Caitlin Murray of Black Lacquer Design firmly believes a little black and a little lacquer have a place in any design, but that doesn’t mean she shies away from soft color, either. We’ve featured Caitlin’s work before and today we’re taking a look inside a recent project for a young couple. Knowing they spend a lot of time making dinners at home, entertaining, and gardening. They wanted a space that was functional, modern, design-savvy and not too precious since it gets a lot of wear thanks to their Rhodesian Ridgeback pup named Biscuit.

Caitlin says her design started with one key piece: “the velvet cerulean blue sofa, which I fell in love with, and just had to make it work! All of the other elements were chosen around that.” The sofa’s bold color affected the palette but the scale of the sofa also dictated placement of other furniture due to the old brownstone’s L-shaped layout in the living room. “We worked with what we had and I had to convince the client that a TV just wasn’t going to happen without the space feeling like a frat house, by going in front of a window or the stair railing. As a result, this room became all about lounging, reading and entertaining.”

While Caitlin is based in LA, this home is in Washington D.C. “When you go there, you’ll notice a lot of people wearing preppy patterns and Easter-inspired hues—some of my favorite things that I don’t get to work with much in LA!” Caitlin paired these soft colors with punchy accents. She says, “I think it’s important to balance these softer shades with darker ones in the interest of creating contrast and making sure the colors don’t feel too sweet. The tribal and African textures bring in an unexpected, organic component, which they responded to since they’re so trend-savvy.”

See more in the slideshow!