Mary Pekot and Ray Schlicht want an updated look for the 16-by-21-foot family room of their 1960 split-level home in Arlington, Va. They are looking for suggestions on new carpeting and how best to deal with the dated brick and paneling. They would like to have space to accommodate at least one overnight guest, as well as a seat with ample light for knitting. They plan to keep the TV, computer, aquarium and at least one of the two jukeboxes in the room.


Designer Carrie Miller uses the homeowners’ jukebox as an inspiration, recommending furniture and accessories in a fun, mid-century style from the same period. Bold, geometric art is another nod to the era and adds visual interest.


Update the room by painting the walls, brick and paneling a warm neutral color. Try Mindful Gray from Sherwin-Williams. Carpet tiles add personality to the design and can be replaced easily if one gets damaged. A large sectional sofa provides ample seating or space for lounging. Add a daybed to highlight the fireplace (not shown) without blocking it and create a place for overnight guests. A versatile desk doesn’t take up much visual space and can be expanded to create a larger work area when needed. A bold, oversized painting draws attention away from the television over the fireplace (not shown). A pair of comfortable chairs and a modern floor lamp create the perfect spot for knitting or reading.

Miller, with Lapis Ray Interior Design (703-819-2887,, is based in Vienna, Va.


SPLURGE: Seville 77-inch leather daybed ($3,499,, left. SAVE: Alessa daybed ($945,

SPLURGE: “Pink” by Vesela Baker ($2,300,, left. SAVE: “Double X” and “Running Man” framed abstract ink brush prints ($349 each,


Furniture: Piazza four-piece modular sectional sofa in dark gray ($4,196,; Viv swivel chairs in white luxe boucle ($599 each,; Althea L-shape desk ($93.99,; weave chair in black ($149,; Channing nesting coffee table with brass base, Carrara brass top on the large table and black top on the small table ($1,499,

Accessories: Minimalist globe three-light ceiling fixture in old bronze ($286) and adjustable Angela floor lamp ($214), both from; mid-century etched grid 84-inch cotton canvas curtains in slate ($69 for two,; Tweed Indeed carpet tiles in Peat ($14 each,

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