Beth Cecka of Burke wants a new look for her 11-by-25-foot living room. It should have a spot where her sons can do homework, and no TV. Other than a piano they’re inheriting, everything — including the carpet — can go.


To make the room feel less like an “echo chamber,” designer Cynthia Myers Griffin suggests moving the sofas and chairs away from the walls into a more intimate group.

Simplify the window treatments . Neutral shades control light without distracting from the rest of the room.

Beth Cecka (Leah L. Jones/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Crown moldings contrast with the walls. Molding is Atrium White, walls are Athenian Blue, both by Benjamin Moore.

A table can double as a desk. Made from reclaimed wood, its aged patina adds subtle texture to the space.

Choose color accents carefully. The chairs, throw pillows and rug are nods to the adjacent room, which is painted red.

Put the piano against the wall with no windows. A short stool keeps it open to the rest of the room.

Display children’s artwork on the wall. The decor is traditional, so don’t be afraid to have a little fun.

Griffin, of CMG Interior Design (240-246-1539, www.cmginteriordesign.com), is based in Gaithersburg.


Furniture: Bodhi desk ($800, www.anthropologie.com); Rowan sofa in twill camel ($1,200, www.potterybarn.com); Delano chair ($90, www.target.com); Magnussen Gaston Bunching cocktail table in warm chestnut ($350, www.wayfair.com);

Lighting: George Kovacs circles collection wall sconces ($150 each, www.lampsplus.
); Cal Lighting spiral resin table lamp ($120) and pharmacy floor lamp ($110), both from www.invitinglighting.com; OttLite black desk lamp ($45, www.lowes.com).

Accessories: Moonlight wall mirror ($200, www.lampsplus.com); B. Smith Cali natural Roman bamboo shades (priced according to size, www.bedbathandbeyond.com);
applique flowers pillows
($35 each) and multi-ribbon pillows ($20 each), both from www.pier1.com.


Mandarin rug in pewter ($2,415 for 8-by-11-feet, www.companyc.com).

Ankara chairs in crimson ($800 each, www.crateandbarrel.com).

. . . OR SAVE

Safavieh Blossom rug in ivory ($595, www.rugs-direct.com).

Isaac swivel chairs in red ($400 each, www.pier1.com).

WANTED: Photos of disorganized closets for House Calls makeover. Send photos, dimensions and contact information to makeover@washpost.com.