Ajay Taluja recently bought a one-bedroom, 1,000-square-foot condominium in Northwest Washington with great views of Rock Creek Park. The living/dining area is a blank slate. He needs a functional, but attractive, modern space for entertaining, watching television and dining.

(Photos by Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)


Designer Annie Elliott incorporates the views into the design by choosing a color palette and art inspired by nature. She mixes modern accents with bold patterns, such as a graphic area rug, to give the space a fresh look.

Elliott, with Bossy Color (202-265-0443,,
is based in the District.

(Julius Goyanko/for The Washington Post)

(Courtesy of Annie Elliott)
Elliott’s suggestions

A bright white, such as Benjamin Moore’s Super White, helps keep the space feel open and unified. An accent wall in a deep teal is the jumping-off point for the other colors in the room. Try Twilight by Benjamin Moore. A large landscape painting over the sofa adds depth and a focal point to the space, while keeping with the natural theme. Repeat the rug’s diamond pattern in the chairs and light fixture in the dining area (not shown) to unify the space. Combine colors that seem to clash, such as teal, olive and emerald green, to give the room a more sophisticated look. Limit the number of pillows on the sofa to four to keep the room from feeling too busy and dated. Mix textures, such as velvet, rattan, fur, wood and metal, to add visual and tactile interest.


Splurge: Leather Rhys sofa in olive ($4,998, (

Save: Dryden three-seat 103-inch Grande sofa in fern ($1,899, (

Splurge: Milo Baughman recliner 74 in black leather ($2,990, designwithin (

Save: Mies mid-century modern plank armchair in black ($1,125, (


Furniture: End-grain coffee tables ($499 each,; Lack 22-inch side tables in black ($8 each) and Bjursta extendable table in brown ($199), both from; Stax bookcases ($399 each,; Real Good chair in copper ($299 each,

Accessories: Kellee black 9-by-12 area rug ($467,; set of two green velvet feather- and down-filled throw pillows ($38,; Transitions 20-inch pillow with feather insert ($40), splatter tray ($35), brass candle bowl ($13), black candle bowl ($10) and Ray the Bear tea-light candleholder ($13), all from; Camille diamond medallion ­20-inch square pillow cover in indigo ($68) and 20-inch pillow insert ($28), both from; “Driving By” 30-by-40-inch print with matte copper frame ($373,; large metal table lamp with dull-gold wire cage ($200,; ombre gray ceramic vases ($25 each), Espresso Phoebe tote baskets (from $15) and round madras Lorenzo basket ($60) , all from; rustic ceramic vase in jug size ($39), Warmest Throw in black diamond jacquard ($39) and large faceted terrarium in gold ($44), both from; Mongolian 22-inch pillow in cerulean ($160,; Emery linen/cotton 84-inch curtain panels in charcoal ($119 each,; leather Chindi green ­
8-by-10-foot area rug ($280,

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