THE PROBLEM

Bookish husband, a wife who loves dinner parties: polarized design tastes.

THE SOLUTION

Design a space they could enjoy together and with friends.

HOW IT HAPPENED • Created a stunning floor-to-ceiling banquette for lots of seating, using existing bulkheads and upholstered in luxe, antique raspberry velvet. • Chose ebony dining table that expands to seat 10. • Added matching sideboard with metal top to hold hot dishes, chilly cocktails. • Increased "wow" factor with black crystal chandelier, polished chrome sconces. • Highlighted existing architecture by installing dark wood display shelves. • Added black granite fireplace surround, flanked it with mirrored-back shelves. BEST TRICK

Replaced shutters with light control system to make garden view accessible.

Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service. Interior decorator Candice Olson hosts "Divine Design," which appears Saturdays at 7 p.m. Resource guide at www.divinedesign.tv; episode #1504.