Tag Archives: design show

Interior Design: How to Use Interior Doors to Enhance Your Design

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

How often do we think of interior doors as design elements?  Probably not much but they can have a big impact on your interior design like the glass french doors in this photo of an Overland Park  home that frames the desk and art beyond.    The glass allows light and a view into the office, while the panes add interest to the interior design.

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Photo courtesy of Haute Living

Or if you’re looking for a more contemporary interior door option, why not consider sliding panel doors that can allow light to penetrate further into your home like this photo above.  The repetition of the horizontal slats create an interesting pattern in this simple clean design.

To learn more about designing with interior doors, click below to read my recent article Beyond Open and Shut:  7 Ways to Use Interior Doors as Decor.  

https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/82255678/list/beyond-open-and-shut-7-ways-to-use-interior-doors-as-decor

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Interior Design: Make a Grand Entrance with Your Front Door

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Photo courtesy of Rylock doors

If you want to make a grand entrance to your home the front door is key because its the focal point area at the front of your home and can add or detract from your home’s curb appeal.   If you have a great eye for design, then you can do it yourself, but if you don’t please contact an interior designer first to ensure you don’t make a costly mistake.

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Door photo courtesy of Therma Tru

Countless styles of doors exist from the red pivot style I reveal in my Houzz article in the link below to doors with cut outs like this door.

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Photo courtesy of Simpson Door

Read my article in the following link titled Make an Entrance with a Dramatic Front Door  to learn about more door styles and possibilities.

https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/82788557/list/make-an-entrance-with-a-dramatic-front-door

For more information and inspiration sign up for my weekly interior design blog here

Plus become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of Living Large, Karen Mills, on Facebook here!

Interior Decorating: 3 Steps to Picking the Perfect Color

 

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Photo courtesy of Lillian August

 Color, the biggest issue faced by homeowners starting an interior design or interior decorating project is often an overwhelming task so I’ve broken it down into three manageable steps for you today.

First and foremost, when you’re selecting colors, make sure that you’re viewing colors on a white background to get a true sense of the colors before placing them on a wall.   Don’t wear colors that might reflect back on those paint colors while you’re making selections because a red top, for example, could reflect red on a neutral color giving it a green cast.

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Photo courtesy of Lillian August

Second, consider natural light along with artificial light in the room.  Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to two or three during daylight, paint large sections of each color on the wall and leave it up two to three days so you can view the colors in daylight and after dark.  For trim and ceiling paint colors, look to the lightest end of your paint strip for possibilities along with whites.  A good rule of thumb would be to pair warmer colors with off white trim and cool colors with white trim.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

Third,  even though you can marry two of almost any color together to create a color scheme, test the colors next to each other first to see if you like them and add a neutral color.  If you don’t know where to start with color, pull inspiration from a favorite item like artwork, a rug, fabric, jewelry or even nature and let the fun begin!

For more great tips on color and how to use it become of fan of our weekly interior design blog here

plus become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of Living Large, Karen Mills on Facebook here!

Interior Design: 5 Secrets to Buying a Quality Sofa With Staying Power

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Lillian August for Hickory White

If you’re like most buyers, selecting a sofa is confusing and overwhelming because you have no idea how to select one that’a high quality, the right size, and a style that will last.  Read on for my five secrets to selecting a quality sofa with staying power that’s just right for you.

Pick the right size – Before shopping start by taking measurements of your room and the other furniture to be used.  Then create a floor plan that allows ample space for walkways (3-4 feet) between furniture groupings and walls.  Also take into consideration the height or scale of your room along with the other furniture to be used.  In addition all of us are unique in our proportions so selecting a sofa that fits your body is key to being comfortable long term on your sofa.  Considerations include sofa height, seat height, seat depth, and length if you’re planning to take an occasional nap.

Choose a style with staying power – The sofas with the most staying power often have simpler lines and less trendy details.  Avoid trendy looks that may look dated quickly.

