House Calls: Room for four kids and elegance

Warm khaki paint, floor-length curtains, a framed television and stain-resistant fabric are among designer Iantha Carley’s suggestions to make a living room more family-friendly. (Sketch by Julius Goyanko/The Washington Post)


“My family moved to our Bethesda home over a year ago and we have yet to put our living room to good use,” wrote Jennifer Sullivan. Sullivan and her husband, Brian, would like the 15-by-23-foot room to be a place they can enjoy with their four young children.


With well-placed and easy-to-clean furnishings, designer Iantha Carley proves that style and young children can go hand in hand.

— Paint walls medium khaki to bring warmth and depth to the room: Oak Ridge by Benjamin Moore.

SPLURGE, left: Ellie side table ($495,; SAVE, right: Spool accent table ($199,

— Hang floor-length curtain panels to soften windows and add pattern and color to the space.

— Move furniture toward the fireplace to create a more intimate seating area.

— Install recessed lighting. Have a dimmer switch installed to offer more control of the light.

— Round tables offer contrast to the right angles in the room and are kid friendly (no sharp corners).

— Frame the TV so it becomes part of the furnishings.

— Cover furniture with indoor-outdoor or stain-resistant fabric to withstand young children.

Iantha Interiors (202-285-2374, is based in Silver Spring.



Belle collection sofa ($2,140,

Colin chair (starts at $1,620,

Preneau sideboard ($1,950,

Gramercy upholstered chair ($403,

Adler oval coffee table ($829,


Necked pot form table lamp ($135,


Aviary fabric in maize for the curtain panels ($25 per yard,

Crouse fabric in rattan for sofa and curtain panel trim ($40 per yard,

Warwick outdoor fabric in barley for the wing chairs ($68 per yard,

Linen accent pillow ($240,

Mohawk EverStrand 9-by-16 Sunset Drive area rug in pebble walk ($20 per square yard,

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