(The Washington Post)
THE CHALLENGE

Christine Randolph wants to update the 13-by-21-foot family room of her Chantilly home with a more cohesive design and better furniture placement. She prefers a French country style and is drawn toward cool colors, such as blues and greens. The space, which is adjacent to the kitchen and a screened porch, is used primarily for watching television and casual entertaining.


(Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)
THE PROPOSED SOLUTION

Designer Barbara Margolis separates the long, skinny room into two zones, with the sliding glass doors dividing them. She uses at least one tall piece on each side of the space to create balance, and an area rug in a stain-resistant fabric to anchor the seating area. She suggests putting the television on a movable arm for flexible viewing.


(Interior rendering by Rodney Co/3D Storm Studio/For The Washington Post)
MARGOLIS’S SUGGESTIONS

Move an existing mirrored china cabinet to the wall opposite the TV to balance the large storage pieces. Choose a smaller, sleeker recliner for a more modern look that still provides a comfortable place to relax. Update the space with warm gray paint, such as Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore. Paint the inside of the china cabinet (after priming to cover the mirror) Benjamin Moore’s Breath of Fresh Air to tie it to the blue furniture. An adjustable table and swivel chairs create a versatile place where kids and adults can enjoy games and snacks. Two small cubes in front of the sofa double as extra seating and storage. A large storage unit holds the television, books and dishes while helping anchor the seating area. Additional lighting would brighten the room considerably. Install overhead recessed lighting when the budget allows. In the meantime, add light fixtures across the top of the new bookcases.


(Designer photo by Sandy Foraci; Floor plan courtesy of Barbara Margolis)

Margolis, with Barbara Margolis Interiors (barbaramargolis interiors.com, 301-384-7667), is based in Silver Spring.

SPLURGE OR SAVE

(Room and Board; Pottery Barn)

SPLURGE: Westport leather recliner in Urbino ivory ($2,499, roomandboard.com), left. SAVE: Modern wingback glider and recliner in metal gray twill ($1,399, potterybarn.com).


(Ballard Designs; Hayneedle)

SPLURGE: Andros tufted 8-by-10-foot area rug in gray and purple ($999, ballarddesigns.com), left. SAVE: Oriental 7.5-by-10.25-foot indoor area rug in blue ($205.19, hayneedle.com).

SHOPPING GUIDE

Furniture: Amalfi 85-inch sofa in Amalfi Blue ($799.99) and River City 34-inch round dining table ($499.99), both from havertys.com; Liatorp TV storage combination in white ($1,057, ikea.com); Promenade round end table ($420, hayneedle.com); Akron high-back desk chairs ($237.99 each, wayfair.com).

Accessories: Urshult LED cabinet lights in white ($24.99 each, ikea.com); 17-inch leather storage ottomans in Ocean ($149 each, crateandbarrel.com); indoor-outdoor 18-by-18-inch throw pillow embroidered with a tribal design ($39.99, target.com); Grace cotton square embroidered pillow in blue ($42.99, overstock.com); Inspire 19-inch antique-bronze single-tinted glass drum pendant ($126.27, lowes.com).

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