The Washington Post

House Calls: The incredible shrinking room


Elana and Sam Garfield sacrificed part of their Silver Spring living room to expand their kitchen, and now they need help redesigning the crowded space. The Garfields want to maintain as much seating for guests as possible, and they’d like an updated contemporary feel similar to that of the new kitchen.

Elana and Sam Garfield’s room. (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

Designer Dana Tydings mixes traditional and contemporary patterns and finishes, and replaces the oversize furniture. Tydings, of Tydings Design (301-947-5447,, is based in Laytonsville.

The solution. (Illustration By Julius Goyanko for The Washington Post.)

Create more space by moving the china cabinet to the adjacent dining room.

Replace the existing loveseat, chairs and ottoman, which are too large for the space, with four chairs in a solid velvet.

Perfect for additional seating, a pouf ottoman can be tucked away when not in use.

A narrow console table leaves ample space for the homeowners to walk between the seating area and dining room.

Remove the heavy curtains, which make the ceiling seem lower, and use simple roller shades.

Paint the walls off-white to let the dark chairs stand out. Try Benjamin Moore’s Moonlight White.

Add visual interest to the ceiling and bookshelf with a coral-and-white wallpaper.


Furniture: Glass console table ($499) and diamond pouf ($152), both from; Gates lacquer coffee table ($120,; Wembley club chair in indigo signature velvet and parchment finish ($833,; bamboo tray table ($395,

Accessories: Vintage Blossom persimmon pillow ($90,; Abacus cord set pendant ($143, and mid-century overarching wall sconce ($215), both from; feather wallpaper in coral ($88 per roll,;

solar roller shades in Virtual/Ash 13087 (prices vary by size,


Newport rectangle mirror in club navy. (Oomph)

Natural hide rug. (Serena and Lily)

Newport rectangular mirror in Club Navy ($1,540,

Natural hide rug ($995 for 5-by-7-foot rug,

. . . OR SAVE

Romano mirror in blue. (Candelabra)

Wool rug in Midnight. (West Elm)

Romano wall mirror in blue ($585,

Ombre dye wool rug in Midnight ($499 for 6-by-9-foot rug,

See past room makeovers by local designers at .

Tell us about your design challenge.

Send photos, room dimensions and contact information to

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



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