Karl and Roberta Berry of Waldorf are struggling to decorate their dated family room. They want a casual, cozy space where people can watch movies, but it should be brighter than a home theater. Their wish list includes wood floors, recessed lighting and storage.


By adding lots of lighting and a cool color scheme of gray and blue, designer Amy Ross gives the old space a modern edge.

Karl and Roberta Berry (Leah L. Jones/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Divide the room into two seating areas, one for watching movies and one for reading.

Use several sources of light , such as recessed lighting and table and floor lamps, to brighten the room.

Small furniture can come in handy for visitors. Ottomans and coffee tables can be easily rearranged to accommodate extra people.

Mount the projector to get rid of cord clutter.

Balance patterns and solids. A printed area rug stands out against plain sofas and walls.

Draw the shades when it’s time for a movie. Walls are Nimbus Gray by Benjamin Moore.

Ross, of Design Works Interiors (703-241-1441, www.designworks3.com), is based in Falls Church.


Furniture: Lack sofa table in black-brown ($60) and Mellby chair in Dansbo dark gray ($250), both from www.ikea.com; leather cube ottomans in moss ($250 each) and Julia upholstered chair in Zebra natural ($1,000), both from www.ballard
; turned pedestal bistro table ($400) and box frame coffee tables ($350 each), both from www.westelm.com; Bryant side table ($350, www.crateandbarrel.com).

Lighting: Tripod floor lamp ($250, www.westelm.com).

Accessories: Geo pillow ($60) and Bukhara pillow ($70), both from www.zgallerie.com; Provence market basket ($35, www.ballarddesigns.com); Andalusia Dhurrie rug in feather gray ($425 for 8-by-10, www.westelm.com); Aerie accent table ($170), Tavo vase ($30) and Senada print ($400), all from www.crateandbarrel.com.


Cameron sofa in graphite ($1,700, www.crateandbarrel.com).

Farrow 65-inch media console ($600, www.crateandbarrel.com).

Sofia custom lamp in peridot ($960, www.mottega.com).

. . . OR SAVE

Barton sofa in sable chenille ($750, www.bassettfurniture.com).

Tobo TV unit ($220, www.ikea.com).

Zing table lamps ($80, www.crateandbarrel.com).

Tell us about your design challenge.

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