(Rodney Co/ 3D Storm Studio/for The Washington Post)
THE CHALLENGE

Washington Ballet Company members Samuel Wilson and Daniel Roberge would like to overhaul the dark, windowless dancers’ lounge at the group’s D.C. headquarters. They have a donated refrigerator to replace the mini-fridge but need a place for eating and relaxing, including better lighting and some comfortable seating, in the 16-by-8-foot space that is used, at different times, by approximately 35 dancers.


(Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)
THE SOLUTION

Designers Madeline Middlebrook and Kenneth Byrd create a floating bar that can be used as a dining area or workstation and update the dreary cinder-block walls with neutral paint and a graphic wallpaper. They recommend a solid ceiling that will be less visually overwhelming than the existing grid pattern.


Middlebrook and Byrd worked on the space together for the Richmond-based design firm Kenneth Byrd Design (804-244-9904, kennethbyrd design.com). (courtesy of Kenneth Byrd; The Washington Post)
BYRD AND MIDDLEBROOK’S SUGGESTIONS

 A fun, geometric wallpaper adds interest and elongates the room. Skim the walls first to create a smooth surface for the best application. Two floating mantels create a bar for dining and working but have a smaller footprint than a traditional table. Three hanging pendants over the bar emit softer light than the existing fluorescents. Teal bar stools add a fun, bold element to the monochromatic room. Choose an end table that has space for storage, and hang a sconce next to the sofa for lighting that doesn’t take up table space. A love seat with clean lines adds comfortable seating with a modern look. Make the lounge feel cozier by painting the cinder-block walls a warm neutral, such as Useful Gray by Sherwin Williams.

SPLURGE OR SAVE

(shop bend goods; blu dot)

SPLURGE: Lucy counter stools in Peacock Blue ($460 each, shopbendgoods. com), left. SAVE: Real Good counter stools in aqua ($249 each, bludot.com).


(west elm; wayfair)

SPLURGE: Crosby love seat in yarn-dyed linen weave, pumice ($1,299, westelm.com), left. SAVE: Leda love seat in Elizabeth Silver/Mali Denim ($410 , wayfair.com ).

SHOPPING GUIDE

Furniture: Read rustic fireplace mantel shelf ($320, hayneedle.com); leather sling side table in Acorn ($299, westelm.com).

Accessories: Luna natural-brass pendant with 10-inch shade ($199, schoolhouseelectric.com); Fiona sconce in brass and white ($188, triplesevenhome.com); “Morning River” 40-by-30-inch print with matte copper frame ($373, minted.com); Mason throw pillow ($63, allmodern.com).

Materials: Abstract geometric gold on white large pattern wallpaper ($60 per 12-foot roll, spoonflower.com).

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