THE PROBLEM

This combination sitting/dining room wasn't working as an entertaining area. The space had no storage, so getting ready for guests involved hauling up a folding table and wine fridge from the basement. After everyone went home, everything had to be dragged downstairs again, and platters and bowls were tucked away on the seats of dining-room chairs.

THE SOLUTION

Designer Candice Olson's trendy design added generous storage space, a wet bar and wine fridge, comfortable seating and lots of table space.

HOW IT HAPPENED

• To add practical seating while also creating a spectacular focal point, Olson designed a spacious 30-inch-deep banquette with a dramatic, tufted custom backrest.

• A new pedestal table positioned in front of the banquette and its accompanying chairs provide lots of seating. The table is crowned by a dramatic modern glass chandelier, controlled by a dimmer switch to help set the mood.

• A wet bar and wine refrigerator provide practical pizazz for entertaining. Across from the table, the quartz-topped bar doubles as a sideboard with an elegant stainless-steel sink with faceted sides that could easily function as a one-of-a-kind ice bucket. To solve the storage problem, lots of cupboards were added above and below the bar.

• To ratchet up the party look, Olson chose a boldly patterned graphic wallpaper with a shimmering mica coating, which subtly reflects light and instantly adds a touch of glamour.

The color palette used throughout the party room is warm and inviting. Taupe, cream, brown and blue combine with glass and chrome accessories to create a fun atmosphere in a room that is both functional and beautiful, masculine and feminine.

BEST TRICK

In the lounge area of the room, comfortable, casual seating is grouped around an ingenious coffee table. This Italian-designed piece of furniture expands up and out to become a full-sized table for six -- adding even more space for big family dinners.

Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service. Interior decorator Candice Olson hosts "Candice Tells All," which appears on HGTV.