Designer Sharon Kleinman and her husband, Brad, relax in the family room. Photo by Stacy Zarin-GoldbergSharon Kleinman

The Family Room

Give Sharon Kleinman one beloved object and she’ll design a whole room around it. When Kleinman, who started an interior design business in her Potomac home 17 years ago, wanted to remake her own burgundy and teal family room, she began with a pale blue-green Lee Jofa fabric.

“I thought the color would be beautiful with the fireplace stone, and went from there,” says Kleinman, who used the fabric for window treatments and pillows.

To make the large, long room cozier, Kleinman divided it into three distinct areas. The space in front of the bay window that looks into the backyard features two 1920 French art deco leather chairs. The tops of their backrests are shaped in such a way that they’re known as “mustache chairs.”

“My husband, Brad, and I love to sit here at the end of a long day, and always on Friday nights,” Kleinman says.

A large bar anchors the other end of the room—the space where family and friends gather when the Kleinmans entertain. “No matter how many people I have over,” Kleinman says, “they’re always crowded around the bar.”


Two Avery Boardman sofas that Kleinman re-covered in tan linen velvet are located in the room’s midsection. “These sofas are so comfortable,” she says. “No one in my family wanted me to get rid of them.”

Kleinman says visitors are drawn to the family room.

“It’s the gathering room,” she says. “When I design for clients, I try to do it so that if they walk into any room in their home, they want to be part of it. That’s very important to me, and that’s what I’ve got here.”


Gabriele McCormick lives in Urbana and is a frequent contributor to the magazine.

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