Shanti Subramanian moved into her Bethesda home a year ago and has yet to tackle the long, narrow living room. “Although the room is functional, I’d like it to be warm and welcoming,” she wrote. If possible, she’d like the room to have a computer station, too.


By dividing the room in two distinct areas — a place for reading and relaxing by the fireplace and a work station by the French doors (not shown) — designer Lana Barth meets both of Subramanian’s needs.

Barth (301-897-8585) is based in Bethesda.

A wall of painted stripes brings the color scheme together. Alternate Revere Pewter and Coventry Gray, both by Benjamin Moore.

Bring in bright colors through small accessories. Tribal-printed pillows and throws add visual interest to the space.

Add a touch of Zen by placing a potted plant in the corner.

A mix of materials brings the room up to date. Mix a lucite table, a cardboard and palm leaf basket and a wooden table.

Make the fireplace the focal point. Arrange the sectional against the opposite wall so that it faces the fireplace and TV.

Paint the other walls Revere Pewter and the ceiling Wickham Gray, also by Benjamin Moore.

Include several sources of light. Roman shades can be pulled when it’s time to watch TV.


Furniture: Barnsley Collection dark brown polyester six-piece sectional ($1,170, www.overstock.com); Foxed mirror coffee table ($399, www.westelm.com); Peekaboo clear coffee table ($279, www.cb2.com); Tribal pouf in Harmony ($179, www.wisteria.com); Farmstead stool ($159, www.urbanoutfitters.com);

Lighting: Kichler Lacey Collection 15-inch wide ceiling light ($221, www.lampsplus.com); Jamie Young Thalia table lamp in antique chocolate ($184) and Arteriors Parrish antique bronze iron floor lamp ($768), both from www.zincdoor.com .

Accessories: Dark espresso bi-cast leather floor mirror ($265, www.overstock.com); Dos Semisweet pillows ($30 each, www.cb2.com); In2Green eco zigzag blanket ($150, www.allmodern.com); Kottebo basket with coconut palm leaf ($17, www.ikea.com).


Tazza rug in ivory and chocolate ($1,595 for 5-by-7-foot rug, www.restorationhardware.com).

Cara leather chair in linen ($1,520, www.mgbwhome.com).

. . . OR SAVE

Imara flatweave variegated stripe rug ($346 for 5-by-7-foot rug, www.restorationhardware.com).

Marcel armchair in linen oatmeal ($699, www.potterybarn.com).

See past room makeovers by local designers.

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