If You Like HGTV, Have I Got a Puzzle for YOU!

If you’ve had children who are 20-something, you probably recognize this routine:

Grieve when they graduate high school, move them to college, insert several years of school and several moves in here. Okay, maybe one move back home, then another out. Love develops, marriage ensues, graduation happens, and then? Another move – THIS time into their first home…the summary of my eldest’s last few years.

If you take that first paragraph and move around the sentences, delete college and insert hair school, no marriage yet, move into a rental home with roommates, and add helping with fix-it jobs around the home, then we’ve summarized my second child’s life. And, if you’ve been through this process at least once, you know your own home may, at times, serve as a furniture exchange service and holding company.

When relatives die, the furniture gets divvied up among the family members.  A pair of aunts or an uncle look a piece of furniture up and down, talk amongst themselves, then declare, “Here, THIS table might be good for Rylee when she moves out.”  Thus, a Duncan Fyffe table and chairs, plus matching occasional tables gets put where?  You got it.  Into the Mick and Kelly Roberts furniture depository (MKRFD).

Another relative or perhaps my child is at a garage sale and spies a “can’t-refuse” deal that will go nicely in the bedroom “whenever they get their own home someday,” and forthwith the piece is shipped to the MKRFD (single-car garage wing) and logged into the inventory for future withdrawal by said child.

Curiously, however, children continue to grow and make their way into the world and suddenly, days like today come along.  Promptly withdrawn from the MKRFD this morning was: a dining room table and chairs we’re giving the kids as a housewarming gift; Rachel’s bed she’s had since she was three or four, a painted and antiqued china buffet, four chairs we got from a business office giveaway, a micro-fiber sectional and matching pillows, an old antique dresser and mirror rescued from a great-uncle, and….

Wait. Our house can breathe…yes! On second thought…our house is empty!  You know what that means, right?  Time to redecorate!

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is where I could use your help.  Over the next year or two, I’ll be redoing our two “now” guest bedrooms and creating a new office in what used to be a formal dining room.  The office project is first.  Here is a photo of the space:

As you can see, there are two parallel walls, and angled section with a window, and a small squared-off back wall.  The general space is approximately 10’X13′ and the walls are painted a rather flat brick-red.  There is eggshell baseboards and moulding around the framed entrance, and cookie dough carpet on the floor.  All that remains is a music cabinet, a quilt rack, and two hangings on the walls.  One is the front face of an old upright piano.  The other is this print I got from a student sale at the Kansas City Art Institute:

I like the frame AND the art, and want to use the two pieces on the walls in my new office if possible.

Now, for the variables.  I’m thinking about a budget of approximately $250-$500 to pay for new paint and carpet.  I should be able to pick up a really nice remnant at the Outlet Carpet Store given the size of the room.  I’m thinking about THIS color of Baehr paint, and have ordered samples:

So, I’m open to painting or not painting my wood blinds, changing the window treatments, etc.

Other variables include all the following furniture pieces I have left in the MKRFD.  I need to draw from these pieces if possible because I’m saving for wood floors in my living room and one of our guest bedrooms.  Therefore, please consider ideas with the following…

This is an old gas fireplace frame my grandfather picked up from a sale somewhere. I’m not opposed to painting it or converting portions of it into other uses.
Here is some of my current office furniture – I have a small lamp table, a really comfy reclining chair, a barley twist antique table for a desk…pardon the mess.  I’ve been studying for two months but am now finished for a bit.
I have a painted photograph of who my family thinks is my great grandmother when she was a child. Some people think it’s creepy; some think it’s uber-cool.
My father-in-law LOVED Dane Design, and built massive quantities of walnut, hand-crafted modern-lined furniture. This is a three-cushion sofa. It’s fairly low-sitting, and I could recover the cushions. It goes with nothing in my home, but I’m still looking for it’s use. The office? And yes, it’s currently stacked on its side in our one-car garage section of the MKRFD.
I have this 3-piece lawyer stack set for books. The base is not original, so I could work with them in some different way if need be. There’s a clock and another lamp for possibilities as well.
I have two possibilities for coffee tables. This is the first – it’s probably a c. 1970s French influenced table. I like it – it has little birds carved under the glass, and scroll-y legs.
The second possibility is this refurbished antique trunk. It’s black, brown, and trimmed with leather handles. The problem is that it’s a little tall, and generally seems to “come between” people when used for a coffee table.
I have this two-person love-seat that’s also a twin-sized hide-a-bed. It’s not too comfortable because of the back cushion constantly needing “fluffing” and the bed is pretty miserable to sleep on. However, it could still work if need be…somewhere.

Okay, THOSE are the choices.  If I need to purchase a new or slightly used piece of furniture, I could keep the carpet in the room for now.

So my question for you is this: What would you do with the office, and HOW would you do it?  Please post any or all ideas.  Brainstorming is next to godliness…or something like that.