(The Washington Post)


Ylva and David Mercer are trying to find a way to make the 15-by-28-foot family/dining/play room in their Arlington home comfortable for family activities with their four children, yet suitable for entertaining guests. They want a furniture arrangement that will allow them to enjoy the views of their yard and a nearby park.

(Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

Designers Alex Deringer and Courtney Cox use the view as the inspiration for the color palette in the room and choose kid-friendly fabrics and finishes for the space.

(Interior rendering by: Rodney Co/ 3D Storm Studio for The Washington Post)


Soft blue walls with green undertones echo the outdoors. Try Benjamin Moore’s Feather Gray. Use two sofas positioned in an “L” shape to provide plenty of seating without blocking the flow of traffic. Use metals in different finishes to lighten and balance the heavier wood and upholstered pieces. Durable, family-friendly fabrics, such as yarn-dyed linen blended with polyester, are easy to clean. An indoor-outdoor rug will stand up to lots of foot traffic and spills. A coffee table with a distressed finish will not show wear from scratches the kids might make while playing.

(Courtesy of Ivy Lane Living; The Washington Post)


(Restoration Hardware; World Markeet)

SPLURGE: 84-inch salvaged-wood and weathered-concrete X-base dining table ($3,395, restorationhardware.com), left. SAVE: Distressed-wood Harrow dining table ($500, worldmarket.com).

(Benjamin Rugs and Furniture; West Elm)

SPLURGE: Petrified-wood side table ($954, benjaminrugsandfurniture.com), left. SAVE: Etched-metal side table in silver ($249, westelm.com).


Furniture: 92-inch Shelter sofa in Shelter Blue yarn-dyed linen weave ($1,499, westelm.com); Nelson accent chair ($1,064, dotandbo.com); Tyler square coffee table ($630, allmodern.com ); Mill console table ($299, cb2.com); Reese side table ($398, laylagrayce.c om ); Stuva storage bench in white and birch ($80, ikea.com); Yarmouth side chairs in dark espresso ($138 for two, wayfair.com).

Accessories: Aldo indoor-outdoor rug in Dove gray ($299 for 8-by-10-foot rug, crateandbarrel.com); Del Mar 9-by-12-foot gray area rug ($425, wayfair.com); Luane 18-inch pillow in Slate with polyester filling ($26, luluandgeorgia.com); large plush pillow in light green ($45, dotandbo.com); “Mornings Away” print with whitewashed herringbone frame ($354 for 40-by-30-inch print, minted.com); Covington antique-brass metal down-bridge floor lamp ($156, lampsplus.com).

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