Home & Design

Melanie Whittington, Whittington Design Studio

Samantha Sopp-Wittwer, Interior Concepts, Inc.

Cathy Purple Cherry, Purple Cherry Architects

Laura Hildebrandt, Interiors by LH, LLC​

Barbara Hawthorn, Barbara Hawthorn Interiors

Laura Fox, Laura Fox Interior Design, LLC

Jamie Merida, Jamie Merida Interiors

Inspired by client artwork and a love of bold, cheerful colors, designer Barbara Hawthorn created a fun and practical living space with multiple gathering areas. Swivel chairs take in views of both the fireplace and the Potomac River, visible beyond a wall of windows. A game table provides additional seating and room for activities. Photo: Kenneth M. Wyner

Bonnie Ammon, Bonnie Ammon Interiors

Master Plan

Designers reveal best practices for stylish, functional furniture placement

When creating a furniture plan, we ask how clients will use their space and what will make them feel comfortable. Proper scale and functionality are essential, and we like to mix styles and materials for interest.  —Melanie Whittington, Whittington Design Studio


We like furniture plans that provide flexibility, with upholstered coffee tables and ottomans doing triple duty as footrests, surfaces and additional seating.  —Jamie Merida, Jamie Merida Interiors


We focus on form and function. How many need to sit comfortably? Is there a focal point? We like mixing styles, but proportion and scale need to be compatible. Seat and arm heights should be similar, and there should be passageways between pieces.  —Jason Claire & Sarita Simpson, Interior Matters


The most important components of a furniture plan are functionality, aesthetics and scale. We discuss clients’ desires and how they will use their space; these are keys to creating a layout tailored for their lifestyle.  —Laura Fox, Laura Fox Interior Design, LLC


Balance, comfort and function are the first considerations. Tips: Start with a focal point and never push your seating up against the wall. For multiple seating areas, I like mixing a large sofa with different-sized chairs so the design feels collected.  —Bonnie Ammon, Bonnie Ammon Interiors

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Barbara Hawthorn
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Designers shed light on creating master bedrooms that embrace peace and serenity
HOME&DESIGN, published bi-monthly by Homestyles Media Inc., is the premier magazine of architecture and fine interiors for the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

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The H&D Portfolio of 100 Top Designers spotlights the superior work of selected architects, interior designers and landscape architects in major regions of the US.

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