Finally occurred to me just what was wrong with this build. After staring at it for weeks and weeks, doing this and trying that, the “what” of it still eludes me. Turns out it was the very first thing I did: the wallpaper. I was experimenting, expanding on the scale boundaries of tiny space. The two facing walls were like an evolving collage of edgy patterns, florals, painted stripes. I’d think I was done, but later would add more bits to the pattern. I even put a bird on it. The walls got more and more interesting. I built lots of different furniture based on various ideas (bookmaker’s workshop, blood orange orchard office, remote mountain retreat, eccentric’s parlor). None of it was right.
I still don’t know what it is, but at least that damn wallpaper wont be distracting me.