The Washington Post

House Calls: The end of the bachelor days


Claire Chalk, pictured with daughter Annmarie, moved into her husband’s Fairfax townhouse after the couple married a year ago, and she’s ready to transform the “bachelor pad” into a more sophisticated living room that can also accommodate a growing family and Bible study gatherings.

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

Designer Monique Farley adds multipurpose furniture and rearranges existing pieces to maximize floor space for the living room’s multiple functions. Farley, of Perception Interiors (202-441-4739,, is based in the District.

The solution. (Julius Goyanko For The Washington Post)

Walls and drapes in neutral colors allow accessories to stand out. Try Sherwin Williams’s Anew Gray for the walls.

Create a cozy reading area and add seating for guests with two wingback chairs.

A bench serves as both a room divider and additional seating.

The wood trunk coffee table can store toys, blankets and more.

Reorient the existing leather sofa and chairs to open up floor space.

An accent rug grounds the main seating area and adds color.


Furniture: Brisbur cabinet ($350,; John Vogel bench ($599 for 54-inch bench,; Open Grid abstract iron contemporary stool ($161,

Accessories: Arabesque ABS-3025 rug ($555 for 8-by-10-foot rug,; Polygon floor lamp ($219,; floral garden stool ($120), multicolor foil vase ($28-$32 each) and Bird & Branch lamp ($89), all from; BE268A and BE269A wall art by Jane Bellows ($220 for each 30-by-30-inch giclee print,; Emery drape in Oatmeal (prices vary by size) and rustic gears ($199 for set of three), both from; mirrored tray ($40,; Incogneato seamed beads pouf in Fiesta ($55) and Kilim Aztec pouf ($30) both from

Linford swivel chair in dove gray. (Uttermost)

Trunk cocktail table. (Lana Furniture)

Trunk cocktail table ($711,

Linford swivel chair in Dove Gray ($1,098,

Strandmon wing chair in Vellinge dark blue. (Ikea)

Ridgeway trunk. (Pier 1)
. . . OR SAVE

Ridgeway trunk ($280,

Strandmon wing chair in Vellinge dark blue ($279,

Margaret Ely is a digital editor for Lifestyle. Previously, she was an intern for the Post’s Metro section.
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