AFTER: Bright colors like turquoise, orange and red pop with life, while a new floor plan creates an intimate setting and wire shelving helps organize toys and shoes. (Sketch by Julius Goyanko/For the Washington Post)


The 17-by-14-foot living room in Beth and Bill Davies’s Annapolis bungalow needs a new look. They’d like more storage for their daughters toys, a better floor plan and a designated entryway.


By bringing in unexpected colors and furnishings and proper storage, designer Margaret Carter gives this room a makeover fit for a young family.

Add instant freshness with turquoise walls: Sweet Dreams by Benjamin Moore.

Belgian wingback sofa ($2,655,; Flutter pattern rug, $998, (SPLURGE)

Mount the TV by the window to enjoy a movie and the view simultaneously.

A pair of classically shaped orange chairs pop against the blue walls and the industrial red chair.

Establish an intimate seating area by pulling the furniture toward the center of the room.

Reposition the sofa so it faces the window rather than the adjacent room.

A rug by the door leading to storage with hooks will create the feel of an entryway.

Wire shelving can keep toys and shoes organized and out of sight.

Margaret Carter Interiors (703-741-7654, is based in Arlington.

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



Marie armchair in orange velvet ($400,

Garden side chair in shiny red ($99,

Lotus garden seat in white ($160,

French tiered metal shelves ($129,

Wright’s Peak wall storage with hooks ($195,

Wire horizontal storage ($375,

Oversize tufted ottoman ($699,


Hemp runner in walnut ($125,

Medium Hughes bin in ivory ($18,

PB found authentic kantha throw ($99,

TV bracket ($38,

Mehendi vase in purple ($16,