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Erin Angell and her fiance Christian Collins purchased their first home, a three-bedroom townhouse in Bristow, Va., almost two years ago. Decorating other areas was easy for them, but the kitchen has posed a challenge. Mix-matched finishes and outdated appliances have left them clueless about where to start. Designer Daniela Franciscus used her expertise to create an updated look that's cost-effective.

Franciscus opted for a minimalist approach to the design concept. This is ideal for those on a small budget, she says. Franciscus recommended a neutral color palette: Soft beiges and dark browns are versatile and easy to maintain, she says, leaving accent pieces such as dishware, artwork and placemats to bring bright colors into the room.

She also suggests using classic furniture with clean lines. The ottoman and wooden table she selected can merge with a variety of design themes.

The cabinetry, says Franciscus, is the one thing the couple should consider spending a little extra on. Rather than refacing the cabinets, she says, they will save time and money by installing completely new ones. If the refacing isn't done properly, adds Franciscus, simple wear and tear can cause the paint to chip.

One of the biggest complaints from the homeowners was the outdated look of their kitchen appliances. To remedy this, Franciscus recommends stainless steel appliances. These can also be costly, she says, but will add resale value to the home.

Finally, decorative touches such as bamboo plants, linen curtains and pendant lighting, help bring a sense of calm to the space, she says.

audio from the designer


Designer Daniela Franciscus shares tips on redesigning your kitchen space.

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chat with the designer

Liven up your home with simple touches. Daniela Franciscus offers design advice.

the layout

Designer Solutions - Products

Designer Solutions - by Daniela Franciscus

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Lisa Adams, principal designer for Washington, D.C.-based design firm Adams Design Inc., gives this outdated basement a contemporary makeover.

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Daniela Franciscus, principal designer for Washington, D.C.-based design firm Franciscus Design Group, redesigns this kitchen space.

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