House Calls: Making their first home feel sophisticated


“We just moved into our first home and our living room needs some help,” wrote Graham and Kristin Waters of Annapolis. (Leah L. Jones/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
October 19, 2011
THE CHALLENGE

“We just moved into our first home and our living room needs some help,” wrote Graham and Kristin Waters of Annapolis. They want their 14-by-18 living space to be “sophisticated and cozy,” and include more seating, preferably something leather.

THE SOLUTION

Designer Kathryn Ivey uses color, texture and a new seating arrangement to give this new home a chic, lived-in look.

Reposition the sofa to face the TV, and add another, smaller sofa. An L-shaped seating arrangement is more conversational.

Install curtain panels on both sides of the glass doors to bring softness, color and pattern into the room. Hang them as high as possible.

Hang artwork on both sides of the TV to create an art gallery look and to take the focus away from the TV.

A sisal rug with a subtle diamond pattern adds texture and grounds the seating area. Sisal is a great choice for high-traffic areas.

Place a console table below the TV with a pair of storage ottomans underneath. Use the ottomans as seating when needed.

Add an extra club chair and side table to maximize the seating in the room.

Soft gray-green walls will echo the foliage outside: Pale Smoke by Benjamin Moore.

Ivey, of Haddon Interiors (202-360-0887, www.haddoninteriors.com), is based in the District.

SHOPPING GUIDE

Furniture: Henry leather sofa in coffee ($1,500, www.westelm.com); Clairemont coffee table ($700) and Mason console table ($800) from www.crateandbarrel.com; Courbe storage ottoman in stripe blue linen ($314, www.ballarddesigns.com); Uttermost Zahari end table ($350, www.lampsplus.com); Crisscross ceramic garden stool (no longer available, www.overstock.com).

Lighting: Baroque candlestick lamp (no longer available, www.wisteria.com).

Accessories: Jewel jute rug, 9 x 12 ($380, www.naturalarearugs.com); Concorde medallion panel in indigo (starts at $69 per panel, www.ballarddesigns.com); Ginkgo Branch I framed art print ($125 each, www.art.com); decorative designer pillow cover ($32, www.etsy.com).

Tell us about your design challenge.

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

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