Holly Weatherwax has lived in her Reston home for more than a decade and always struggled with her sunroom. It is decorated with cast-offs from the rest of the house and is too dark to use once the sun goes down. The large windows make furniture placement “tricky,” she said. Everything but the piano can go.


By painting the walls a serene gray and adding several sources of light, designer Jennifer Wagner Schmidt makes the room feel light, cozy and peaceful.

Schmidt, of JWS Interiors (703-953-9666), is based in Ashburn.

Keep treasured objects off the floor. A bookcase and console table against the wall are a place to stage books and collectibles.

Provide more places for people to sit. A pair of matching chairs and a large sofa make the room cozy and inviting.

Holly Weatherwax (Leah L. Jones/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Float the furniture in the middle of the room. Anchor it on a large area rug.

Layer the lighting. A statement chandelier and two matching table lamps keep the room bright when the sun goes down.

Don’t let the walls compete with the windows. Paint them Pelican Gray by Benjamin Moore.

Bring the outdoors in. A few topiaries and potted plants make the space feel colorful and lively.


Furniture: Edgewood coffee table ($699, www.crateandbarrel.com); Sophia chair in gray linen ($399) and Tuscan bookshelf ($359), both from www.homedecorators.com.

Lighting: Boule table lamps ($179 each, www.westelm.com); Eclipse chandelier in Olde Silver ($499, www.zgallerie.com).

Accessories: Interlocking Rings stools in white ($219 each, www.wisteria.com); large Atlantis clamshell ($59.95, www.zgallerie.com); decorative pillow covers in charcoal bamboo lattice by Nenavon ($65, www.etsy.com); faux boxwood double-ball topiaries ($65 each, www.jamaligardens.com).


91-inch Blake sofa in flax cotton weave ($1,499, www.westelm.com).

Rexford Westover lava rug ($2,341 for 8-by-11-foot rug, www.zincdoor.com) .

Juliette side table ($498, www.laylagrace.com).

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Sophia slipcovered sofa in natural linen ($719, www.homedecorators.com).

Satara Edison rug in nickel ($1,028 for 8-by-11-foot rug, www.rugsusa.com).

Holbrook end table ($207 each, www.

See past room makeovers by local designers.

Tell us about your design challenge. Send photos, room dimensions and contact information to makeover@washpost.com.