A nice conversation starter


Lynn Wagner of Upper Marlboro says her home’s open floor plan leaves the living room feeling neither intimate nor inviting. Wagner is looking for a cozy space to read and enjoy the fireplace. (Julius Goyanko for The Washington Post)
May 1, 2013
THE CHALLENGE

Lynn Wagner of Upper Marlboro says her home’s open floor plan leaves the living room feeling neither intimate nor inviting. Wagner is looking for a cozy space to read and enjoy the fireplace.

THE SOLUTION

Designers Shanon Munn and Amanda Welch arranged the furniture to define the seating area and take advantage of the room’s assets: five large windows and the fireplace.

Mounting the TV above the mantel points to the fireplace as the room’s focal point.

Lynn Wagner of Upper Marlboro. (Leah L. Jones/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Orient the sofa and chairs to take advantage of the windows, TV and fireplace.

A reading chair in the corner creates a cozy space and balances the seating area on the opposite side of the room.

Install draperies to frame and highlight the large windows.

Line the wall behind the sofa with woven screens to balance the windows.

A complementary ottoman and chair add character and personalize the space without being too matchy-matchy.

The designers suggest removing the ceiling fan for a lighter look, if not needed for air flow.

Munn and Welch, of Ambi Design Studio (703-597-8401, www.ambidesignstudio.com), are based in McLean.

SHOPPING GUIDE

Furniture: Jameson wing chair in Nomad ($1,011) and Jasmine storage ottoman with brass nailheads in Twill Sand ($199), both from www.ballarddesigns.com; slipper chair in Feather Gray/Flax ikat ($399, www.westelm.com); Trident table ($99, www.grandinroad.com).

Accessories: Posy orange pillow ($35), Zolin pillow ($87) and Kathryn table lamp ($219), all from www.crateandbarrel.com; multicolored embroidered pillow ($40, www.cb2.com); Sunset throw blanket in Sea ($39, www.westelm.com); Tribeca curtain rod in Tuscan Bronze (prices vary, www.jcpenney.
com
); sheer linen rod pocket curtains in Natural ($100 per 96-inch panel, www.countrycurtains.com).

SPLURGE . . .

Lahaina four-panel screen ($623, www.wayfair.com).

Bel-Air oval coffee table ($799, www.crateandbarrel.com)

. . . OR SAVE

Jakarta folding screen ($89, www.wayfair.com).

Lombard round coffee table in Sable Brown ($229, www.homedecorators.com).

See past room makeovers by local designers at washingtonpost.com/housecalls.

Tell us about your design challenge. Send photos, room dimensions and contact information to makeover@washpost.com.

Margaret Ely is a digital editor for Lifestyle. Previously, she was an intern for the Post’s Metro section.
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