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Photo courtesy of Baker furniture

Quality construction – Sofas of high quality often have similar attributes in how their frames, suspension, and cushions are made that not only helps them last longer and hold their shape but also be comfortable.  Such attributes may include frames made of kiln dried hardwoods, 8 way tied springs with several coils for suspension that you can feel under the seat cushion, corner blocking for frame reinforcement, mortise and tenon joints,  fabric patterns that line up at the seams and much more.

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Interior design by Karen Mills

Opt for a solid or tone on tone neutral color-  By opting for a solid fabric with little or no pattern, you’ll not only tire of the sofa less quickly but you’re also more likely to be able to re purpose your sofa as you change homes or interiors.

Select durable fabric –  High performance fabrics are becoming a big hit with interior designers because they won’t fade quickly and spills just bead up.  Other durable fabrics can include wool, velvet, some cottons or linens, acrylic, and some blends of natural/man made materials.

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Photo courtesy of Bernhardt furniture

Select durable fabric –  High performance fabrics are becoming a big hit with interior designers because they won’t fade quickly and spills just bead up.  Other durable fabrics can include wool, velvet, some cottons or linens, acrylic, and  certain blends of natural/man made materials.

For more information on how to select a quality sofa for you, contact a qualified interior designer that serves your area.

For more great tips sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

Plus become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of Living Large, Karen Mills, on Facebook here!

Interior Decorating: 3 Tips for Decorating on a Budget

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Interior design by Karen Mills/Photography by 29 Pixels, LLC

Do you ever feel like your room is unfinished or undone?  Do you have all the furniture purchased for your room, but don’t know what to do next and you’re on a modest budget? Here are 3 ways I recommend as an interior designer to inject personality and interest to your space while staying on a reasonable budget.

  1. Add color   Color can be painted on walls, ceilings, furniture or even brought in with decor like this blue candle and pillow in this room.  Color may also be introduced with fabrics on draperies and throws or layered in with a rug.
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Interior Decorating by Karen Mills/Photography by 29 Pixels

2. Inject pattern –  Introduce pattern with fabrics, draperies, or pillows like this photo of a nursery we decorated on a budget as a surprise for parents from Community America Credit Union.  The horizontal stripes of the wall done by the homeowners add dramatic pattern along with the draperies and row of frames we hung with the baby’s initials.

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Interior Decorating by Karen Mills/Photography by 29 Pixels, LLC

 

Karen Mill's blog

Interior design by Karen Mills/Photography by 29 Pixels, LLC

3. Layer in texture – Texture can come through rugs or throws like the room here along with pillows and draperies.  Additional texture was added in this room with the small marble tile mosaic inset in the fireplace surround.

In the photo of the nursery, texture was introduced with the pouf, area rug, and fuschia colored pillow.  And in the close up of the tray, texture is added with the shell, rope handle, and tray.

For more tips and photos, sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

Or become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Facebook here!

Interior Design: 8 Steps to Follow for a Successful Design Project

Like any project that involves money, you need a budget or at least a range before you start. Do some research or bring in the experts  – an interior designer, contractor/builder, and/or architect – to give an estimated investment.

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Interior design by Karen Mills/Photography by 29 Pixels, LLC

  1. Decide on a design style or mix of styles that will flow with your architecture and existing furnishings you will be re purposing.   As an interior designer in Kansas City, I always suggest clients select several photos of room designs they like and make sure any spouse or significant other involved agrees.

 

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 2. Determine your color scheme ensuring it coordinates with adjoining rooms and any                   existing furnishings to be used in the interior design.   If you have no idea, take a look in               your closet to see what colors you’re drawn too or pull colors out of an inspiration piece               such as art, a rug, or fabric.

  3. Create a floor plan so you know what fits in your space and the sizes you need.   To do that       go online and use space planning software or get an expert to help.

  4.  Set a timetable.   At this point you might want to bring in an expert – interior designer                  and/or contractor/builder- to review your design plan/timetable because investing a                      few dollars for a master plan and viable timetable can help avoid thousands of dollars in              costly mistakes from bad decisions or huge delays.    

