Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to multiple elliptical machines. The floor plan calls for one. This version has been corrected.

THE CHALLENGE

Susan and Rich Martel are planning to get a large television for the 18-by-17-foot basement family room of their Annandale home, and they want to reconfigure the furniture to accommodate that and an elliptical machine. Their top priority is a comfortable place to lounge in front of the television.


(Photos by Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

THE SOLUTION

Designer Bart Goldstein separates the exercise equipment from the sitting area and suggests placing most of the furniture against the wall to make the space feel more open.

Goldstein, with Bart Goldstein Interior Design (301-983-9382), is based in Potomac.


(Illustration by Julius Goyanko/for The Washington Post)

Paint the walls a warm beige, such as Blanched Almond by Benjamin Moore , to give the room an open, airy feel.

Place the exercise equipment against walls to minimize its size and presence in the room.

Plants add color and soften the look of the exercise equipment. Bring in additional color with art and throw pillows.

Two small benches provide additional seating when needed, without overcrowding the room.

A sectional sofa allows for maximum seating while giving the room a cohesive, streamlined look.

Recessed lighting creates an even flow of light without cluttering up the space.


(The Washington Post)

SHOPPING GUIDE

Furniture:Axis II three-piece sectional sofa in camel ($4,097, crateandbarrel.com); X bench in taupe Buffalo check ($369 each, ballarddesigns.com).

Accessories: “Escape” framed print on canvas ($600, zgallerie.com); Persimmony 18-inch pillows ($49) and Henderson kilim 18-inch pillows ($45 each), both from homedecorators.com; Aegis two-piece glazed ceramic vase set ($218, overstock.com).

SPLURGE . . .

(ballarddesigns.com)

Tuscan four-piece media set in Tuscan cream ($2,799, ballarddesigns.com).


(butler.furnituredirectly.com)

Mirror cocktail table ($1,099, butler.furnituredirectly.com).

. . . OR SAVE

(homedecorators.com)

Edinburgh media center in white ($1,999, homedecorators.com).


(zgallerie.com)

Empire coffee table ($699, zgallerie.com).

More from Home & Garden:

See answers to frequently asked questions about House Calls here

Tell us about your own design challenge here

See past room makeovers by local designers here