Konczal living room for housecalls 11/17/11 (Leah L Jones/LEAH L JONES)

Trish and Mike Konczal of Fairfax need help with their 12-by-22-foot living room. Their family uses the space to hang out and watch TV, so they want it to be more inviting and comfortable. They’d love a sectional, but can’t figure out how to make it work.


With a new floor plan and fresh color palette, designer Matthew Swingly enlarges and updates this family space.

A pair of chairs and a small table offer an additional seating area. The chairs can also be pulled closer to the sectional as needed.

Flank the sectional with tables and lamps. Bold colored lamps will balance out the fabric on the chairs. Add dimmers on all lighting.

Replace the formal curtains with tailored Roman shades. The shades make the room look more modern and offer privacy.

Use two smaller cocktail tables instead of a coffee table. They can be easily moved to another room while entertaining.

Add a sectional so the family can sit together. Accessorize with colorful pillows, which add personality.

A floral area rug will visually expand the space, add softness and pull all the colors in the room together.

Cool blue-green walls will be a nice backdrop for the warmer tones in the space: Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams.

Swingly, of McMaster Wallace (202-726-3700, www.mcmasterwallace.com), is based in D.C.


Furniture: Troy left-arm chaise sectional in diplomat mushroom ($3,577, www.crateandbarrel.com); Bunch metal cocktail tables ($80) and Aristo entertainment unit ($398) from www.overstock.com; rustic pedestal accent table ($300, potterybarn.com); metal drum accent table ($118, www.dyhomedecor.com).

Lighting: Ashanti table lamp in orange ($99, www.homedecorators.com).

Accessories: Terra cotta floral rug, 8-by-10-foot ($500, www.potterybarn.com); Thea pillow ($37) and Tempo velvet pillow in cayenne ($40) from www.crateandbarrel.
; fabric natural Roman shade ($31, www.overstock.com).

Tell us about your design challenge.

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