(Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

Eric and Jennifer Jewell of Hamilton are struggling with their 19-by-18-foot living room. They’d like it to feel cozy and clean for their 4-year-old twin girls. They’re considering adding a second story and hardwood floors, but their top priority is an area for conversation.


By grouping the seating in the center of the room and mounting the TV on the wall, Denise Standen and Anne Quinn make the cavernous space feel intimate.

Earth tones can make a large space feel smaller. Walls are Crewel Tan, trim is Ibis White, both by Sherwin-Williams.

Vary the shapes of accessories. Pair a geometric mirror with matching table lamps to keep things interesting.

Eric and Jennifer Jewell want a cozy living room for their kids. (Leah L. Jones/for The Washington Post)

Balance warm walls with cool accents. An area rug incorporates light blues and greens to temper the overall palette.

Create a clear seating area. Arrange furniture in the center of the room and allow traffic flow around it. Define the area with a rug.

Avoid floor clutter by mounting the television above the fireplace. Use a small media cabinet to store movies and games.

Plan ahead. Replace the carpet with hardwood floors. They will withstand the wear and tear of children and pets.

Emphasize the room’s height. A tall bookcase provides storage and occupies empty wall space.

Standen and Quinn, of Take 2 Interiors (202-596-1584, www.take2interiors.com), are based in Potomac.


Furniture: Hooker Furniture Brookhaven sofa table in cherry ($538, www.accent-furniture-direct.com); Wynwood Marlowe double bookcase in black cherry ($725, www.csnofficefurniture.com); Axium audio cabinet ($285, www.overstock.com); Solara rug (no longer available, www.ballarddesigns.com); Atlantis chair ($900, www.thomasville.com).

Lighting: Fielding table lamps ($249 each, www.arhaus.com); Possini Medallion on Mount table lamp ($150, www.amazon.com).

Accessories: 84-inch Broadway Dot window panels in gold ($30 each, www.thegreatindoors.com); Capital Lighting decorative wall mirror in winter gold ($236, www.lightingdirect.com); Olivia mirrored side table ($150, www.ballarddesigns.com).


Brookshire sofa in beige ($1,430, www.thomasville.com).

Butler cocktail bench in Danish linen ($960, www.arhaus.com ).

. . . OR SAVE

Ektorp sofa in Svanby beige ($600, www.ikea.com).

French storage ottoman ($480, www.homedecorators.com).

Tell us about your design challenge.

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