Jane and Rene Mondonedo’s family room before. (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

Jane Mondenedo is trying to figure out how to better arrange the furniture in the family room of her Silver Spring home. She needs enough comfortable seating for her family to lounge and watch the 55-inch television together, but she wants to maintain the open feeling of the room, which is right off the kitchen. Skylights provide lots of natural light.


Nicole Lanteri’s solution. (Julius Goyanko/The Washington Post)

Designer Nicole Lanteri replaces the sofa and chair with a large sectional and mixes high- and low-end pieces to stay within a tight budget.

Lanteri (703-909-8001,
is based in Arlington.

Paint the walls a rich gray, such as Cape May Cobblestone by Benjamin Moore, to warm up the room.

(Julius Goyanko/The Washington Post)

Update the space by painting the brick fireplace Benjamin Moore’s Sebring White .

Dress up the budget sectional by swapping out the legs to give it a more custom look.

Invest in a higher-quality chair to elevate the look of the room while staying on budget.

A large piece of art acts as a focal point and balances out the other larger pieces in the room.

Keep the existing carpet for now, but consider replacing it with a neutral tone or hardwood when the budget allows.


Furniture: Soderhamn corner sofa in Replosa beige, with a three-seat section added ($1,947) and set of two Stockholm nesting tables in walnut veneer ($279), both from

Accessories: Estelle legs in white and gold ($105 for long,; overarching floor lamp in polished nickel ($299), silk hand-loomed pillow cover in Larkspur ($44), circle stripe pillow cover in Sweet Potato ($39) and decorative pillow 18-inch square inserts ($12 each for feather-fill), all from; set of two abstract 20-by-20 throw pillows ($65,; “Mornings Away” print with white premium wood frame ($530 for 54-by-40-inch print,; Moroccan embroidered cotton-stuffed leather pouf in white ($209,;



Callan chair in Lagoon smoke leather and walnut finish ($1,899,


Rigby media console with base ($1,198, www.crate

. . . OR SAVE


Nolbyn chair high in birch veneer and gray upholstery ($60,


Stockholm TV unit in walnut veneer ($349,

More from Home & Garden:

See answers to frequently asked questions about House Calls here

Tell us about your own design challenge here

See past room makeovers by local designers here