Tag Archives: Hickory White

Interior Design: 3 Ways to Successfully Mix n Match Your Existing Furnishings

 

As an interior designer who’s designed or decorated over 1100 homes, I understand how overwhelming it can be for a homeowner to bring together their disparate furnishings to create a beautifully designed interior.  Read on for 3 steps you can take today to created a more finished look.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Horst by Hickory White

1. Repetition – To coordinate mismatched furniture or accessories I recommend tying them together by repeating a color from one piece to onto another like the pillow, rug, and art in this photo that helps unify the furnishings to create a beautiful interior design.  The branches, rug, artwork, and cloth fabrics also provide a welcome contrast to the hard surfaces of the floor, windows, walls, and table.

 

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Marge Carson

2. Opposites Attract –  One great way to combine furnishings is by juxtaposing shiny finishes with dull, textural with smooth or formal with casual to give your room life and keep it interesting.   The upholstery, branches, stone formation, and rug contrast beautifully against the hard surface of the tables while the brown pillow on the sofa marries the sofa to the chair.

3. Size (and shape) Matters –  When creating vignettes of accessories in your space whether its for a tabletop or shelves, try to place objects of various heights, sizes, texture, and shapes together to create a cohesive whole like this photo, while keeping taller items at the back for a graduated look.   Pillows, artwork, and blue accessories bring together the color palette, while the yellow vases provide an unexpected pop of color.

Click here to watch one of my recent TV interviews with Gina Bullard on Better Kansas City on KCTV5 about how to create rooms with staying power

http://www.kctv5.com/clip/13418623/home-design-with-staying-power

plus sign up for our weekly interior design and decorating blog here

and become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of Living Large design show, 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.

Karen Mills' blog

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.

Karen MIlls' blog

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.

Karen Mills' blog

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.

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Interior Design: 3 Ways to Warm up Your Contemporary Living Room

Karen Mills

Photo courtesy of Design within Reach

One common complaint I often hear as an interior designer is that contemporary rooms are cold and uninviting.  But these spaces are becoming more popular because of their simple lines and often calming effect.  Below are 3 ways to warm up your contemporary style room.

1. Color not only warms up an interior but can also add drama like this room above where the lime green pillow provides a dramatic contrast against the blue sofa.  The live branches also warm up the room.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Charles

2. Live Elements are wonderful because they add life and energy to a space whether its a plant, flowers, fruit or other element.  As an interior designer, my favorite way to bring life to a space is by introducing flowers, especially exotic ones like orchids that can last for months.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Hickory White

3. Texture can be layered in throughout your room in a variety of ways. Here above the pillows, wall finish, and hanging branch warm up the room nicely along with the warmth of the area rug underneath.  Other creative ways to add texture include wood ceilings/walls, rustic finishes, draperies, and/or furnishings with a textural component.

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

 

Interior Design: Trending in Winter White

Karen Mills' blog

Courtesy of Century Furniture

The color white has ruled the interior design market for 2016 and I don’t see signs of this dreamy color dying out yet.   In fact there’s nothing I personally love to wear or be surrounded by than white because of the way it bounces light around the room and how fresh it makes me feel.

Karen Mills' blog

White chair by Z Gallerie

Believe it or not the majority of my new projects as an interior designer are still requests for whites and cool light neutrals with a pop of color even in the midst of winter.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Hickory White

Karen Mills' blog

Burma stool by Bungalow5

So today I’m sharing some winter whites that inspire me and giving more insight into this fabulous color from the color experts.

 

Karen Mills' blog

Courtesy of Bernhardt Furniture

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Georgina coffee table from Bernhardt Furniture

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Natalie chair by Christopher Guy

According to former Living Large show guest and color expert Kate Smith color affects us physically in the following ways:

Aids mental clarity

Encourages us to clear clutter or obstacles

Evokes purification of thoughts or actions

Enables fresh beginnings

Karen Mills' blog

Visual Comfort lighting

But that’s not all.  The nation’s leading color expert and former Living Large guest Lea Eiseman of the Pantone Color Institute states in one of her books, “White also signifies innocence.  It is a recall of youth and simplicity, and a longing to be young again.”   No wonder I love white!

Karen Mills' blog

Photo of Brittanicca counters courtesy of Cambria

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 Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Facebook here!