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A home office and living room makeover

By and Kendra Nichols,

THE CHALLENGE

Martha Romans wants her Alexandria living room to include a home office. “I’m thinking of the proverbial outfit that goes from a day at the office to a night out, with just a tweak here or there,” she said. It should be simple and clean, no cluttered bulletin boards allowed.

THE SOLUTION

By updating the window treatments and selecting furniture that can pull double duty, designer Sarah Wessel creates a fresh space for work and play.

Wessel (202-337-1910) is based in the District.

The No. 1 rule of a shared work-live space is to cut clutter. A stylish desk organizer (not shown) can keep things under control.

Use furniture to define the space, creating separate but complementary areas for work and play.

A couple of pillows in a fun print can add big impact at little cost.

Choose furniture that can pull double duty. These classic ottomans are at home in the living room but have file storage for the office.

A Parsons chair is functional for work but doesn’t scream “office.” Pull it into the living area when entertaining.

Swap out the swag valances for Roman shades to get a more modern look.

SHOPPING GUIDE

Furniture: Eton loveseat in oatmeal Danish linen ($1,565) and file storage ottoman in Indochine ikat denim ($411 each), both from www.ballarddesigns.com; Jules large accent table ($349) and Fernando accent table ($199), both from www.crateandbarrel.com; Calabasas coffee table ($228, www.wayfair.com); Avery dining chair ($80, www.target.com).

Lighting: Adam’s Rib table lamp ($348) and Metropolitan cherry floor lamp ($207), both from www.bellacor.com.

Accessories: Perfect accent pillows in Indochine denim ($39) and desk organizer in Tuscan brown ($149), both from www.ballarddesigns.com; Compass mirror ($99, www.wisteria.com); flat Roman shades in ecru linen ($393 each, www.theshadestore.com).

SPLURGE . . .

Edwards library chair in Adler taupe ($1,009, www.ballarddesigns.com).

Mini architect’s table lamp in hand-rubbed antique brass ($420, www.bellacor.com).

. . . OR SAVE

Sedona microfiber suede vista chair ($270, www.wayfair.com).

Sight Saver pharmacy desk lamp in antique brass ($189, www.bellacor.com).

See past room makeovers by local designers.

Tell us about your design challenge.

Send photos, room dimensions and contact information to makeover@washpost.com .

© The Washington Post Company