Hang favorite family beach photos between the ceiling and the windows.

Give old chairs new life with white paint: Mascarpone from Benjamin Moore Affinity.

Complete the seating area (and make it more inviting) with a new, comfortable sofa.

A dd life-preserver pillows on the sofa to reflect the beach theme.

Define the seating area with a rug to add warmth to the tile floor.

Replace existing shelving with a shelf-desk combination or a bookcase with a coastal look.

Install a ceiling fan with palm-leaf blades to simulate the effect of an ocean breeze.


Mary Ellen Wolf would like to update the sunroom off the kitchen in her Herndon home. She's looking for ideas on seating and would like to keep the shelving, the mini-fridge and the beach theme. The room is 11 by 14 feet.


With a little paint, a new floor plan and some playful beach accessories, designer Allie Mann re-creates the relaxation found at the seaside.

3Mann, of Case Design, is based in Falls Church (703-289-5719, www.casedesign.com).


Furniture. See the Splurge or Save pieces above.

Lighting. Lifeguard chair with surfboard lamp ($97, www.thebeachhousestore.com ).

Accessories. French life-preserver pillow ($75, www.tuvaluhome.com ); Savannah cane indoor-outdoor rug, ($199 for 6 by 9 feet, www.crateandbarrel.com ); palm-leaf ceiling fan blades ($139, www.improvementscatalog.com ); Newport coastal pillows (not shown, from $42, www.homebytheseashore.com ).


Laguna Beach sofa in sandcastle ($1,499, www.kgmonline.com ).

Seabrook Classics two-piece plantation bookcase ($1,707, www.coastaldecorshop.com).

. . . OR SAVE

Hero Solo natural fabric sofa ($1,020, www.overstock.com ).

Leaning ladder shelf with laptop desk set ($149, www.overstock.com ).

6See more photos of this project at washingtonpost.com/housecalls.

Tell us your design challenge. Send photos, room dimensions and contact information to makeover@washpost.com.