Sherrie Hans’s family room. (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

Sherrie Hans of Alexandria adores her family room’s natural light, flagstone floor and coffered ceiling. But three sets of doors and a staircase make furniture and television placement a challenge. Hans wants to soften the space and add more furniture and seating for family movie and game nights — all with a modern, Danish style.


(Illustration By Julius Goyanko For The Washington Post)

Designer Lisa Montague adds vibrant colors and modern wood furniture to fill out the space, and suggests sacrificing one set of doors for the best furniture layout. Montague, of Repose Interiors (703-409-9894,, is based in Alexandria.

Paint the fireplace a soft white to match the trim. Try Benjamin Moore’s Harwood Putty.

Swivel chairs can turn to the fireplace or the television, which is mounted on the stairwell wall.

Use carpet squares to build a custom-size rug. The squares can also be easily cleaned or replaced if stained.

Add a small table and chairs for game nights or sitting by the fire. A pendant chandelier anchors the space.

An arcing floor lamp can be adjusted to different needs, reaching the sofa or the swivel chairs.


Furniture: Tyler sofa in Key Largo Agua fabric and walnut stain ($1,599,; 1938 leather butterfly chair ($399,; Stafford cocktail table in solid walnut finish ($799,
); Duffield swivel chair in Platinum linen weave fabric ($799), spoke dining chair in Pecan ($299) and Parker mid-century round dining table ($499), all from; Modernist side table ($279,; Weldon C-table in avocado ($100,

Accessories: Loden arc floor lamp base ($110) and natural cotton linen floor lamp shade ($30), both from; Astron Tri mid-century modern chandelier in white enamel and neptune blue ($555 for 36-inch-long chandelier,; Liora Mad Plaid carpet square ($17 per 18-inch tile,; Soleil mirror ($279,; Duo side table floor lamp ($399), solid silk pillow cover in Green Tea ($44), Steven Alan abstract crewel pillow cover in Horseradish ($44), Mongolian lamb pillow cover in Platinum ($79) and linework bird ($29), all from


Mid-century media console in Acorn (West Elm)

Lind cocktail ottoman in brown (Room and Board)

Mid-century media console in Acorn ($899 for large,

Lind cocktail ottoman in brown ($399,

. . . OR SAVE

Sage credenza (CB2)

Isaac ottoman in Saddle (Pier 1)

Saga credenza ($599,

Isaac ottoman in Saddle ($170,

More from The Washington Post

See past room makeovers by local designers here

Tell us about your design challenge: Send photos, room dimensions and contact information to