House Calls: Grotto


The before photo of the “grotto.” (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)
THE CHALLENGE

D.C. resident Joan Townsend calls the unused space below her screened-in porch her “grotto.” She’d like to use the spot to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning and watch the birds, and her teenage children want comfortable seating for friends around the fire pit.

THE SOLUTION

Designer Alison Naden outfits the grotto with outdoor fabrics, sophisticated but fun colors and accessories inspired by the family’s recent trip to Turkey. Naden, of Loudoun Modern (703-447-6688, www.loudounmodern.com), is based in Purcellville.

A mosaic tile table is reminiscent of a Turkish lamp and works for both morning coffee and late-night snacks and drinks.

Versatile outdoor poufs can be used for seating, ottomans or side tables — and moved around the fire pit for making s’mores.

A fiber-optic star ceiling creates the effect of twinkling lights without the harshness of bulbs.


Joan Townsend (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

Bird-themed pillows pay tribute the homeowner’s passion and pair with the orange, turquoise and brown color palette.

An outdoor rug warms up the space and allows teens to sit on the floor.

SHOPPING GUIDE

Furniture: Echo Beach sectional love seat ($400) and chaise ($400), both from www.pier1.com; orange Lili punched drum stool ($60, www.worldmarket.com); outdoor Moroccan poufs in yellow, orange and blue ($280 each, www.horchow.com).

Accessories: Echo Beach seat cushion ($55) and back cushion ($40), both in turquoise and from www.pier1.com; solid outdoor pillow in orange ($39 for 20-by-20-inch pillow, www.grandinroad.com); hand-painted Bird With Jewels outdoor pillow ($149) and hand-painted Quetzal outdoor pillow ($159), both from www.frontgate.com; Zoey zebra print rug ($449 for 5-by-71 / 2 -foot rug, www.horchow.com); 200-strand LED fiber-optic star ceiling kit ($179, www.wiedamark.com); Cool Vista damp oil-rubbed bronze ceiling fan ($330, www.lampsplus.com).

SPLURGE . . .

Neille Olson Mosaics Oasis bar-height table in Espresso ($949 for 30-inch table, www.frontgate.com).

Maison Jardin bar stool in Provence finish ($1,995, www.frontgate.com).

. . . OR SAVE

Kaleidoscope bistro table ($230, www.pier1.com).

Miraflores dining chair ($130, www.pier1.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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