Katherine Rutkowski loves the peaceful views from her 13-by-21-foot Arlington living room. But the decor, she admits, needs work. “For decades, I’ve accommodated eclectic hand-me-downs,” she said. Now, she wants it to reflect her. It should feel airy and tailored, “uncluttered but not antiseptic,” she said.


By shifting the furniture to the center of the room and suggesting a color scheme of muted green and blue, designer Deborah Scheck creates a haven of tranquility.

Scheck (202-744-9188) is based in Chevy Chase, Md.

Bring the outdoors in with large potted plants and an elegant vase of tulips.

Anchor the sectional and chair on an area rug. The gray and ivory chevron stripes give the space a little flair.

Arlington’s Katherine Rutkowski wants advice on her living room decor. (Leah L. Jones/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

For inspiration, check out the view. Paint the walls a muted green — Dark Linen by Benjamin Moore — for a cohesive look.

Lighting shouldn’t be an afterthought. A mid-century modern reading lamp makes a subtle yet sleek statement.

A green, blue and yellow painting ties the color scheme together. Choose decorative pillows accordingly.

Poufs (not shown) provide easy extra seating. Draw them into the conversation area when needed.


Furniture: Dual Pebble sectional ($1,799, www.cb2.com); Strut side table in slate ($299, www.bluedot.com); Quinn chairs in Maron ink ($799 each, www.roomandboard.com).

Lighting: Juggler lamp in silver glaze ($473, www.vastudc.com).

Accessories: Sap bolster pillows ($179 each), Giorgio pillows ($189 each) and Rose Petal throw ($89), all from www.brooktaylorinteriors.com; “Cheeky Monkey” painting by Danielle Staudenmayer Madole ($1,250, www.vastudc.com); Zigzag rug in platinum, ivory and citron ($749 for 9-by-12-foot rug, www.westelm.com).


Jax end table in Solid Walnut ($329, www.roomandboard.com).

Primary Poufs in chartreuse and gray ($299 each, www.dwr.com).

. . . OR SAVE

Chloe round wood end table in Mocha Walnut ($85, www.target.com).

Patch Poufs in gray and cream ($40 each, www.target.com).

See past room makeovers by local designers.

Tell us about your design challenge.

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