . . .


It’s the Vega 5 in brass and we love it.  Even my husband. Come to find out his light he wanted to use needed some work after all so this was a great alternative. Right babe? “His light” needed rewiring and some work anyway. If you follow me on Instagram you know about this lighting discussion we had going between my husband and I;; Thank you Schoolhouse for this fab light! If I am ever in Portland I will so be visiting in person!

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Another one of my favorite things in this room was unplanned..the botanical chart from IKEA in the photo above..yes IKEA…I had this piece rolled in my garage still in the box for maybe 2 years or since it first came out…never knew where I would use it but it anchors this space..I need something big with so many smalls on the shelves.  There is a lot going on in this tiny room.  Notice the trumpet and the big tortoise shell I found at Round Top…it’s on a stand..I couldn’t resist. I hung my friend Sheryl Campbell’s beautiful little paintings of the Mississippi River at sunrise and sunset inside the bookcase window area, I love how the chairs nestle in the window space.  It means no room for drapes but that is okay.


I got this little ladder at Round Top its from an old dept store apparently…love it! Not exactly a library ladder but i love the nod. This wall is opposite the chairs. There are shelves on three walls and a portion of the fourth.


I am just playing with this vintage ribbon may not stay?

You may remember this space was originally very dark stained knotty pine.


I am sure it made many wince that we painted it but we really like it and well it’s our home and we want to love every inch. My husband and I sit in this room a lot while kids are in TV’s also a great place for coffee and just thankful for this tiny little room filled with books we love!

Below this is looking in directly from the entryway. I love the little barley twist tea cart because it has wheels and makes for easy coffee maneuvering;  BUT I may end up getting a lower and larger end table. I have to come clean that lamp is totally from Hobby Lobby lol. I actually used some in a client’s gorgeous house too and they work..they are a great scale… I have a great vintage one but it’s just too big for the space. There is no shame in the Hobby Lobby lamp y’all (if used with caution); And yes I may have changed the shade.


I am still tweaking shelves and just when I think i have it like I want it, I find another box of books somewhere!


So there you go..our little study!  I think I will likely streamline shelves a bit and add sisal under the old rug to give a layered look. I have already added the martini stool from West Elm just since I took these photos!

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A big “thank YOU” to Schoolhouse Electric for sending the Vega 5 in brass to us….we love it and  we worked with Schoolhouse on several other lights in the bathrooms, can’t wait to show you the striped schoolhouse shade we used in the boys bath upstairs! Select Blinds also sponsors my blog and gave me a great discount to use my favorite blinds throughout the house. What a blessing. These are lined but not privacy lined.  I wish wish wish I had made the extra investment and gotten the “top down” option on these blinds like I did in our master bathroom. In full disclosure these items were discounted (the blinds) or “comped” (the Vega 5!!) but I would not have used them if I did not love them in the space be assured! For more on my disclosure and blog policy read at bottom of page here. Basically and simply some of my favorite companies have offered to work with me and give me discounts or sample items because I have already used their products so much and recommend them to clients and readers and we know its a good fit for us to work together.


{Sources: Ikea Karlstad chairs and slips by LS Slipcovers, antique rug from Round Top/The Arbors’ MR Rugs, Vega 5 overhead light in brass from Schoolhouse Electric, SW Intellectual Gray on walls, Selectblinds Tropical Isle blinds in bamboo tortoise, pillows from etsy, lamp from Hobby Lobby, Buffalo check blanket purchased over a year ago from Schoolhouse Electric, tea cart from ebay,} Note: I noticed the bamboo tortoise blinds are out of stock right now at Select Blinds but order samples there are several similar including the New Guinia camel..their samples are fast and simple to order and really help with decisions.

Thank’s for looking y’all..I will try to share more soon!

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  1. Hooray for painting the knotty pine! It can just be too much to have all that paneling, and it has to be about what your family loves. Thanks for your honesty on the comping/discounts. I love it when bloggers are upfront about that kind of thing and I feel like you do it in the least tacky way. Your house is turning out just beautiful.

  2. What a wonderful cozy space.:) I would definitely be hanging out in there with coffee and a book. I think painting the paneling was a very wise move, and your art print from Ikea is just perfect for the space. Thank you so much for sharing (and sharing all the resources, too.)
    Hope your mountain trip was fun. Wish you could have swung through Georgia on your way home. 🙂

  3. I love it…can’t wait to see more!!!

  4. LOVE the vibe that is happening in your study! The paint completely transformed that space. And, I love those ribbons placed over the shelves 🙂

  5. Holly!! It’s stunning!! I adore it…I would of painted the pine as well. Love the gray, and the pops of color…just beautiful.

