Home & Garden: House Calls Home & Garden

The Challenge

Michele and her husband, Chris, would like the open living room (18 by 13 feet) and family room (17 by 13 feet) areas to become a combined family room and play space. "We have moved our current furniture back and forth," Dusek writes, "but can't find a configuration that makes sense. Please help!"

The Solution

» The opening between the rooms was enlarged to pull them together, but the spaces still need to be treated as distinct, says designer Joanne Fitzgerald. She suggests complementary color palettes (painting the ceilings a lighter shade of the wall color in the opposite room) and a mix of light and dark furniture in contemporary and traditional styles. The result is two family-friendly spaces that work together and that the Duseks can enjoy as their children grow.

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PHOTOS: Leah L. Jones - For The Washington Post; EDITED BY: Terri Sapienza - The Washington Post; WEB PRODUCER: Janet Bennett Kelly - washingtonpost.com; INTERACTIVE: washingtonpost.com

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