A more appetizing dining room

January 27, 2011

Repaint in a warm, rich beige: Lambskin by Benjamin Moore.

Layer an area rug on top of the carpet to add warmth and texture.

Install a larger chandelier. Hang it lower to give the room a more intimate feel.

Use a fabric runner to soften the glass tabletop.

Reupholster the armchairs in a large-scale pattern.

Hang a group of mirrors to reflect light and make up for the lack of windows.

Remove the chair rail, which does nothing but visually divide the wall.

THE CHALLENGE

James and Barbara Butler love their new White Plains home but need help making the dining room looked more lived in. The room is 12 by 17 feet, and they'd like to keep the table and chairs.

THE SOLUTION

By updating the existing furniture and bringing in pieces to warm and define the space, designer Caroline McCandlish gives this dining room some much-needed personality.

3McCandlish Design (703-689-3481, www.mccandlishdesign.com) is based in Reston.

SHOPPING GUIDE

Furniture. Eiffel console table ($599, www.homedecorators.com ).

Lighting. Indoor one-light mirror mosaic table lamps (no longer available, www.overstock.com ).

Accessories. Burnish Damask fabric in pewter for armchairs ($38 per yard, www.calicocorners.com ); linen hemstitch table runner in ivory ($59, www.potterybarn.com ); Echo concave mirrors ($59 each, www.zgallerie.com); "Endless Landscape" framed art print ($200, www.art.com).

SPLURGE . . .

Loloi Rug, YK-02, in brown/camel ($2,135 for 7 feet 10 inches by 11 feet, www.rugs-direct.com ).

Rockville polished-nickel eight-light chandelier ($1,299, www.bellacor.com ).

. . . OR SAVE

Brandon Persian-style rug ($599 for 8 by 10 feet, www.potterybarn.com ).

Chelsea column chandelier ($595, not including shades, www.restorationhardware.com).

6See more photos of this project at washingtonpost.com/housecalls.

Tell us your design challenge.

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

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