  6. Erin Hardy says

    Such a beautiful room, Holly!! I love the painted pine walls and the light fixture is so perfect! I love everything barley twist and that side table is awesome! Love it all 🙂

  7. Leigh in Houston says

    Love everything about this room! The painted wood walls, the bookshelves, the light fixture, the colors, the books, EVERYTHING! My favorite room in your new old house so far. 🙂

  8. Holly~it’s sooooo good it’s painful. Really, you have some serious talent girl and I am seriously envious right now!!!! Love you! Melaine

  9. What is the color on the walls? I got so excited I forgot to ask! Melaine

  10. I love, love, love it! How are you getting this all done so quickly?! (Or, at least it seems that way to me.)

  11. I love this room. It showcases treasures and books and looks so inviting and cozy. Thanks for providing the sources, always helpful for reference.
    You really did such a wonderful job.

  12. I love your style so much! The grey walls look perfect!!

  13. Absolutely love the combination if the buffalo plaid & leopard pillows with the ikea chart! Perfection!

  14. Loooooking so great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DYING over those leopard pillows!!! I hope mine look just like yours ;D

  15. I’m so glad you took before and after, I would have never realized it had all of that dark wood! It’s one of my favorite rooms in your house! I could sit there and read forever!

  16. Great little room! Where did you find the display stand for your turtle shell? I have a vintage shell but need a stand for display. Any recommendations where I might find one? Thanks.

  17. Everything looks so cozy! I love the gray on the walls and trim.

    I’ve been eyeing that lamp Hobby Lobby! It really looks great in the space.

    It’s all coming together!


  18. Kelly Evans says

    Love it all! The barley twist table is so great and I love the ribbons!

  19. Well, this is just the perfect combination of cozy and luxurious! Great work!

  20. Incredible! I love every single thing you’ve done! A beautiful transformation!! It looks like you’ve lived in the house for ages!! LOVE!!! (:

  21. This is SO GOOD, Holly! It feels so fresh yet cozy. And you can’t go wrong with any Schoolhouse fixture. I can definitely see why you went with this and not the other. 🙂

  22. Just gorgeous — so cozy! I think that it might be my favorite spot in your new house (so far).

  23. Oh Holly, I am in love with this cozy room! Perfection! 🙂

  24. Hot dang. I adore it!
    And I think the ribbons are one of my favorite elements.
    PS – We have a Karlstad, too. 🙂

  25. I love this room and love that you painted the knotty pine. Such a warm and inviting space.

  26. Wow, that is an amazing transformation. In addition to being beautiful and much brighter, it looks like you’ve got some great functionality as well (my favorite!) Very inspiring to people who’ve got a paneled room and aren’t sure what to do with it.

  27. Everything looks fantastic. I could sit there and read all afternoon! Looks so inviting!

  28. Holly, this room is cozy library perfection! What an inspiration and a fabulous makeover. I have a library that I’m working on too and would love to put in leather chairs (who wouldn’t?) but I really like the IKEA chairs you put in there- they look comfortable and chic with the animal print pillows. Oh and that light fixture from School House electric- beautiful!!! I

  29. I can’t believe I just stumbled upon your blog from Emily Clark’s. When you ordered the leopard pillows from me, I didn’t realize you had a blog! By the way, here’s an active link to the pillow covers (the one in your sources is no longer active):

    You made a great choice painting out the knotty pine. The gray is so cozy, especially with the trim painted out as well. I like the way you combine modern and vintage furnishings as well … especially the ceiling light!

  30. I could grow old here with my wife sipping tea. Great job on this Holly. I loved how you balanced the colors. I’d love to take a peek on how it looks when it’s night!

  31. Love this space! It’s my go-to example to convince my husband that we need to paint built-ins for our new home office. It’s been forever since I left a comment, but I’ve really enjoyed seeing all of the updates and changes you’ve made to your new old house. We are finally ready to begin building our new old farmhouse and I’ve been blog stalking your new home for ideas. You have done such a great job! I even referenced a post you wrote years ago when you answered a question I had about making a new house have the character of an old house on a budget.

  32. Hi Holly! Are you able to tell me the paint color you used in this room? I want to do something similar with our wood paneled playroom. Thank you so much!


  1. Darian Braun says:

    Darian Braun

    House updates–The Study | Holly Mathis Interiors

  2. […] Holly’s post on this study makeover, with an inspiring before and after […]

  3. […] Holly Mathis recently revamped her study using a botanical chart from Ikea, which I don’t think is available anymore. (The cheetah print pillows with the grey wood planking = perfection). […]

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