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Interior design by Karen Mills. Photo by 29 Pixels, LLC

5. Design and order custom furniture and any built in cabinetry after consulting with your        interior designer or tradespeople if you’re managing the project yourself.    At this point all          custom designs need to be finalized and ordered.   In addition permits need to be pulled for        construction.

6.  Select and order all plumbing, flooring, tile, and general lighting needed.

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Interior design by Karen Mills/ Photo by 29 Pixels, LLC

7.  Design any custom draperies, bedding, rugs, wall/floor/ceiling finishes, or pillows                 needed along with choosing hard window coverings, light fixtures, and any ready                 made furnishings.    Then order.

8.  Purchase artwork, hardware pulls, lamps, and all other furnishings needed.

For more great ideas and photos, sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

Plus become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of the long running Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Facebook here!

Interior Design: 3 Tips for Creating an Outdoor Space That Feels Like Vacation

Karen Mills' blog

 

When I daydream about the beach, it’s usually one of my favorite vacations like this one on St. John’s island with great views, fabulous restaurants, and wonderful friends.
When you’re planning your own outdoor space, why not recreate one of your favorite vacation spots that you can enjoy in your own backyard whenever the weather permits.   I did and here are my 3 tips accomplishing that.
Tip #1  Create a dedicated space outdoors with the feel of a room – floors and maybe a ceiling or walls.  Then add seating and possibly a table for meals.
Here in this photo above, the floors are tiled and a roof lingers overhead along with pillars that become the walls of the space.
In my own backyard, I designed a pergola to recreate that look but made one that was my own style.  I still mimicked the round pillars at St. John’s and a partial roof overhead for a similar feel. Then I layered in palm trees and tropical flowers to recreate the laid back island vibe.

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2. Select a look or style that reminds you of one of your favorite vacations.  To accomplish that look in my own backyard space, I mixed in found antique metal seating fitted with custom white cushions along with a couple of new wicker chairs to achieve a more collected aesthetic. Then I threw in a weathered old trunk on wheels for a coffee table and placed a tray of shells from diving trips and walks on the beach on top.
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3. Add a specific element that reminds you of your favorite spot.  That element for me was a touch of romance so we added LED lights at the top of the pillars to create a wonderful ambiance at night and accessories in turquoise to remind us of the blue blue ocean.
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Interior Design: 3 Tips for Creating a Sophisticated Rustic Style

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Interior design by Karen Mills/Photography by Nick Schale

The romantic lure of the rustic style home or cabin is undeniable.  Maybe its because of our rich heritage of building log cabins to protect our families from the weather. Or maybe its the way rustic homes connect us with the outdoors with their rough hewn beams, simple style, and organic materials like stacked stone fireplaces.

But even though we still love our rustic home, sometimes we crave furnishings that are more refined and luxurious to offset the rugged architecture for that perfect mix of masculine and feminine.  If that’s you, here are my 3 tips as an interior designer to help you create a beautiful blend.

  1. Select a muted color scheme that picks up the hues reflected in your finishes.  By picking up existing colors in the home’s architecture for the furnishings, the overall design style is strengthened and the furnishings connect better with the hard surfaces .  Here in this photo, we pulled out the beautiful gray blue and taupe color scheme from the hues found in the stone fireplace.   By selecting furniture with a softer hand and more luxurious feel, the room also took on a more timeless complex look that adds interest.

Layering in an area rug with an organic pattern in those same hues brings everything                   together while the lighter colors of all the furnishings help bounce around much needed               light in the room.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

2. Keep it simple  Because of the rugged nature of the rustic interior, to create a sophisticated feel its important to balance the mega sized fireplace, wood columns, and other rough elements with furnishings with cleaner lines and softer edges to create the perfect balance of rugged and sleek.  Here the softer lines of the sofa and tables help balance the rough hewn fireplace and stone columns.

