RBob and Jerri Hoy’s sitting area. (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

The large living room in Jerri and Bob Hoy’s Reston townhouse serves multiple purposes — TV room, office, entertaining space — and the disjointed furniture reflects that. They want a more contemporary, cohesive style for the space, and they’d like to add a fireplace.


The solution. (Julius Goyanko/For The Washington Post)

Designer Barbara Margolis repurposes existing furniture and adds new pieces to create distinct areas for reading, watching television and working. Margolis, of Barbara Margolis Interiors (301-384-7667,, is based in Silver Spring.

Paint the walls a soft green, such as Benjamin Moore’s Spring Thaw, and remove the chair rail to give the room a more modern look.

Replacing the hanging light with recessed lighting allows for flexibility in arranging the furniture.

A table behind the sofa doubles as a desk and a bar or buffet when entertaining.

Paint the walls of the alcove a deep gray, such as Kendall charcoal by Benjamin Moore, to match the area rug.

Add an ottoman to match the existing chair and place them in the alcove to create a cozy reading area.

An upholstered armchair is comfortable seating for the desk and can also be turned to face the new fireplace (not shown).

An area rug grounds the reading/work space behind the sofa.


Furniture: Regissor bookcase in brown ($139,; Miles armchair in Fennel ($449) and Remi bookcase ($899), both from www.crateand; Callan ottoman in Tatum natural fabric and walnut ($599,

Accessories: Mercer ikat applique pillow cover ($70), Inna ikat pillow cover ($70) and 24-inch square feather pillow inserts ($26), all from; Ebbtide pottery table lamp ($325, www.lampsplus.
); industrial task floor lamp in black and brass ($199,; Brindle stripe hand-knotted rug in Sea ($572 for 5-by-8-foot rug,; 2 1/2 -inch louver wood shutters in honey maple and natural woven flat-fold shades in Negara Coconut (prices vary by size,

Building materials: Faux Tennessee stacked-stone panels in creamy beige ($80 per 24-by-48-inch panel,; Regency Horizon gas fireplace model HZ40E ( starts at $3,251 plus installation,


(West Elm)

(Room & Board)

Peggy mid-century left terminal chaise two-piece sectional in Feather Gray heathered crosshatch ($2,398,

Ventura table in cherry ($1,499,

. . . OR SAVE


(West Elm)

Parker sectional in Cooper cashmere ($1,600,

Large mid-century expandable dining table in walnut ($799,

More from Home & Garden:

Tell us about your own design challenge here

See past room makeovers by local designers here