THE CHALLENGE

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

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, www.barbaramargolisinteriors.com), 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.

SHOPPING GUIDE

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

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

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

SPLURGE . . .

(West Elm)

(Room & Board)

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

Ventura table in cherry ($1,499, www.roomandboard.com).

. . . OR SAVE

(Havertys)

(West Elm)

Parker sectional in Cooper cashmere ($1,600, www.havertys.com).

Large mid-century expandable dining table in walnut ($799, www.westelm.com).

More from Home & Garden:

Tell us about your own design challenge here

See past room makeovers by local designers here