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How This Designer Reinvigorated a '90s-Era Kitchen

makeover of the week - marika meyer kitchen

Design: Marika Meyer, Photo: Angie Seckinger

If there’s something we never get tired of seeing, it’s a great makeover. Whether it’s transforming a retro bathroom into a modern oasis or giving a lackluster bedroom a fresh look, pros perform these design miracles all the time.

To give designers a chance to showcase their favorite makeovers—and to bring you plenty of inspiration for your own home—we’re sharing the best before and afters we’ve seen in our series, Makeover of the Week. Take notes for your next renovation.

“We started this project not knowing if we would rehab the entire existing kitchen or just make some smaller changes, as we were trying to be prudent with the budget," Marika Meyer, owner of Marika Meyer Interiors, says. "In the end, we couldn’t get past the lack of usable storage space, the poor traffic flow, and the dark and drab feeling the space projected.”

Meet the Expert

Interior designer Marika Meyer, owner of Marika Meyer Interiors in Washington DC, creates rooms that meet the criteria for functionality, beauty, and practical luxury.


Before shot of dark kitchen.

Courtesy of Marika Meyer

“The most recent renovation took place in the '90s, and the décor definitely captured that decade. The well-worn beige floor tiles had seen better days, and the square backsplash tiles had a dated and fussy decorative accent,” Meyer notes. “Plus, there was no island or designated work space for prep work.”


makeover of the week - marika meyer kitchen

Design: Marika Meyer, Photo: Angie Seckinger

“My goal was to add light and fun to this space,” Meyer says. “We installed bright white cabinets and added interest by carrying the glossy subway tile backsplash all the way up the walls. Adding pops of Kelly green and navy blue created a clean and preppy look.”

What Changed:

  • Color theme: A fresh palette of blue, white, and green create a space that’s clean, crisp, and vibrant.
  • Cabinets: Simple shaker-style cabinets were taken to the ceiling to create height and are paired with polished nickel pulls and knobs.
  • Pendant light fixtures: Vintage-inspired glass globe pendants, reproductions of 1915 factory lights, have an industrial yet contemporary feel.
  • Stools: The green fabric on the stools coordinate with the fabric on the banquette chairs, tying the two spaces together.
  • Window treatments: A sheer Roman shade with a paisley pattern lets in light while creating privacy over the sink; three white and Kelly green Roman shades have a trellis print and provide a hit of color around the kitchen table.
  • Backsplash: Glossy white subway tile adds texture to the space and brightens up the backsplash.
  • Countertops: The counters and island are covered in a gray and white quartzite—a natural and stain-resistant stone.
  • Sitting area: Bright blue banquette cushions follow the shape of the existing bay window; the table’s pedestal base allows for easy access to the bench seating.
  • Light fixture over table: A custom metal and glass 2’ x 2’ lantern adds light over the table while creating a dramatic focal point.
  • Floors: White oak hardwoods are stained in a walnut finish to match the existing floors throughout the house.
  • Chairs: The octagonal design on the back of the three hardwood chairs play on the subtle geometry in the roman shades.
  • Pillows: A mix of blue solid and print pillows provide a pop of color against the white framed windows.

Shop The Look:

Green kitchen stools.

Design: Marika Meyer, Photo: Angie Seckinger

Hood Classic Pendant.
Rejuvenation Hood Classic Pendant $492.00
Navy blue pillow.
OneHappyPillow on Etsy Navy Throw Pillow Cover $40.00
 R Barbaree Dining Table.
Tritter Feefer R Barbaree Dining Table Upon Request