Place lamps around the room for soft task lighting.

Paint the ceiling (and slope) a lighter shade of the wall color: Hushed Hue by Benjamin Moore.

New bedding and curtain panels will soften all the angles in the room.

Install trim around the two doorways. Paint all trim in the room in a soft white with a satin finish.

Paint the walls a soft khaki: Nature's Essential by Benjamin Moore.

THE CHALLENGE

Nancy McFalls (shown with husband Scott and kids Hugh and Nora) is at a loss for ideas for the "sunny but stark" master bedroom in her Falls Church home. She would like the 12-by-18-foot space to be a cozy retreat. "Nothing fancy," she says, "just put together."

THE SOLUTION

By moving the bed, layering textures and adding lighting and furniture, designer Emily Bishop creates an end-of-the-day haven.

3Emily Bishop Interior Design (202-232-4161, www.emilybishop.com) is based in the District.

SHOPPING GUIDE

Furniture. Sonoma console ($269, www.ballarddesigns.com ); Baldwin right-arm chaise with bark twill slipcover ($890, www.ballarddesigns.com ); Hudson wide bedside table ($399, www.potterybarn.com ); Porter small desk ($299, www.potterybarn.com ); Seagrass stool ($99, www.potterybarn.com ); Hudson Parsons upholstered side chair in army duck mocha ($299, www.restorationhardware.com ).

Lighting. Pharmacy floor lamp (no longer available, www.target.com ).

Accessories. Casual twill curtain panels in thyme (from $55, www.restorationhardware.com ); Signature linen bedding in ivory (from $58, www.williamssonomahome.com ); Walk About abstract prints ($238, www.ballarddesigns.com ).

SPLURGE . . .

Aurora double gourd lamp in clear crackle glaze ($1,990, www.belvedereinc.com ).

Azar rug ($1,999, www.restoration hardware.com ).

. . . OR SAVE

Alexis ceramic table lamp base and shade in ivory ($144, www.potterybarn.com).

Sienna 2315 rug in blue ($579, www.rugs-direct.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.