After welcoming their second child last year, Nicolle and Matt Sternberger (shown with older child Parker, 3) began renovating their Bethesda home. Their living room addition should be kid-friendly but not a toy room so the couple can entertain without too much fuss.


By emphasizing bright colors and lots of seating, designers Stacey Christopher and Sharon Gatt create a family space that adults can enjoy, too.

Keep lighting out of children’s reach with wall-mounted sconces.

Pair together red and orange for a color-blocking look. The rug is the family’s own and the walls are Citrine by Benjamin Moore.

Nicolle andMatt Sternberger are shown with their older child Parker, 3. (Leah L. Jones/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Buy throw pillows with removable slipcovers. They are easy to clean and inexpensive to replace.

An ottoman is a comfortable alternative to a coffee table. It can serve as extra seating during parties.

Find creative ways to display art. A child’s easel can prop up a framed landscape.

A flat-surface media cabinet can double as a buffet table when it’s time to entertain guests.

Minimize clutter. A large shelving unit (not shown) keeps toys, books and games off of the floor.

Christopher and Gatt, of IWS Design Group (301-881-3102, www.iws
), are based in Bethesda.


Furniture: Dante sofa in graphite ($2,100, www.arhaus.com); Everett upholstered chair ($550) and ottoman ($350) in cotton basket-weave flax, both from www.westelm.com; Essex upholstered ottoman in flax ($350, www.westelm.com); Rockridge accent table ($80, www.world
); Expedit shelving unit ($130, www.ikea.com); Highboy TV stand in black (no longer available online, www.target.com).

Lighting: Library swing-arm sconces ($135 each, www.restorationhardware.com).

Accessories: Oversize wooden tray ($30, www.pier1.com); Monkey table ($150, www.arhaus.com); Crossroads print ($50, www.cb2.com); Drum garden stool prosperity design in white ($260, www.target.com); Malta 20-inch pillow ($60, www.crateand barrel.com); Hopsack 24-inch pillow cover in brick ($50, www.potterybarn.com).


Baker Sophia chair ($2,800, www.kohler interiors.com).

Horus print by Aurelie Tu ($800, www.roomandboard. com).

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Tulip upholstered chair in dandelion ($500, www.westelm. com).

Klee “New Harmony” 1936 poster in Gunmetal ($130, www.roomandboard. com).

Tell us about your design challenge.

Send photos, room dimensions and contact information to makeover@washpost.com.