Paint the walls a warm gray-blue: Benjamin Moore's Blue Springs.

Add sparkle with a sunburst mirror over the fireplace. A screen hides the dated surround.

Replace the sofa with two smaller-scale settees. Move the wing chair closer to the fireplace.

A small round coffee table allows for easy access to the seating and takes up less space.

Create a new focal point with a sofa table behind one settee and a large piece of wall art.

Bring in a larger area rug. Use it to establish a color palette for the room.

Simple, solid curtain panels add warmth and height to the room.

THE CHALLENGE

Barbara Cohen and Jay Bass are stumped when it comes to arranging furniture in the living room of their Falls Church home. The culprits: a narrow space (11 by 16 feet) and an off-center fireplace.

THE SOLUTION

By establishing a focal point and using furniture appropriately scaled for the room, designer Suzanne Price creates a plan for a welcoming, functional and updated space.

3 Suzanne Price Design (301-963-8736, www.suzannepricedesign.com ), is based in Derwood.

SHOPPING GUIDE

Furniture. Haralson settee in Danish linen oatmeal and walnut finish ($1,111, www.ballarddesigns.com ); Moroccan tray table ($399, www.potterybarn.com ); Finch black metal sofa table ($140, www.overstock.com ).

Accessories. Adeline rug (from $179, www.potterybarn.com ); dupioni silk pole-pocket drape in parchment (from $109) and cast-iron drape rod (from $49, both from www.potterybarn.com ); wire capiz sunburst wall mirror ($85, www.target.com ); "Harvesting Birds" wall art ($328, www.bellacor.com ).

Lighting. Jonso Barby table lamp ($60, www.ikea.com ).

SPLURGE . . .

Irongate fire screen ($635, www.horchow.com ).

Stowe brushed-steel floor lamp ($204, www.bellacor.com ).

. . . OR SAVE

Dimante fireplace screen ($70, www.pier1.com ).

Alang floor lamp ($40, www.ikea.com ).

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

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