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

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)

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)

 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.


(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 ).


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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