THE CHALLENGE

Darrell Gaskin’s family room (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

Darrell Gaskin and his wife are ready to remake the dated family room in their Laurel home. They no longer need a kid-friendly space, as their two daughters are in college and high school now. Gaskin wants an inviting, comfortable room for watching TV and entertaining. The piano and new wall-to-wall carpet have to stay.

THE SOLUTION

The solution. (Illustration by Julius Goyanko)

Designer Paula Siedlarz creates two seating areas with budget-friendly accents, using a color scheme that complements the newly renovated adjacent kitchen.Siedlarz, of Bountiful Interiors (410-763-8500, www.bountifuldecor.com), is based in Easton, Md.

Use multiple seating areas to break up the long, narrow room.

A soft gray, such as Benjamin Moore’s Moonshine, on the walls complements the backsplash in the adjacent kitchen.

Paint the brick fireplace or use tile to make the room seem less dated.

An area rug on top of the wall-to-wall carpet brightens the space and anchors the smaller seating area.

Use lighting to warm up the room and make the space feel cozy.

Add crown molding and hang window treatments at the base to make the room seem taller.

An architectural sculpture helps fill out the media wall.

SHOPPING GUIDE

Furniture: Henry three-piece left-facing sectional in basketweave flax ($2,347, www.westelm.com); Sanders cube end table ($169, www.crateandbarrel.com).

Accessories: Knotted-Yarns decorative pillow in orange ($25), ikat stripe toss pillow in burnt orange ($80), metal linear table lamp in pewter ($45), stick lamp with white shade ($17), 95-inch Linen-Look curtain panels in Coral Starfish ($30) and five-piece weathered frame set in black ($17), all from www.target.com; jute woven rug in Nevis Sand ($379 for 5-by-8-foot rug, www.dashandalbert.com); Tallor wall art ($179 for set of four, www.crateandbarrel.com).

SPLURGE . . .

(Wayfair)

(Restoration Hardware)

Washboard 87-inch TV stand ($7,500, www.wayfair.com).

Belgian wingback chair in pewter Italian Brompton leather with down fill ($2,395, www.restorationhardware.com).

. . . OR SAVE

(Crate & Barrel)

(West Elm)

Clapboard Bourbon 60-inch media console ($599, www.crateand barrel.com).

Sweep armchair in platinum herringbone ($799, www.westelm.com).

More from Home & Garden:

Tell us about your own design challenge here

See past room makeovers by local designers here.