Tag Archives: kansas city

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: 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.

Karen Mills' blog

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

Plus sign up for our weekly interior design 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: Make a Grand Entrance with Your Front Door

Karen Mills' blog

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.

Karen Mills' blog

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.

Karen Mills' blog

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 Design: Clever Ways to Disguise Your Flat Screen TV

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Charles furniture

Let’s face it.  Even though we often love the convenience of a large flat screen TV, we don’t always want to showcase them because they can detract from our spaces.  As an interior designer, I rarely put TVs on display in living rooms, because they compete with the beautiful interiors we design.  So if you’re looking for a way to hide your television in the living room or family room, here is a link to a recent article I wrote on 7 Clever Ways to Conceal Your Flat Screen TV for Houzz.

https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/84546202/list/7-clever-ways-to-conceal-your-tv-in-the-living-or-family-room

For more great photos and interior design sign up for my 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!

Interior Decorating: 3 Steps to Picking the Perfect Color

 

Karen Mills' blog

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.

Karen Mills' blog

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.

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.

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

Karen Mills' blog

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.
Karen Mills' blog

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.

Karen MIlls' blog

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: 3 Tips for Creating a Beautiful Basement That Lives Like Upstairs

If you’re thinking about remodeling your basement, consider these 3 tips for creating a beautiful space that doesn’t feel like a typical basement design.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

1. Bring in the daylight.   When designing your basement, think about ways you can bring natural sunshine further into your space.  One of my favorite tricks?  Use french doors or glass windows going into the interior rooms that allow the sun to penetrate further and keep them open for entertaining to maximize space.

Other ways to bring in the light could include adding an a large daylight or above ground window, enlarging an existing window or by creating a walk up basement from a daylight basement if possible.

Karen Mills' blog

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

2. Give it importance.  Treat your basement space like you would a main level room.  Use drywall on the ceilings, add drapery panels over small windows to make them feel grand, and create focal points with architecture, color and/or interior design to give the rooms a “wow” feel. I personally prefer lighter wall colors in a basement that’s dark so it doesn’t feel a cave unless its a home theater area or wine cellar.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Beef up your artificial lighting.  By adding extensive artificial light with wall washers, accent lighting and/or directional strip lights in addition to your standard lighting, you’ll find that your basement feels more like an upstairs living space.

For more basement remodeling ideas and more, sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

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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.

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

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

Karen Mills' blog

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.

 

Karen Mills' blog

 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.

Karen Mills' blog

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!