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Interior design by Karen Mills/Photography by Nick Schale

The same is true with this family room where the textural pillows, shag rug, and airy swivel chairs add texture and light to the darker hard surfaces of the fireplace, floors, and leather sofa.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Layer in organic materials that coordinate with the room’s rugged finish to soften room such as natural cottons as seen in the bedding and the casual fabrics on the chairs.  The textural rug also adds light and interest to the room.

 

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Interior design by Karen Mills/Photography by Nick Schale

A beautiful simple pale blue shimmery wallpaper in an organic pattern provides a nice juxtaposition against the stone columns and paneled wood ceiling.

For more great tips and photos sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

Plus become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of Living Large, Karen Mills, on Facebook here.

 

 

Interior Design: 5 Tips for Injecting Spring into Your Interior

The first day of spring has arrived in the United States and it’s a joyous time for most of us in the colder climates because it marks the end of a season of cold, ice, and snow.

 

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Charles

As I walked through my yard this last weekend I saw green buds appearing everywhere from bushes and trees to perennials.   So of course that motivated me to perform my semi-annual tradition of packing up heavy winter decor and ushering in spring with lighter decor.  If you would like to lighten your interior too, here are 5 tips for injecting spring into your home.

  1. Add life with fresh flowers and seasonal plants like this photo by Jonathan Charles furniture above.  Lighter finishes also help enhance the spring feel of this room along with an infusion of sunlight.
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Interior design by Karen Mills. Photography by 29 Pixels.

2. Add fresh pops of color in pillows and decor like the room above.  The shell and lantern beach inspired decor also add to the warm season feel.

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Photo courtesy of Jonathan Charles

3. Replace dark heavy items like rugs with lighter options  like shown above or go with a natural rug like a sisal.  If that’s not possible, opt for removing the rug altogether.

Light pillow covers in natural fabrics also add to the appeal along with fresh flowers and light upholstery.  If you don’t have light upholstery, consider adding a slipcover for spring/summer weather like the dining chairs we had slip covered below.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Circa Lighting

4. Lighten up in the bedroom by replacing heavy dark bedding with light natural fabrics in cotton and consider using sheer drapery panels instead of heavy drapes.

5. Spring Clean  Remove all the extra items that have accumulated over the winter months and do some spring cleaning so your room feels fresh and fabulous.  Now you’re ready for spring!

For more great photos and tips, sign up for our weekly interior design blog here!

Plus become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of Living Large, Karen Mills, on Facebook here!

 

Interior Design: 3 Tips for Warming up Modern Living Room

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Photo courtesy of Design within Reach

As I’ve matured as an interior designer I’ve come to love clean simple design that stands on it’s own.  Of course it’s much more difficult to attain a modern look because each piece of the design has an important role and you don’t want the room to become sterile.    So if you’re looking for more simplicity in your life without sacrificing warmth, here are 3 tips for creating an inviting contemporary look.

  1. Add texture to your room.  In this living space shown above a  textural rug was layered underneath to ground the seating area along with a throw, books, and plant.  Textural fireplace tile, art, and wood logs also add more interest to the room.

In this modern contemporary living room below texture is introduced through the fabrics on      the upholstery and pillows along with the sisal and fur rugs underneath.  Wood furniture also      plays a key role in adding warmth.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of All Modern

Karen Mills

Photo courtesy of Design within Reach

2. Introduce live elements like the branch cutting shown in this living room create a more inviting feel.  Other live elements you can introduce include fruit, flowers, and plants.  Pops of color also help warm up this living room along with a book, art, and color.

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Photo courtesy of Design within Reach

3. Use Color  to warm up a room especially if its a orange sofa like the space above.  The tree in the corner, wooden spools, and pillow also add warmth to the room.

Karen Mills

Photo courtesy of All Modern

In this modern living room above the leather chair, pillows and sofa all add texture and warmth along with the rug and wood topped coffee table.

For more great tips and photos sign up for our interior design blog here

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