House Calls

House Calls: Redecorating a Spare Room

(Illustration By Julius Goyanko For The Washington Post; "Before" And Homeowner Photos By Leah L. Jones For The Washington Post)
By Kathleen Hom
Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Problem

"I purchased a very nice wall unit at Ikea, an LCD TV, also a nice sofa bed. But that is where I ran out of steam."

Homeowner: Jennice Fuentes of Arlington on her 12-by-14-foot spare room

The Solution

"The room needs to be organized and streamlined to maximize space [and] to make it a dual-purpose room."

Designer: Karen Osborne of Karen Renee Interior Design in Severna Park, 410-647-0435,

Now What

Move the wall unit to the opposite wall, so guests are not immediately met by this huge unit. This will also create the appearance of more space for an office area and a spot for conversation in front of the TV.

Construct a custom office nook in the closet by removing the doors and installing plenty of shelving.

Slipcover the sofa in white. This neutral color on the sofa and throughout the space will make the room appear larger.

Inject bright accent colors to liven up the space.

Include flexible seating and a table space for entertaining.

How to get the look


Skruvsta swivel chair in Idhult white ($149,


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