The Washington Post

House Calls: Growing out of the playroom


The hockey table, toys and books in Mike Merryman’s lower-level family room don’t get much attention now that two of his children are in college and two are teenagers. The Fairfax family wants a reconfigured space to sit, relax and enjoy the TV and fireplace while still accommodating a treadmill and computer desk.

The living room. (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

Designer Andrea Kavanaugh infuses the space with modern touches and a mix of patterns and textures, adding depth and character while maximizing the floor space freed up by the hockey table. Kavanaugh, of Perceptions Interiors (805-441-6193,, is based in the District.

The solution. (Julius Goyanko for The Washington Post)

Move the TV to the bookshelf and furniture to the middle of the room to create a more balanced floor plan.

Paint the bookshelf and fireplace white to give them a unified, cohesive feel. Try Benjamin Moore’s Decorators White.

Create a cozy seating area by putting a bench cushion and pillows on the fireplace hearth.

New end tables and a coffee table add storage for items displaced by the television.

Paint the back wall of the bookshelf dark blue to make books and trinkets stand out. Try Benjamin Moore’s Van Deusen Blue.


Furniture: Concentric end table ($149,; cream and Cappuccino accent chair ($450, www.jenniferfurniture .com); Threshold tufted ottoman in lavender and gold ($70,; Aiden coffee table ($230,; Framework credenza ($599,

Accessories: Puebla toss pillow in plum ($18,; tufted dining bench cushion in Coal ($99) and Shima wool dhurrie rug ($450 for 9-by-12-foot rug), both from; Telescope floor lamp ($120) and burlap lamp shade in Marshmallow white ($30), both from; Shesham oval mirror ($149,

Maxwell upholstered sofa in indigo Belgain linen. (Restoration Hardware)

Carambola lamp in blue. (Anthropologie)

Maxwell seven-foot sofa in indigo Belgian linen ($3,260, www.restorationhardware.

Carambola lamp in blue ($348,

Henry 86-inch sofa in Ink Blue performance velvet. (West Elm)

Ella teal table lamp. (Crate & Barrell)
. . . OR SAVE

Henry 86-inch sofa in Ink Blue velvet ($1,049,

Ella teal table lamp ($100,



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.