Carolyn Kahn-Hall and Jeff Hall’s living room before. (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

Carolyn Kahn-Hall and her husband, Jeff Hall, want to create a more open feeling in the living room of their Vienna home. They need dog-friendly upholstery and want to keep the piano and antique Victrola while adding comfortable seating.


The solution by designers Courtney Cox and Alex Deringer. (Illustration by Julius Goyanko for The Washington Post)

Designers Courtney Cox and Alex Deringer update the room by replacing the sectional with a budget-friendly love seat and chairs. Pet-friendly indoor/outdoor fabrics make the room suitable for the German shorthaired pointer who likes to relax on the sofa and look out the window.

Cox and Deringer, of Ivy Lane Living (703-566-6582,, are based in Alexandria.

The designers’ tips:

● Paint the walls a soothing color, such as Benjamin Moore’s Santorini Blue .

●Use a love seat and chairs to provide seating without overwhelming the space.

●A pair of upholstered ottomans can be used as footstools or extra seating, and they provide extra storage.

●Upholstery in durable fabrics is beautiful but also dog-friendly.

●An open console behind the sofa creates storage and helps define the space.

●Update the room with modern touches, such as nailhead trim on the ottomans and pillows in fun prints.

●Keep the picture window undressed to maximize the light in the room.


Furniture: Flax vanity chair ($230,; Shiloh spool chair in white Sunbrella canvas with latte finish ($1,174) and Jasmine storage ottomans in Davidson herringbone ivory with brass nailheads ($364), both from; Martini side table in antique brass ($149,; Leona console table ($599,

Accessories: Dusen Dusen pillow cover in blue and gray with feather insert ($56,


(Restoration Hardware)

Maxwell six-foot sofa in indigo Belgian linen and classic depth ($2,995, www.restoration­­­­hardware. com).

(Layla Grace)

Steampunk large table lamp ($475,

. . . OR SAVE

(West Elm)

Henry 76-inch sofa in ink blue performance velvet ($899, www.

(Pottery Barn)

Sutter adjustable-lever table lamp ($160) with small burlap tapered drum shade in Bleached ($59), both from

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