When Carla Komich moved to Takoma Park, she decided to hold off on decorating until she was more familiar with the house. But nearly three years later, the informal dining area remains unfinished. “I could use a fresh set of eyes,” she wrote. She wants a design that is “practical yet original.”


By painting the accent wall white and swapping the table for a corner banquette, designer Michelle Timberlake creates a casual family dining nook.

Timberlake, of Carter+Burton Architecture (540-955-1644, www.carterburton.com), is based in Berryville, Va.

A mirror makes the room feel brighter by reflecting light from the lone window.

In a small space, choose a single wall color to make the room appear larger. The color is Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore.

Carla Komich. (Leah L. Jones/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

A large sisal area rug helps define the space. Its neutral color keeps the focus on the banquette.

A bold, playful chandelier keeps the room casual. Place it on a dimmer switch for more control.

Add texture through accessories such as a wicker basket, glass hurricanes and lacquer tray.

Indoor houseplants reinforce the subtle green color scheme and improve the air quality.


Furniture: Conventry corner banquette in domino green (no longer available, www.ballarddesigns.com); Wildon Home Beacon console table ($123, www.wayfair.com).

Accessories: Egeby rug in natural ($130, www.ikea.com); Soliz Vidrio hurricanes ($20 each) and flameless LED pillars ($10 each), both from www.worldmarket.com; Martha Stewart Maracaibo mirror in bronze ($50, www.homedepot.com); small lacquer tray in sprout ($29, www.westelm.com); recycled taper planter in green ($143, www.roomand
); water hyacinth basket ($30, www.pier1.com); botanical fern prints (prices vary by print, www.chartingnature.com).

Lighting: Foucault’s iron orb chandelier ($595, www.restorationhardware.com).


Round Gilcrest table ($1,649, www.ethanallen.com).

Aaron wood side chair in black ($249, www.potterybarn.com).

Armillary chandelier ($1,599, www.ethanallen.com).

. . . OR SAVE

Modern craftsman red house revival pedestal dining table ($1,029, www.homegallerystores.com).

Carey dining chair in ebony ($120 for set of two, www.target.com).

See past room makeovers by local designers at washingtonpost.com/housecalls.

Tell us about your design challenge. Send photos, room dimensions and contact information to makeover@washpost.com.