The Washington Post

House Calls: Updating a room stuck in the ‘90s

(Julius Goyanko for The Washington Post)

FWendy and Dave Hamnett’s room. (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

The Falls Church home of Wendy and David Hamnett is a mix of decades: The house was built in the 1950s, the couple added a family room in the ’80s and they say the style is stuck in the ’90s. The Hamnetts want help bringing the space into the 21st century with new furniture, an attractive storage solution for their home entertainment system and a touch of coastal design.


The solution. (Illustration By Julius Goyanko For The Washington Post)

Designer DeChelle Harris chooses wood furniture, brass finishes and navy blue accessories to give the room a sophisticated and subtly nautical update. Harris, of Chelle Albert Interiors (919-308-3036,, is based in the District

Greige walls can warm up a space with navy and dark wood accents. Try C2’s Pale Granite.

A compass accent table gives a subtle nod to the couple’s love of sailing.

Matching rugs ground separate seating areas in the open floor plan.

Media consoles with glass doors make accessing home entertainment equipment easy and leave room for accessories, too.


Furniture: Belgian camelback slipcovered nine-foot sofa in Graphite Belgian linen with 40-inch depth ($3,735) and upholstered chaise in Graphite Belgian linen($3,310), both from; Olivia coffee table ($1,999) and Quintus armchair($729), both from; Harlow console ($2,685,; compass accent table ($552,

Accessories: Navy deco pillow ($55 for 20-inch square pillow,; circlet stands ($50-$70,; Calacatta Gold marble tile ($30 per 12-by-24-inch tile,; Bosworth 9-by-12-foot rug ($1,399), Bosworth 5-by-8-foot rug ($799) and Chelsea floor lamp in bronze with burlap shade ($399), all from; Belgian heavyweight textured-linen flat Roman shade in Sand (prices vary by size,


20th-century English brass bar pull glass media console in brown oak. (Restoration Hardware)

Blue and white brushstroke lamp. (Mecox)

20th-century English brass bar pull glass media console in brown oak ($2,095 for 60-inch console,

Blue-and-white brushstroke lamp ($950,

. . . OR SAVE

Wyatt 72-inch media console. (Crate and Barrel)

Brushstroke lamp in navy. (Jana Bek)

Wyatt 72-inch media console ($999,

Brushstroke lamp in navy ($395,

More from The Washington Post

See past room makeovers by local designers here

Tell us about your design challenge: Send photos, room dimensions and contact information to

Margaret Ely is a digital editor for Lifestyle. Previously, she was an intern for the Post’s Metro section.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.