How to create a living room where the TV isn’t the focal point

How to create a living room where the TV isn’t the focal point


Dan and Karen Kulpinski are struggling to find a furniture arrangement for the living room portion of the 19-by-11-foot living/dining area in their Potomac townhouse. They want to be able to watch television and enjoy the fireplace, but they aren’t sure how to configure a conversational seating area around all of the doors in the room.


Designer Shannon Bieter suggests smaller furniture that won’t overwhelm the space and moves the television to allow the Kulpinskis to see it from both seating areas.


Paint the walls a soft neutral to make the space seem larger and less busy. Try Silvery Moon by Benjamin Moore. Choose furniture that better fits the size and shape of the room. A rug with a simpler pattern will make the space feel less cramped. Mix materials. Add metal and stone to break up all of the wood. A chair with a curved back, placed at an angle, adds seating without blocking the doors. Move the television so it’s not the focal point when entering the room.

Bieter, with Interiors by Shannon Bieter (202-904-1037), is based in the District.


SPLURGE: Perennials heathered stripe outdoor rug in Iron ($2,795 for ­8-by-10-foot rug,, left. SAVE: Cambridge CAM154 rug in gray ($504 for 8-by-10-foot rug,

SPLURGE: Starlata starburst mirror in champagne silver leaf ($872.50,, left. SAVE: Canyon round mirror ($169,


Furniture: Baugh chaise sectional in charcoal ($2,080,; Cala hammered coffee table ($300), white marble and metal round accent table ($150) and wood and metal Aiden three-shelf console table ($350), all from; Grayson chair in cobalt ($1,099,; La Pedrera small octagonal ottoman in Pasaje ($659, Accessories: Herringbone throw pillow in Grass ($36), Frisange ikat cotton throw pillow in blue-green ($45) and Templepatrick decorative throw blanket in indigo ($45), all from; surveyor floor lamp ($199), Genie ivory table lamp ($59) and mother-of-pearl spheres set ($28), all from; potted succulent with black pot ($10) and aluminum storage crates ($100 each), both from; Cascade Roman shades in Sunbrella Tinte silver (prices vary by size) and cubicle drapes in Fleck Korinthos (from $269), both from; “Beach Lights” set of three wood-mounted prints ($260,


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