Sue and Roland Meisner’s kitchen before. (Leah L. Jones/For The Washington Post)

Sue and Roland Meisner need to update the kitchen of their Alexandria home, but they aren’t in a position to do a full renovation. They want to get rid of the wallpaper and old furniture and possibly paint the cabinets. They plan to replace their appliances soon.


Designer DeChelle Harris’s solution. (Julius Goyanko for The Washington Post/Julius Goyanko for The Washington Post)

Designer DeChelle Harris suggests painting the cabinets and adding hardware, as well as an extendable dining table and chairs, to refresh the room.

Harris, of Chelle Albert Interiors (202-540-0413, www.chellealbert.
), is based in the District.

Replace the wallpaper with a soothing shade of paint in deep gray, such as Motley by C2 .

Paint is a great option for updating cabinetry. Try C2’s Smidgeon on the main cabinets and Summer Squall on the island.

Add hardware to the cabinets to bring personality and another design element. It also makes the doors easier to open.

Choose natural fiber seating in high-traffic areas such as kitchens. It will stand up to kids, pets and guests.

A runner softens the floor in the work space of the kitchen, and it helps tie it to the seating area.

A mirror behind the bar cart reflects light and adds depth to the space.

A tall painted cabinet with doors is both functional and decorative.


Furniture: Saddle counter stool in crosshatch steel/ivory ($738 for two) and angled-leg expandable table ($699), both from; seagrass chair in Havana dark weave ($199,; tonic bar cart ($599,

Accessories: Bryson Persian-style rugs in navy ($529 for 5-by-8 and $299 for 2 1/2 -by-9), both from; Axis ceiling fan in brushed nickel ($489,; floating wood mirror in chocolate ($399,; River Reflection knobs in black and white ($10 each,; cow, fish and pig butcher charts ($45 each,



20th-century English brass bar pull-glass double-door 77-inch cabinet in waxed white ($2,595, www.resto

splurge chair for meisner kitchen (

Gigi swivel side chair in navy ($777,

. . . OR SAVE


Vitrine cabinet ($1,499, www.crate


Jive mid-back office chair in terracotta ($176,

More from Home & Garden:

See answers to frequently asked questions about House Calls here

Tell us about your own design challenge here

See past room makeovers by local designers here