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House Calls: An outdated family room gets a 21st-century upgrade


Lisa Roberts wants to redecorate her family room in Derwood. “We’re constantly struggling with how to organize the clutter,” she wrote. The house was built in the 1960s, so she’d love to update the room’s look, especially the fireplace.


By rearranging the sofa and chairs to accommodate conversation and adding built-in shelves, designer Meredith Ericksen makes the room feel like new.

Ericksen, of Tuscan Blue Design (301-620-0500), is based in Frederick.

Paint the walls a warm beige to match the rest of the home. The color is Spring in Aspen by Benjamin Moore.

Custom built-in shelves maximize storage. Cubbies by the front door serve as a drop-spot for winter gear.

Lisa Roberts and Charley the Cavalier King Charles spaniel. (Leah L. Jones/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Make the fireplace a focal point. Wall sconces and porcelain tile give it an elegant touch.

Shift the sofa to face the windows. This allows guests to watch the TV, which has been tucked neatly next to the fireplace.

Accent walls work best when broken up by windows. The soft green shade is Gray Wisp by Benjamin Moore.

Sometimes, simpler is better. Swap bright orange blinds for white cotton curtains and layer with a natural woven shade.


Furniture: Lillie pedestal accent table ($380,; Oslo bar cabinet ($799) and Foundry table ($299), both from; Manchester apartment sofa in Sand velvet and Walnut ($1,663), Gramercy upholstered chair in Sky Danish linen and Cognac ($401), Jameson wing chair in Savant Stripe and Classic Walnut ($1,101), all from

Lighting: Triple Raku Ball table lamp ($229) and bell shade pharmacy floor lamp in brass ($279), both from; Vera table lamp ($199,

Accessories: Zig Zag chenille hemp rug in natural ($279 for 8 by 11 feet,; Kensington rug in slate blue and light brown ($428 for 5 by 8 feet,; tie-drop drape in ivory ($55 each for 50 by 84 inches,


Palencia coffee table ($699,

Blake gray wash cabinet ($1,299,

. . . OR SAVE

Large rustic bench ($249,

Hemnes glass-door cabinet in black-brown ($365,

See past room makeovers by local designers.

Tell us about your design challenge.

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